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‘Hot Ones’ inspired hot wing eating charity event coming to Colwood this month


Greater Victoria’s premier hot wing eating event of the year is back for its third installation!

Taking inspiration from the popular YouTube series, Hot Ones, a local chef with an affinity decided to put on an event of his own where he could challenge himself to make the hottest sauces possible.

‘Can You Beat The Heat – A Battle of Scovilles’ is set to take place on September 23rd as a charity event that will attract hot sauce enthusiasts from all over Greater Victoria. 

The sauces being used have been developed by Island Chef Pepper Co., which is the brainchild of Chef Vince Capitano who used to be in charge of the kitchens at the Government House. 

All the hot sauces used for the competition will be custom made specifically for this challenge and according to Chef Capitano, the sauces being used will not be for the faint of heart. 

“The average heat level is probably going to start at above one million scovilles,” he told Victoria Buzz.

“No change-up, no curve, just gas,” Chef Capitano laughed. 

In the first installation of Can You Beat The Heat – A Battle of Scovilles, a classic Hot Ones-esque approach where the sauces started mild and ended hot, but at the end of the competition, only two of 20 had bowed out. 

Last year, Chef Capitano set out to make it much more challenging, but wound up making the sauces so hot that nearly all the competitors had to throw up at some point in the challenge. 

“I basically had to pepper spray people with capsaicin extract to get people to bow out, but I said I’d never do it again.”

Hurting contestants at 2022’s Beat the Heat (Courtesy of Vince Capitano)

This year he is aiming for that goldilocks zone — a hearty lineup of a few really hot sauces that will put peoples palettes to the test, while still being manageable by some. 

“We’re thinking of doing it like three rounds, getting hotter each time, but instead of having one wing with an afterburn period, it’ll be like a plate of wings and the last one to finish that round will be eliminated,” Chef Capitano said.

As of this publication, around 10 of the 30 open slots have been filled for the competition and Chef Capitano is hopeful that they can pack the venue with not only competitors, but spectators as well.

Through the Culinary Federation, all proceeds of the event are going to the Greater Victoria Fire Departments charitable organization. 

Last year, over $1,200 was raised and the year prior $1,000 was contributed to the organization. Chef Capitano is hopeful this year they can meet, or beat the last couple year’s level of success. 

Until recently, Chef Capitano has served as president for the Victoria chapter of the Culinary Federation, which is a national non-profit organization that helps bring about community involvement in the culinary scene, education for aspiring and experienced chefs as well as support for those who want to enter into chef competitions. 

For those who want to try some of Chef Capitano’s more approachable, but still hot sauces, they are available at most major grocery stores, including Thrifty Foods, Save-On-Foods and Fairway Market. 

They are also available for purchase from his website

Can You Beat The Heat – A Battle of Scovilles

  • Where: The Rose Pub, 592 Ledsham Rd Victoria
  • When: Saturday, September 23rd
Curtis Blandy

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