Here’s a fun fact about the boys in my hall. They think they’re macho and indestructible, but really they’re all adorable goobers.
(I have a feeling once they read this, they’ll duct tape me to a chair and throw me off the London Bridge. If I don’t post in a week or so, SEND HELP.)
When I heard they had all decided or rather dared to participate in the Terry Tucker Challenge which is a food challenge hosted by The Pride of Paddington eatery, I knew I had to witness and document it.
After what seemed like months of discussing, planning and pent up excitement, the day finally arrived. I met them at the lobby of my hall where they all looked so confident and raring to go, I felt each and every one of them was going to bring the trophy or empty plate back home.
Who are these boys you ask ?
Well, let me introduce you to the contestants.
To lighten the environment, Dipa, decided to interview the boys. The outcome was hilarious with answers ranging from ‘Oh I’m going to win’ to ‘I studied about it.’
We headed off to the restaurant which was a short walk from where we lived. Once we arrived, we spent ten odd minutes trying to find a place where we could all sit and enjoy. Upon achieving that, the boys finally ordered their food challenges. While the lady took the orders, I roamed around the eating joint a bit and stumbled across the Wall of Fame and Shame.
Upon comparing the winners and losers board, there was a dip in confidence for sure. The Wall of Fame was practically empty and the Wall of Shame was overcrowded ! Once I returned to my seat, I learnt that Ian and Antonin had decided to try the Jumbo Shepherd’s Pie which had lamb mince and mashed potatoes in epic proportions while Michael and Thomas had planned on stuffing themselves with the Triple Beef, Triple Bacon, Triple Cheese Burgers which had side dishes of triple onion rings and triple chips.
After an arduous wait, the food finally arrived and there was utter silence when the dishes were placed on the table. To say they were humongous would be an understatement.
And then it began. The boys had twenty minutes to finish the food. If they did, their faces would forever be pinned to the wall of fame, their wallets untouched. If they lost, they would have to make do with their photographs stuck to the wall of losers and a hefty twenty pounds missing from their wallets.
The minute the timer started, the boys dove in. The Shepherd’s Pie turned out to be scalding hot and both Antonin and Ian stopped almost immediately, their mouths and tongues burnt. After an insightful suggestion by yours truly, the boys had started chomping again, only this time they poured out portions of it on the plate to cool the food.
I walked to the other end of the table to see how Michael and Thomas were faring and came across this lovely sight. While Thomas determinedly ate his onion rings and burgers, Michael had decided to plug his earphones on and eat in musical silence. (An oxymoron if I’ve ever seen one.)
People from other tables cheered on the contestants as they braved through the food. Dipa was gracious enough to keep pouring water into their glasses while my camera clicked on. The non participants meaning Dipa, Mary and me realised that each dish had its cons. If the Shepherd’s Pie was flesh burningly hot, the Burgers were dry as sand. Where the Pie could be swallowed, sort of, the Burgers had to be chewed on mercilessly.
With maybe one fourth of the Pie left, Ian and Antonin gave up, their tongues burnt and faces flushed. In their words, even if they could finish the dish, they just didn’t want to.
Not wanting to stay any longer, the two boys paid and left. Michael and Thomas were still in the running though and our cheering went up a pitch higher seeing as they were extremely close to winning. All of a sudden, we saw Thomas push his plate aside and we knew he had given up too. In his defence, there wasn’t much left on his plate.
By then the waiter had come by to announce that there was just 3 minutes left. We looked at Michael to see him unperturbed, bobbing his head to the music only he could listen to. The screaming of the crowds had become ear piercing because they (us included) KNEW Michael was going to win it. When he took the last bite, every one surged up to their feet in victory. Unfortunately when the waitress came to check, she said the challenge wasn’t over since Michael had to swallow the food before he could be declared winner and he had about thirty seconds left. Before anyone knew it, the time was up and Michael ? Michael was busy dabbing a napkin at his face.
HE HAD WON.
While the winner posed with his empty plate and the winning certificate, Thomas shelled out the money for the food and then very sportingly posed with the sign that stated he had lost.
Having watched Man vs Food on TLC way too many times, I had always wished to witness one or even participate in one of these events. I got my wish come true. It was crazy fun and I have to give it to the boys who took the initiative to even attempt this challenge. Kudos.
For any planning to try any food challenge, ever, ALL THE BEST. You’ll need it and trust me when I say this, it is NOT as easy and simple as it looks.