After winning the Cook Islands Pepper Restoration Competition, Samuel Thomas prepares his taste buds for the New Zealand competition.
Cook Islands first-ever Chilli Eating champion Samuel Thomas received his official ticket Thursday afternoon for the New Zealand Chilli Eating Champs Competition in Freemans Bay.
Thomas will leave on Monday for the competition to be held in Auckland on May 29.
He consumed 11 types of chili peppers at an exceptional rate to win the title in Paul Lynch’s Eat Chilli Contest held at Vili’s Burger Joint last month.
Lynch and Vili presented Thomas with his award yesterday.
“I am delighted to be able to travel to New Zealand to participate in this competition. It’s definitely a bigger responsibility to represent another country so I’m proud to have this opportunity, ”said Thomas, from Auckland.
“In addition to competing, I’m also excited to reconnect with some of my friends and family on that side.”
The winning prize in the New Zealand Chilli Eating Champs competition is $ 1,000.
In preparation for his trip, Thomas consumed ghost peppers as well as other types of peppers that Lynch grows for his “Paul’s Hot Sauce” business.
He has also set up his appointment for the Covid-19 vaccination and is very impressed with the skills of the hospital and the availability of the vaccine for him before his flight on Monday.
Lynch, who will be accompanying Thomas to the competition, said: “We have a lot of confidence in our champion because of his very high tolerance to chili and heat and also because of his performance in the chilli eating contest.”
“We would like to invite all Cook Islanders in the Auckland region to come and support our Cook Islands Champion.”
Thomas says he’s used to eating spicy foods his entire life, with an extremely high tolerance for chili peppers in particular.
He encourages more members of the Rarotonga community to participate in the upcoming chili eating contest next year.
“Suffering is an illusion,” he said when asked if he wanted to share advice with anyone interested in joining next year.