The Nuclear #Spiceawar Recap

Read the Sordid Story

An Introduction

We wanted to go nuclear, and nuclear we went. Never has a Spiceavore been as brutal as this, and in the end, we only had one true finisher: Patrick deservedly took the trophy home! That means each contest has had a different winner.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Costume winner, Liz, in a daze while Kris deeply contemplates if this was a good idea. View full image.

Photo by Erick Doxey Photography

First, the judges—the always professional Barry and Vik—picked Liz as their favorite costume. And why not? Her nuclear costume which… I have no idea what it was supposed to refer to, but apparently everybody else did… was thoroughly executed. The judges picked her as the winner without any hesitation, giving her a two point lead right off the bat.

Somewhat of a controversy (only considered so by your truly) was me having a point deducted for having a half-hearted costume. I mean, I had a costume, half-hearted as it was! This kind of behavior is only to be expected from a judge who likes Chelsea I suppose.

And as predicted, the always flakey Paul Dillon bowed out. Without telling us. Thanks, Paul! Luckily, last year's champ, Chris Dreyer, contacted us the day before the contest (after numerous attempts by us to get ahold of him) asking if he could still enter. Thus it all worked out, probably for the better at that.

As for the last spot: Special thanks to John, aka Liz's boyfriend, who bid his way into the contest!

The Spokane Special

First round, the Spokane Special, was every bit of a gruesome start as we had hoped it wouldn't be. The pizza from Monterey (which incidentally was quite excellent) had a quick kick to it, and that was not helped by a shot of Frank's, which usually is considered to be pretty mild sauce.

The look of a winner. View full image.

Photo by Erick Doxey Photography

The ranch? It certainly didn't cool the heat, and proved to be difficult for many to get out of the Dixie cup. Pro tip: Next time (there will be no next time), just tear open the cup, and lick the dressing up. Gross? Yes, but it works wonders.

Patrick took the victory home in this round, closely followed by yours truly and Chris. Bart started off slowly here, possibly with plans for a slow and steady race.

The full list after the first round, with the tallied total points in parentheses.

  1. Patrick O'Halloran (10)
  2. Remi André (8)
  3. Chris Dreyer (8)
  4. Bart Mihailovich (7)
  5. Shaun (6)
  6. Mark Simonds (5)
  7. John Davis (4)
  8. Leif Sanders (3)
  9. Kris Crocker (2)
  10. Liz Hetland (3)

Substitute Subs

For the bonus round, Patrick picked Chris to go to the Punch Box of Perturbation (all decorated with Bart's face). A wise choice by Patrick, as Chris got unlucky and «picked» a «prize» consisting of him losing paper towel privileges.

The result of a true carnage. View full image.

Photo by Erick Doxey Photography

The round, meanwhile, was once again hotter than we had expected (and again strangely tasty) so I suppose that means Spike's really delivered. Having fillings fall on the plate, and having to pick them up with our bare hands? Not a pleasant experience.

Patrick once again took the round home, followed again by yours truly. This time John came from nowhere, and picked up the third place spot.

To cap it all off, we all toasted all the «fun» we were having with a habanero aged Fireball whisky, just to upset our mouths and stomachs that much more.

  1. Patrick O'Halloran (20)
  2. Remi André (17)
  3. John Davis (12)
  4. Bart Mihailovich (14)
  5. Chris Dreyer (14)
  6. Shaun (11)
  7. Mark Simonds (9)
  8. Kris Crocker (5)
  9. Leif Sanders (5)
  10. Liz Hetland (4)


And here started the carnage. As a Spiceavore first, we had two players saying enough was enough. In retrospect, Kris and Leif had the right idea. Any sane person would have done the same thing after two rounds of awfulness.

Sweat starts forming during the Santévore round. View full image.

Photo by Erick Doxey Photography

Nobody knew what Santé was going to dish up, and what they brought was both delicious and deadly. I mean that quite literally. I'm fairly sure the dish could have killed you. The chocolate torte with… whatever it was topped with (we sadly had stopped paying much attention to anything at this point) chicharon!… kicked us all in the teeth, and getting the plate clean (what with the beautifully decorated sauces and all) was a struggle.

To top it off, we had to wash it down with three juices from BEET It Up. This might have been the final straw. One thing is that they were spicy, another thing is that liquid stays solidly in the stomach. And it burns. Oh, does it burn.

In the end, yours truly took the round home, closely followed by Patrick, Bart, and Chris. If you're paying attention, you will notice this contest is quickly turning into a four-horse race.

  1. Remi André (27)
  2. Patrick O'Halloran (29)
  3. Bart Mihailovich (22)
  4. Chris Dreyer (21)
  5. John Davis (18)
  6. Shaun (16)
  7. Mark Simonds (13)
  8. Liz Hetland (7)

And the first person to wander the Bart Mihailovich Puke Bucket Memorial Trail: Liz. She wouldn't be the last.

A Trifecta of Sweetness

And then there were five.

The notorious Peeps. View full image.

Photo by Erick Doxey Photography

Oh, some tried to compete in round four, but they soon bowed out: Liz, Mark, and Shaun were done. Really, though, who can blame them? This was turning insane, and the Spiceavore classic, the Dave's infused Peeps, was making its appearance.

Now, Dave's certainly is hot, but not crazily so. Far from the hottest thing ingested so far in the contest. But mix it with a Peeps, and all of a sudden you have something particularly awful.

Add the Devil's Torte, and this added up to something nasty. Spicy and nasty. The torte might have been good (it looked good), but who could tell at this point?

Struggled through it we did, leaving a top three, ready to hit the finale…

  1. Patrick O'Halloran (39)
  2. Remi André (36)
  3. Bart Mihailovich (30)
  4. Chris Dreyer (28)
  5. John Davis (24)

… or so you would think…

The Final Carnage

It just all went horribly wrong. John could be seen stumbling down the Bart Mihailovich Puke Bucket Memorial Trail, all the way outside. What happened to him next, nobody knows, but we hope he survived.

Close behind was yours truly, saying «screw this», walking down the trail in a determined pace, through the door, over to the snow, where what would have to happen happened. The color? Red like the juice mentioned above.

Chris, bless his soul, went over and looked at the result, declaring it to be «gross». Then he stepped even closer, as if to study it even closer. «Really gross».

Then this happened…

(View video on Instagram.)

Good job, Chris!

The Saranac Three

So, the two survivors set out to make their way three sliders, courtesy of Saranac. Powered by Carolina Reapers—the «official» hottest peppers in the world—this turned into a marathon as opposed to a sprint.

The man. The legend. The hurting Patrick. View full image.

Photo by Erick Doxey Photography

And as these things go, Bart soon had to bow out, leaving Patrick to finish the meal by himself.

Face red, eyes drooping, with lifeless chewing, he made it. The sole finisher in Nuclear #Spiceawar: Patrick! His dream of winning a Spiceavore contest, fulfilled. Nuclear #Spiceawar's ultimate Spiceawarrior! Congratulations for an insane run.

And Bart, the butt of many a Spiceavore joke, can pat himself on the back, safe in the knowledge of finishing second. Never a winner, but definitely a silver recipient this time around!

For those keeping count of how the four qualifying rounds ended up, you have…

  1. Patrick O'Halloran (39)
  2. Remi André (36)
  3. Bart Mihailovich (30)
  4. Chris Dreyer (28)
  5. John Davis (24)
  6. Shaun (16)
  7. Mark Simonds (13)
  8. Liz Hetland (7)
  9. Kris Crocker (5)
  10. Leif Sanders (5)

But, again, the winner of both the finale and the qualifying rounds: Patrick O'Halloran!

Fun-ish facts

Thanks to everyone who donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and congratulations to those who won the silent auctions! The current tally is not yet done, but we appreciate all the generosity.

And huge thanks to the Saranac for donating proceeds from the #Spiceawar menu sales to CFF. It's greatly appreciated.

And equally huge thanks to those who donated items to the auctions!

This time the trash-talk award goes to Kris Crocker. Some great taunting!

The two #Spiceawar beers ended up being a spiced up Moose Drool from Big Sky, as well as a green curry IPA from Fremont.

We're unsure how many of you managed to cram into Saranac to watch the event, but there were a lot of you, so thanks!

You can view #spiceawar tweets if you so wish. (Also plenty of Instagrams, but we can apparently not link to their hashtags.)

Best #spiceawarselfieclub picture goes to Joel and Brad:

Image of two dumbasses

List of all Spiceavore winners throughout the yars:

And finally, a huge thanks to our sponsors:

Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie, Dave's Gourmet, Inc., Spike's Phillys and More, MontereyCafe Spokane, Fireball Whisky, Red Bull Brain Freeze Creamery, Rage City Tattoo, Doma Coffee Roasting Company, Big Sky Brewing Company, Fremont Brewing Company, Volstead Act, BEET It Up Mobile Juice Bar, Red Couch Supper Club, Tactile Light Industries, llc, Crashious Roadside, Erick Doxey Photography, Pepto-Bismol, PuckerButt Pepper Company and Saranac Public House.

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