Find out who was crowned this year’s Colchester Chilli Challenge champion as contest heats up at town’s market

Last year's Colchester Chilli Challenge winner Lee Wingate. Picture: STEVE ARGENT

Last year's Colchester Chilli Challenge winner Lee Wingate. Picture: STEVE ARGENT - Credit: Archant

Daring spice fans fired up the competition at Colchester Market today as they made it through three rounds of the town’s annual chilli challenge.

The line-up of daring challengers, including 2018 winner Ross Lilley (second from left). Picture: DE

The line-up of daring challengers, including 2018 winner Ross Lilley (second from left). Picture: DEMI QUINN - Credit: Archant

First up were scorching Scotch Bonnet and Habenero chilli bowls followed by Naga and Scotch Bonnet chicken wings, before braving searingly hot nachos dusted with Carolina Reaper powder.

The flaming dishes – some of which reached 2.2million on the Scoville scale – were created by Colchester market traders Mex Appeal and Peck.

But it was Frinton man Ross Lilley who claimed ultimate victory, beating nine competitors including Rob Thomas, Chris Strong, Su Quinn and Jessica Fury.

Ross said he wanted to call out his brother Sean Lilley for not entering today’s competition.

Colchester Chilli Challenge competitors. Picture: DEMI QUINN

Colchester Chilli Challenge competitors. Picture: DEMI QUINN - Credit: Archant


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He added: “The chicken wings were the best I’ve ever tasted.”

The winner took home a £25 Three Wise Monkeys gift voucher and a free meal from Mex Appeal and Peck.

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Last year, overall winner Lee Wingate was crowned the competition’s first ever chilli champion with a sombrero after a string of gruelling heats.

Among the finalists and semi-finalists were Tom Livingstone, Gabor Balashazi, Sarah Faughey, Ann Wright and Kieron Moore.

Did you take part in today’s challenge? Share your pictures, videos and experiences with us in the comments below or email them to us.

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