When you think of eating competitions, there’s a particular aesthetic that comes to mind. Diners going to town on an artery-clogging mountain of burger patties, competitors up to their elbows in greasy rib sauce and people heading to suffocation city thanks to all the hot dogs piled into their mouths.
These competitions might make you question how much progress we’ve made in the field of food waste and overindulgence, but for some, it’s just a bit of fun.
Due to the popularity of vegan food in the UK, eating competitions are no longer just for carnivores. Foodies on a plant-based diet, whose appetite is only surpassed by their competitive drive, don’t need to miss out.
Here are London’s top vegan eating competitions.
Vegan wingz eating competition, Biff’s Jack Shack
In 2018, Biff’s Jack Shack ran the first vegan ‘wingz’ eating competition. The event was created in response to National Chicken Wing Day and to raise funds for Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary.
The 2019 competition saw eight people battle it out at the Shoreditch-based eatery for the prize of a year’s supply of wingz.
‘The contestants had to go head to head to eat 10 of our crispy fried jackfruit wingz with a super-spicy version of our classic maple chipotle hot sauce,’ co-founder of Biff’s, Christa Bloom told to Metro.co.uk.
‘There were some really fierce competitors, but a guy called Harry absolutely smashed it! He won in 2:30, which was a massive 48 seconds fast than our 2018 winner!’
The vegan wingz are made of young green jackfruit, a ‘secret blend’ of herbs and spices and a panko crumb coating, all held together on sugarcane spear.
The annual competition is set to return next year.
‘Between this year and last it became so much bigger. We took over the bar at Boxpark, had DJs, doubled the contestants and quadrulpled the amount of money we raised for charity.
‘I can’t give details but we’re already planning the next incarnation and it’s going to be even bigger.’
Triple chilli challenge, MEATliquor
Don’t be fooled by the carnivorous name, burger chain MEATliquor has just introduced a new vegan triple chili challenge.
Their original triple chilli challenge was a staple on the London eating contest scene for more than six years, but after countless requests for a meatless version, they answered the plant-based call.
‘The vegan triple chilli challenge is what the people want, so we’ll give it to them!’ co-founder of MEATLiquor, Scott Collins, told Metro.co.uk.
Competitors can simply pop into the restaurant and devour black bean chilli fries, a vegan hot dog and a burger made up of spiced potato beetroot, onions, beans and pickles in under ten minutes. The prize is simple: you don’t have to pay for the food you just demolished.
Chilli pie contest, Young Vegans
Here’s another one with a spicy touch. If eating five versions of Young Vegans’ ‘chilli sin carne’ pie isn’t enough, bear in mind that each features a different chilli.
The Camden pie-makers begin with the relatively entry-level jalapeno and creep their way up to the hottest chilli in the world, the feared Carolina Reaper.
‘It’s nice for people to be able to do something for free once in a while in London.
‘Almost 100 people showed up and a lot of them were ready to pay and when they realised it was free they were genuinely so happy. A lot ended up turning into regular customers,’ co-owner of Young Vegans, Marco Casadei said.
There’s no time-limit on this bad boy, you’ve just got to be the fastest to eat all five pies.
The winner gets to saunter away with a t-shirt, a pie voucher and oh yeah, panties.
The contest was first held in November 2018 to celebrate Young Vegans’ first birthday, and they’re onto planning a follow-up tournament. We’re sweating in anticipation.
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