Food is an easy winner in this battle of wills

This Is Wiltshire: This plateful proved too much for reporter Beren Cross Buy this photo » This plateful proved too much for reporter Beren Cross

FOOD can be a devious mistress.

As the mischievous staff at South Marston Industrial Estate’s Spitfire Cafe marched out the dish which was supposed to test my determination, endurance and pride, I stifled a grin.

I have watched the odd episode of America’s hit-series Man v Food, which set the bar for me, so when I saw four 6oz burgers, bread bap, cheese, chilli con carne, French fries, coleslaw and two cokes, I thought I was a winner.

How wrong I was. In this battle, food wiped the floor with the foolish man, and the cafe’s new challenge had its first of many casualties.

I swept through the first two burgers and just about all the sides before coming unstuck with two half-burgers left, a wall of 100 per cent beef and cheese, staring me down.

“We are trying to encourage younger customers to know more about Spitfire Cafe and we thought this would be a fun idea given the success of the American TV series,” said Lesley Allcorn, owner of the cafe, which has been in business since 2006.

As I dwelled on the task ahead, two other challengers sat down across the restaurant. Jon Warner, 25, and Mark Bayliss, 30, warehouse workers at Yuasa, each opted for no coleslaw or chilli, but performed admirably.

Jon, who cleared his plate and glasses, took home a certificate, whilst his friend made playful excuses, with burgers and fries still in front of him.

Jon said: “Half-way through you start to hit a wall, but once you get past that, it’s easy. I’m certainly at my limit, it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”

The only consolation was how good the food tasted. It’s just a shame I didn’t get more time to enjoy it.

One competitor who certainly didn’t allow time for enjoyment, was a factory worker from the estate, who chose to remain anonymous.

He had all the trimmings, started after me and left well before, plate licked clean in about 15 minutes.

“Towards the last quarter I had to focus. Those last few mouthfuls really pushed my limit. The beverages helped,” he said, as he wiped the sweat from his brow with a tissue.

“I made sure I finished the burgers first, then the rest is child’s play. I found the trick was to get it down as quickly as possible.”

After I waved my pathetic white flag and reflected on the grief I was to receive in the office later, Lesley said the day had been a success and certainly warranted more events in the future.

She said: “I think once a month would be a good time to do this, once a week would kill it. The guys that have been in today have all made suggestions for future challenges.

“There might be something in the pipeline for a sweet challenge or even a spicy challenge. They mix it up on the programme, so I don’t see why we shouldn’t. The girls (staff) have suggested a hot dog challenge with one 24-inch baguette full of sausages.”

I think I will pass.

Comments (8)

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12:18pm Thu 15 Aug 13

PaulD says...

This celebration of trying to eat gigantic meals is ridiculous. Much of the third world is starving and obesity is becoming a major problem in this country and other western countries.
This celebration of trying to eat gigantic meals is ridiculous. Much of the third world is starving and obesity is becoming a major problem in this country and other western countries. PaulD

1:29pm Thu 15 Aug 13

benzss says...

PaulD wrote:
This celebration of trying to eat gigantic meals is ridiculous. Much of the third world is starving and obesity is becoming a major problem in this country and other western countries.
How dull.
[quote][p][bold]PaulD[/bold] wrote: This celebration of trying to eat gigantic meals is ridiculous. Much of the third world is starving and obesity is becoming a major problem in this country and other western countries.[/p][/quote]How dull. benzss

1:40pm Thu 15 Aug 13

house on the hill says...

It just shows how uncaring people really are when it comes down to it. And yes it really is a quite pathetic stunt like the morons who having drinking competitions and end up in A & E or worse, please grow up.
It just shows how uncaring people really are when it comes down to it. And yes it really is a quite pathetic stunt like the morons who having drinking competitions and end up in A & E or worse, please grow up. house on the hill

1:48pm Thu 15 Aug 13

Davey Gravey says...

Why no mention of what it costs?
Why no mention of what it costs? Davey Gravey

2:48pm Thu 15 Aug 13

Ringer says...

PaulD wrote:
This celebration of trying to eat gigantic meals is ridiculous. Much of the third world is starving and obesity is becoming a major problem in this country and other western countries.
It's all Adam Richman's fault. Obviously.
[quote][p][bold]PaulD[/bold] wrote: This celebration of trying to eat gigantic meals is ridiculous. Much of the third world is starving and obesity is becoming a major problem in this country and other western countries.[/p][/quote]It's all Adam Richman's fault. Obviously. Ringer

8:15am Fri 16 Aug 13

Localboy86 says...

Well the story worked as I'm thinking of going there for breakfast
Well the story worked as I'm thinking of going there for breakfast Localboy86

10:12am Fri 16 Aug 13

Hearditallbefore says...

Stupid stunt, and the cafe is good so no need for it.
Stupid stunt, and the cafe is good so no need for it. Hearditallbefore

9:47am Sat 17 Aug 13

RichardR1 says...

Obesity costs twice the amount in health care than smoking and drinking, and has no additional tax unlike the former two. Perhaps there needs to be a ban on such promotions.
Obesity costs twice the amount in health care than smoking and drinking, and has no additional tax unlike the former two. Perhaps there needs to be a ban on such promotions. RichardR1

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