Brindleyplace on the hunt for this year’s chilli champ

Hottest stuff in Birmingham required.

Brindleyplace is looking for brave participants from across the West Midlands to enter the estate’s popular chilli eating contest at the annual Birmingham Chilli Festival.

Now in its fourth year, the Chilli Festival will take place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th September and, this year, the family event will boast a theme of ‘celebrating chillies around the world’.

Largely regarded as the highlight of the festival, the chilli eating competition will take place at 3pm on Saturday and organisers of the event are now on the hunt for 18 chilli enthusiasts to sign up and compete in the hottest challenge of the summer.

This year, participants will be put to the test to eat some of the world’s hottest chillies including Naga, Scotch Bonnet, Thai Red and Poblano chillies in a bid to be crowned the next Chilli King or Queen.

Lydia Ellis, marketing manager at Brindleyplace, said: “Armed only with a glass of milk, participants in our chilli eating competition will put their taste buds to the test to see who can really handle the heat. There will be 12 rounds in total with people getting knocked out in each round until we’re left with only two participants in the final. Last year our winner was Steve Vallis from Birmingham, being the only person who managed to eat the famously spicy Infinity Chilli.

“During the past three years our chilli competition has always been won by male participants so we’d love more brave females to put themselves forward this year and aim to be our first ever Chilli Queen.”

Organised in partnership with market operator, Sketts, the two day festival is a free family event which features a variety of stalls selling chilli inspired products – including jams, chutneys and chocolate – as well as live music and cookery demonstrations from Brindleyplace restaurants and street food providers in Central Square on Friday and Saturday between 11am and 6pm.

Lydia said: “Not just for big spice fans, the Chilli Festival is also targeted at those with milder taste buds who may never have tried chillies in their cooking before. All of the stall holders will be on hand to provide tips and hints on how to use chillies within your everyday cooking, whether you like spicy food or not.”

In line with this year’s around the world theme, the festival will also feature numerous street entertainment and cultural performances inspired by countries which produce and use chilli in everyday meals including the Mediterranean, Mexico, Brazil, India and the Caribbean.

People wanting to sign up for the chilli eating competition need to email before 15 August. Places will be filled on a first come first served basis.

Following the Birmingham Chilli Festival, Brindleyplace’s final Local Produce Market of the year will take place on 26 September. For more information visit