Birmingham Chilli Festival returns to Brindleyplace

Temperatures will soon be rising in Birmingham as the city’s annual Chilli Festival is set to make a return to Brindleyplace this September.

This year’s theme for the free family festival – which takes place in Central Square on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th September between 11am and 6pm – is ‘celebrating chillies around the world’. The two day event will include a host of food, drink and entertainment which reflect the counties that produce and use chillies in their everyday local cuisine including Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, India and the Caribbean.

Organised in partnership with market operator, Sketts, the event will feature a variety of stalls selling all things hot and spicy including chilli plants, pickles, pastes, jellies and chilli inspired gifts. Keeping the hungry crowd at bay will be a selection of stalls selling chilli influenced dishes and products including Caribbean jerk pork, chilli chocolate, BBQ legs of lamb and Indian samosas.

In line with this year’s theme there will be various live demonstrations from Brindleyplace restaurants and street food providers including French inspired chilli cooking from Café Rouge, spicy South East Asian food from Thai Edge and chilli influenced British dishes courtesy of David Colcombe from Café Opus.

Lydia Ellis, marketing manager at Brindleyplace, said: “We’ve got a whole host of food and entertainment lined up for the Chilli Festival including Bollywood, Latin and Mediterranean inspired performances, fire eating, stilt jumping entertainment and live music reflecting the international influence the chilli holds! We’re packing a whole lot of heat into the estate to make sure that the event appeals to foodies as well as those just looking for a great day out.”

The hugely anticipated and highly competitive chilli eating competition will take place at 3pm on Saturday with 12 contestants eating and drinking some of the world’s hottest chillies to be crowned the 2014 Chilli King or Queen. During the contest, each participant will be challenged to eat a selection of the super-hot chilli varieties including Naga, Scotch Bonnet, Thai Red and Poblano through 12 tense rounds until only two are left to face the final chilli-off.

Lydia added: “The most exciting hour of the festival is the chilli eating competition where the crowd cheers on the contestants brave enough to take on the fiery fruit. We’re amazed at the number of entries we receive each year from volunteers who want to compete for the title. We’re hoping to bring the heat back into the city one last time before the summer officially ends.”