Mr. Perez Continues Legacy as MEASU’s Spicy Ramen Champion


Syd Smith

Teachers sit with anticipation to start the competition as announcements are made. Contestants (Left to Right): Ms. Hunt, Mr. Montei, Mr. Manson, Ms. Lyon, Mr. Perez, Mr. Hartman

Logan Roach

Teachers and students crowded around the front of the lunchroom to see the six teachers eat all of their ramen as fast as humanly possible. The event was extremely well attended, and for good reason: there’s nothing that brings a body of students together like watching teachers compete for a good cause. Each of the staff members participating were chosen because they had garnered the highest amount of donations among a pool of others.

On the 28th of February, six Middleton High School teachers gathered to compete for the title of Spicy Ramen Champion. This was the second annual Middle Eastern Asian Student Union (MEASU) competition. All of the money raised from this event will be going to rural Chinese children in need.

While most of the competitors stuck with the ramen as is, Mr. Manson and Mr. Hartman piled on other condiments, such as Tabasco sauce and chili flakes, to heat up the competition. Although many of the competitors came close to winning the coveted title (and a pizza party for their advisory), Mr. Perez widened his lead and was yet again declared the winner of the challenge.

“Last year, I was approached by Annie Ma to compete in the challenge,” says Perez. Knowing the toll of the previous spicy ramen challenge, he was reluctant to participate a second time; however, he states that he “did it mostly for the fundraiser.” While Perez enjoys participating in the challenge, he explains, “If I were to participate next year, I would have a fundraising threshold, so it brings the focus back to MEASU.”

While much of the attention is on the exciting challenge, Mr. Perez wants to make sure that people know this is all for MEASU: “Winning pizza is nice, but it’s more of a performance to get more funds for these causes.”

His popularity with students combined with his previous win made him a clear front-runner.

“There’s a lot of nerds that seem to like me,” he says while looking around his classroom endearingly.

Surprisingly, Perez says that he does nothing to prepare for these types of competitions.

“I don’t really do anything to prepare; I’m naturally a fast eater . . . I can put it down quickly, and I love spicy food; most of it is just pure confidence.”

Because of his years of eating spicy food, most of his win can be attributed to a high spice tolerance. He says that he experiences “no pain while eating; pain comes after.”

When asked how spicy the ramen really was, he thoughtfully replied that it was “medium spicy on a personal scale; however, it is probably very hot . . . It’s hard to eat so quickly, and it takes pacing. ”Although he makes it look easy in front of the competition with some playful trash talk, he describes the situation after finishing the ramen as “disgusting.”

Only time will tell if Mr. Perez will be back next year to defend his title, but he says that “it’s an exciting thing to get people to fundraise, and the more teachers that get into [the fundraising] the goals can go up further.”