Lincoln woman braves the heat to become chilli champion

  • Chilli contest winner Paula Turzanski.
  • chillifest
  • The panel prepare for their chilli challenge.
  • Last year's chilli contest winner Paula Turzanski.
  • Chilli contest winner Paula Turzanski.
  • chillifest
  • The panel prepare for their chilli challenge.
  • Last year's chilli contest winner Paula Turzanski.

Lincoln resident Paula Turzanski was crowned winner of the Lincoln Chilli Fest’s chilli-eating contest at the weekend.

Paula was among 10 people taking on the chilli challenge at the event in The Garden at St Marks, in which the panel had to eat their way through a number of spicy chilli peppers.

The group managed to eat eight varieties, starting with the mild Jalapeño, which has a rating of 3,000 scoville heat units (shu), to the Peach Habernero, which has a rating of 350,000 shu.

At this point, Paula became the winner of the event – though she points out she would have happily continued to attempt the other seven fiery varieties awaiting the panel.

She said: “Chillies lift your spirits and make you feel really happy. I am a chilli-addict and I could have carried on and eaten more.”

Also on the panel was Australian Fiona Hardy who travelled across the country with her husband to attend the event.

She explained: “We have come down from Manchester for the day, especially for the event. I saw it advertised online and I have been wanting to take part in a chilli-eating contest for about 20 years. I am so happy that I came.”

The chilli event at St Marks Shopping Centre was the first the city has had, where shoppers could visit 17 stalls and try and buy a range of chilli products, from sauce and chilli alcoholic drinks to chilli-style jewellery.

There was also entertainment from Strummin Steve and Easy Bob, Zeph Brown and The Fyreflies throughout the day.

Lincoln BIG Events & Promotions Manager Michael Armstrong said: “We were delighted to see so many shoppers and visitors spending time at the Chilli Fest and everyone really got into the spirit of the occasion when we announced the chilli-eating challenge.”