Capsaicin has a lot of uses beyond simply making food spicy.
But it can also be used as a weapon—a really dangerous weapon, actually. Just ask David Evans of South Wales, who was temporarily blinded by Indian spices after a kitchen showdown with a chef whom he allegedly accused of serving "rubbery" meat.
The altercation went down on Saturday, when Evans and his wife went to grab some curry at the Prince of Bengal in Tonypandy, Rhondda, South Wales. When asked the obligatory "Is everything OK here?" by their server, Evans and his wife responded with a resounding "No."
When they brought up the tough texture of their meat, chef Kamrul Islam stormed out of the kitchen and began an argument that ended with Evans being hospitalised with very swollen eyes and burns on his chest, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Things began to escalate after Islam allegedly got aggressive with Evans' wife Michelle. "He started swearing at me so David said, 'There's no need to swear at my wife,'" she told The Telegraph. "The chef caused quite a scene and was shouting and swearing so David walked back to the kitchen door with him asking for an apology."
Diner hospitalised after head chef throws bowl of hot chilli powder in his eyes https://t.co/RiHy51s2O7
— Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews) January 23, 2017
That's where accounts begin to diverge. Once in the kitchen, they were squarely on the chef's turf, and he had at his disposal many means of getting Evans out of there. He could have waved a knife or rolling pin around in a threatening manner, but instead he reached for the ol' spice rack, throwing what must have been the most potent of chili powders at Evans' face.
As malicious as this move appears to have been, chef Islam, who was eventually arrested, swears it was in self-defence.
"I ran into the kitchen to get away from him but he followed me," he told The Telegraph. "I was frightened and grabbed a handful of chili just in case I needed to defend myself. I was frightened and threw it at him. Chili will burn but it is not life-threatening. I've been running this restaurant here for 18 years and I've never had to do anything like this. I'm very upset by it all."
Regardless of who was in the right here (police are in the process of investigating that very question), it reinforces the old adage of "don't fuck with a curry chef."
OK, that might not be an actual old adage, but it should definitely be an adage.