Damien’s been to Hell and sur­vived

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

His mouth went numb, he got the shakes and his mum was ner­vous, but Damien Hazlewood wasn’t go­ing to let a pizza beat him.

The Pa­pakowhai man con­quered Hell Pizza’s An­gry Dragon on June 6. It claims to be the hottest pizza in Aus­trala­sia and can be sold only to those aged over 18.

The ring of fire con­tains ex­traspicy sauce, pep­per­oni, cap­sicum, black pep­per and the killer in­gre­di­ent – ghost pep­pers. Known in their na­tive In­dia as bhut jolokia, they are con­sid­ered the hottest chillis on the planet.

You can’t eat one if you’re preg­nant and Hell’s staff wear gloves to pre­pare each pizza.

Those who eat an An­gry Dragon – in store, for proof, and in­side 20 min­utes – get their pic­ture on the store’s wall, a cer­tifi­cate, a full re­fund and, best of all, a free pair of un­der­pants.

Hazlewood, 40, loves a chal­lenge when it comes to hot food and couldn’t re­sist when he heard about the Hell pro­mo­tion.

‘‘ I can pretty much take it. When I or­der a vin­daloo I al­ways ask for ‘ In­dian hot’ and I like to chal­lenge my­self,’’ he said.

At the Hell Pizza store un­der the Canopies, Hazlewood’s friends and fam­ily watched him eat the six slices in 14 min­utes.

His mother, Glo­ria, a nurse, was ready in case he col­lapsed or started throw­ing up, he said.

The first few pieces went fine, but No 5 started to hurt a bit.

‘‘There was no way I wasn’t go­ing to do it, but those last cou­ple of pieces weren’t easy. I didn’t en­joy it. ‘‘My mouth went numb and my nose and face started to feel real weird. My hands and legs were shak­ing a bit and I was buzzing. But it went away.’’

Store owner Mia Thomp­son said 20 An­gry Dragon piz­zas were sold in the first three days of the pro­mo­tion, but only Hazlewood stayed to eat it in-store.

The An­gry Dragon piz­zas are avail­able only un­til stocks last – the ghost pep­pers were im­ported and there are a limited num­ber.

And what did Hazlewood do to cel­e­brate af­ter over­com­ing the An­gry Dragon?

‘‘I didn’t feel sick and I was still hun­gry, so bought some more piz­zas. Not the hot ones, though.’’


Hot stuff: Damien Hazlewood with his Dragon Slayer un­der­pants af­ter his re­cent pizza tri­umph.

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