Jake Melnick's wings

On October 3 at 6:30pm, I’m going to be participating in the super-hot XXX Wings Challenge at Jake Melnick’s in Chicago.

Here’s part of the invitation I received:

If you’re willing to take on the challenge, we’ll donate $50 for every wing you eat to the charity of your choice, and you’ll earn your place Jake’s “Wall of Flame.”

Our Original XXX Wings, voted Best Hot Wings at Chicago Wingfest in 2010 and 2012 and featured on ABC’s “Nightline” and “Last Call with Carson Daly,” feature habanero, ghost pepper and Trinidad scorpion pepper. Don’t worry, XXX Hot Wings are served with cooling agents to fan the flames and your very own fireman’s helmet. It’s a 10-minute challenge and the event will take place 6 – 7:30 p.m. (with the contest beginning at 6:30 p.m.).

So I figure I can generate some dollars for my grandson’s non-profit school in Oakland, California.

But I need suggestions and advice about how I might prepare for such an event and get through it with minimum distress while generating maximum dollars for charity. Here’s what I have so far.

1.    Night before: a tummy stretcher. I slam back about 4 cans of lager (a super session beer: Miller’s or something like that) to extend my stomach cavity to maximum capacity.

2.    Morning: Gym. Lots of ab work, not to tighten but to loosen gut, preparing it for chow onslaught.

3.    Late lunch: tummy prep. I eat about 3 cups of white rice, bananas and Pepto-Bismol. Need to lay down solid foundation of relatively bland carbs, for absorptive capacity and ballast. I will soak the well-salted rice with ghee, because it seems an oily mass will be best for blunting heat blast. The stickiness of the banana becomes a kind of cement, holding everything together, and the Pepto-Bismol is the only “medicine” I’m taking to counteract acidity. 

4.    45 minutes before event: Gary Wiviott, my friend and Barn & Company Pitmaster, suggested eating some hot sauce to “acclimate” the body to the heat (not sure about this).

5.    5 minutes before event:

a.    Rub olive oil on lips to keep tender lip tissue safe from capsaicin onslaught.

b.    Put on safety glasses and Latex gloves.

6.    Immediately pre-eating:

a.    Drink stomach-coating agent: shot of olive oil.

b.    Drink neutralizing agent: quick pint of chocolate milk. Milk is probably the best way to counter the effects of capsaicin, and I plan to bring another carton with me to the event. Why not just plain milk? I like chocolate and sugar seems to be a good substance for counteracting heat.

7.    Eating procedure

a.    Pull meat from wings with fingers so as to avoid eating excess sauce off bones.

b.    During first 7 or so minutes, create pile of meat, separated from bones

c.    Eat quickly

d.    Take spoonful of semi-melted chocolate ice cream between bites of wings

I’m hoping to generate a few hundred dollars for my grandson’s school.

Help. Please. Open to suggestion.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...