New food challenge is a towering task

Tower burger eating challenge at the Genting Club.  Pictured L-R are chef Andy Tamaddon, Dan Whiston, Paul Berentzen and Ian Shep.
Tower burger eating challenge at the Genting Club. Pictured L-R are chef Andy Tamaddon, Dan Whiston, Paul Berentzen and Ian Shep.
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Four beefburgers generously topped with heaps of bacon and cheese, a small mountain of onion rings and a kilogram of chips – and 15 minutes to devour the lot.

That sounds easy enough, right?

Now, I’m not one to say no to a bit of free food – or a challenge – so I jumped at the chance to take on the Genting Club’s new Tower Burger Challenge.

Proudly representing Team Gazette, I was invited to pit my stomach against Dancing on Ice star and Fylde coast celebrity Dan Whiston and the extraordinary eating ability of Radio Wave DJ Ian ‘Shep’ Shepherd.

We even roped in the chef responsible for creating the masterpiece, Andy Tammadon, to join us for a spot of light lunch.

When I arrived at the venue, on the Queen’s Promenade, the smells coming from the kitchen were incredible and I was starving after skipping breakfast in preparation.

But alarm bells starting ringing when I saw the size of the bin lid – that’s right, bin lid – they were serving the food in.

Dan, who had to be lacing his skates up in Manchester two hours later, looked as nervous as I felt.

After a quick exchange of tactics – do you start on the burger or tackle the chips first? – we were off. I doubt it was a pretty sight.

We were all going strong after five minutes but it wasn’t long before we began to appreciate the scale of the challenge.

And then the meat sweats we had been warned about hit us all.

By the time the 15 minutes were up, I think everyone was glad it was over.

The food was fantastic but I needed a good couple of hours to enjoy it properly.

And if you must know, I failed miserably.

I got through three burgers, a fair few onion rings and made serious inroads into the pile of chips – it doesn’t look like it in the pictures but, trust me, I did – but I wasn’t even close.

Dan and chef Andy managed a similar amount of food but it was Shep who put us all to shame. All that was left on his plate were chips.

He said: “I think the chips are the biggest challenge. The burger wasn’t a problem.

“But that would have fed a family of four or six. I would certainly give it another go.”

But Dan, who lives in Poulton, said when he returns he plans to bring back-up to help him out.

“The food was brilliant,” he said.

“But the quantity was enough for a coach load.

“If I come back I will definitely bring a few friends.”

And chef Andy, who created the 4,000 calorie meal, admitted he under-estimated the scale of the challenge.

He added: “I thought I was going to get about three quarters of the way through but I’m lucky if I made it a quarter. If I’m honest, I made the wrong decision going for the chips first!”

The challenge has been developed to celebrate Blackpool Tower’s 120th birthday.

Anyone who can finish the meal in 15 minutes will get their picture placed into the casino’s hall of fame, a special T-shirt and 25 per cent discount on food in the club’s Fahrenheit Restaurant.