Our News is Written in Stone™

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don Lerman with Cami 6 years to the Day August 1st 2002

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Recover Soon,From The Fans and Staff AT Moses News. Com


Japanese man wins eating competition

www.chinaview.cn 2008-07-29 09:09:02

BEIJING, July 29 -- A small but enthusiastic Singapore crowd got its first taste of professional eating as the sport's two titans, Takeru Kobayashi and Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, made their debut in the city-state.

About 300 competitive eating fans roared as local favorite Kobayashi of Japan slammed home 5 kg of grilled Singaporean chicken "satay" in 12 minutes in Sunday's contest. California's Chestnut was a distant second, munching down 4 kg.

"I've followed Kobayashi's career on YouTube, so it's really exciting to see him in person," said Ricky Chen, a 31-year-old graphic designer.

The professional eating circuit, known as Major League Eating, was organizing its first contest in Asia, one of about 80 competitions a year in which "gurgatators" wolf down foods such as grits, sticks of butter, oysters, jalapenos and cow brains, all the while hoping to avoid the dreaded "reversal."

At 173 cm tall and 73 kg, Kobayashi is something of a legend in the competitive eating world, winning the Nathan's hot-dog eating contest in New York for 6 years running until Chestnut beat him last year and again July 4.

"During a contest, I get in a zone where it's just me and the food," Kobayashi said after the match, with pea-green chicken sauce splattered all over his black T-shirt. "Sometimes, it's like I'm in a trance."

The blue-haired, boyish-looking 30-year-old, who took home about $200,000 in prize money and appearance fees last year, laughed and blushed when asked about his sex symbol status among legions of female fans in his homeland.

"It's very embarrassing. I don't think I'm a sex symbol," Kobayashi said. "But sometimes women send me their clothing."

Chestnut, 24, said he could have performed better.

"The sauce was sweeter than I expected, and that slowed me," said Chestnut, who once ate 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. "I couldn't find my rhythm. And Kobayashi is a machine."

The two eaters, who did not compete for any prize money at the Singapore contest, signed autographs and took pictures before and after the event.

Chestnut, an engineering student at San Jose State, said he made about $100,000 last year competing in about 20 contests.

"I'm just a regular guy. I don't have any groupies yet," said Chestnut, who is 188 centimeters tall and 98 kilograms. "Usually I get guys in their 40s trying to challenge and attractive place to live.

The event was part of the Singapore Food Festival, which sought to present unique dining experiences with a host of interactive events," the Singapore Tourism Board said in a statement.

"Singapore rarely gets events like this so I think it's good," said Rachel Tan, a 21-year-old student. "It's entertaining, but I also feel a little sick after watching that."

At least one Singaporean was left ecstatic by the event.

Rosalind Sim, 52, won the amateur undercard by wolfing down two Carl's Jr. double cheeseburgers in 12 minutes.

The advertising salesperson was awarded a gift certificate for $368 at Swensen's ice cream restaurant. "I can't believe I won," she said. "I eat for fun."

(Source: China Daily/Agencies)

Monday, July 28, 2008


July 28, 2008

Jimmy John's Makers v. Eaters

"Today, Chicago is Chewtopolis, the Mt. Sinai of Mastication!" And with that, we were thrown into the Jimmy John's Freaky Fast Sandwich Making and Eating Competition pitting three Jimmy John's sandwich makers against three world class competitive eaters from Major League Eating. We'd never had the opportunity to witness such a spectacle in person (though we've long been fans of the annual 4th of July hot dog contest) and weren't disappointed. Master of Ceremonies George Shea kept us entertained with nuggets like, "This is about to get as crazy as a monkey riding horseback on a poodle." (We admit...we half expected him to try to sell our town a bunch of musical instruments and then go woo the local librarian.) The large crowd gathered around the stage at Taste of Lincoln Park cheered in agreement and were ready for some sandwich slinging.

The three area sandwich makers were Miguel Vasquez, Raju Majumdar, and Joe Irick. The eaters were Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti (MLE #2), Tim "Gravy" Brown (MLE #13), and Patrick "Wham Bam!" Vandam (MLE #45). The rules of the contest were straightforward: could the makers make more sandwiches than the eaters could eat in 10 minutes? The contest got off to an anticlimactic start as the eaters had to wait on the first round of sandwiches (which sounds like a disadvantage - to us, anyway). Once they did, it was quite a sight to watch the eaters cram their mouths with the sandwiches after giving them a quick dunk in what appeared to be pink Gatorade. Cold cut slices slid all over the table and it seemed at times to rain lettuce. As the sandwiches started piling up a few minutes into the competition and it was clear that the eaters had their work cut out for them, an onlooker offered the best words of encouragement we heard all day: "Eat, you sonuvabitch, eat!"

Shea called it "poetry" and compared the sandwich makers to Mozart: "composing with cold cuts and bread." Seriously, this guy is going to sell you some tonic for that bald spot expanding in the back of your head.

As the challenge gave way to desperation, Tim started tossing sandwiches into the crowd, but it wasn't enough. When time ran out, the makers claimed victory by a margin of 10 sandwiches. Afterwards, the makers were happy yet quiet, enjoying their victory amongst themselves and with a few friends. Joe Irick described the experience in one word: "Awesome."

We also caught up with Bertoletti and Brown, both Chicago natives. We were surprised to learn how much flavor plays a part in competitive eating (we assumed they ate so fast they barely noticed a flavor) and how hated the famed hot dogs are. Said Bertoletti, "I knew four minutes in we were effed. They were throwing different flavors at us. I don't eat Jimmy Johns very often so it was more difficult." His favorite food to eat competitively? "Ice cream."

As for Tim "Gravy" Brown, he was more of a sandwich fan. "I didn't really even have to prepare and I didn't really have any flavor fatigue. Sandwiches have never been done before competitively, so it was a good change of pace." And as for the story that he earned his nickname by eating tons of mashed potatoes and gravy one Thanksgiving? Not true, according to Brown. "About two minutes in to each competition, I start snotting and sweating uncontrollably and this stream of 'gravy' is hanging off my face." We're glad we found out this information after the competition. Both Brown and Bertoletti frown upon the hot dogs: for Bertoletti, it's the flavor, while for Brown, hot dogs are just "too greasy."

As we left the stage, spectators wandered around in awe of what they had just seen, approaching the eaters for autographs and pictures while the victorious sandwich makers sat behind the stage, keeping to themselves, smiling. If Shea still had his microphone on, we're sure he would have made a reference to David slaying Goliath.

Photos by L. Stolpman, reporting by Marcus Gilmer

  • ]


July 28, 2008
Eating champs donate wins
SOME people think eating competitions are obscene and disgusting at a time when food prices are rising but two of the biggest names in the competitive eating circuit say they see nothing wrong with what they do.

Takeru Kobayashi, 30, from Japan and Joey Chestnut, 24, an American, add that they frequently donate all or part of their winnings to charity.

Chestnut, a project engineer, says: 'I try to take part in eating competitions which donate to charity and, often, I donate half or my entire winnings to the charity that's being endorsed.'

He says he has donated the proceeds of some eating competitions to America's Second Harvest, a hunger-relief charity that raised funds for Hurricane Katrina victims.

His biggest rival, Kobayashi, a professional competitive eater, says: 'At some competitions, the same amount of food I consume will be given to the homeless. Also, there's a competition in Taiwan where all the proceeds go to the poor.'

Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times' Life!


Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Ca., is seen during the Major League Eating contest Asia Face-off between Takeru Kobayashi of Japan and Chestnut on Sunday July 27, 2008 in Singapore. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/ Wong Maye-E

©2008 Google - Map data ©2008 AND, MapIT, Europa Technologies - Terms of Use

Singapore devours first eating contest as Kobayashi chews up, spits out Chestnut

SINGAPORE — A small but enthusiastic Singapore crowd got its first taste of professional eating as the sports' two titans - Takeru Kobayashi and Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut - made their debut in the city-state.

About 300 competitive eating fans roared as local favourite Kobayashi of Japan slammed home five kilograms of chicken in 12 minutes in Sunday's contest. California's Chestnut was a distant second, munching down four kilograms.

"I've followed Kobayashi's career on YouTube, so it's really exciting to see him in person," said Ricky Chen, a 31-year-old graphic designer.

The professional eating circuit, known as Major League Eating, was organizing its first contest in Asia, one of about 80 competitions a year in which "gurgatators" wolf down foods such as grits, sticks of butter, oysters, jalapenos and cow brains, all the while hoping to avoid the dreaded "reversal."

At 5 feet 9 inches tall and 160 pounds, Kobayashi is something of a legend in the competitive eating world, winning the Nathan's hot-dog eating contest in New York for six years running until Chestnut beat him last year and again July 4.

"During a contest, I get in a zone where it's just me and the food," Kobayashi said after the match, with pea-green chicken sauce splattered all over his black T-shirt. "Sometimes, it's like I'm in a trance."

The blue-haired, boyish-looking 30-year-old, who took home about US$200,000 in prize money and appearance fees last year, laughed and blushed when asked about his sex symbol status among legions of female fans in his homeland.

"It's very embarrassing. I don't think I'm a sex symbol," Kobayashi said. "But sometimes women send me their clothing."

Chestnut, 24, said he could have performed better.

"The sauce was sweeter than I expected, and that slowed me," said Chestnut, who once ate 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. "I couldn't find my rhythm. And Kobayashi is a machine."

The two eaters, who did not compete for any prize money at the Singapore contest, signed autographs and took pictures before and after the event.

Chestnut, an engineering student at San Jose State, said he made about US$100,000 last year competing in about 20 contests.

"I'm just a regular guy. I don't have any groupies yet," said Chestnut, who is 6 feet 2 inches tall and 215 pounds. "Usually I get guys in their 40s trying to challenge me to eat something. Of course, I always crush them."

Chestnut brushed off critics who say the competitions are grotesque spectacles and in poor taste with so much hunger in the world.

"There are always critics," said Chestnut. "Not everyone likes football either."

Sports channel ESPN broadcasts two eating competitions a year and Spike channel shows four, said Major League Eating spokesman Ryan Nerz, who was also the contest's announcer.

Nerz insisted competitive eating is a legitimate sport, and Kobayashi and Chestnut are world-class athletes.

"This is like Ali-Frazier, Federer-Nadal," he said.

Yet during the contest, he acknowledged the competition's circus-like appeal.

"I'm astonished, I'm appalled, I'm shocked," Nerz bellowed into a microphone as Kobayashi and Chestnut shovelled food into their mouths.

The competition forms part of Singapore's bid to fashion the city-state as a more hip and attractive place to live. The event was part of the Singapore Food Festival, which sought to present "unique dining experiences with a host of interactive events," the Singapore Tourist Board said in a statement.

"Singapore rarely gets events like this so I think it's good," said Rachel Tan, a 21-year-old student. "It's entertaining, but I also feel a little sick after watching that."

At least one Singaporean was left ecstatic by the event.

Rosalind Sim, 52, won the amateur undercard by scarfing down two Carl's Jr. double cheeseburgers in 12 minutes. The advertising salesperson was awarded a gift certificate for the equivalent of US$368 at Swensen's ice cream restaurant.

"I can't believe I won," she said. "I eat for fun."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The 3 Amigos To Be Reunited at Canoli Contest
Don 'Moses'' Lerman Ed ''Cookie'' Jarvis and Krazy kevin lipsitz
Don Lerman will be on hand at this years canoli Contest as a judge . all 3 of the original 3 Amigos were recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award


Gastric gusto

By MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer 7/26/2008Last Modified: 7/26/2008 2:44 AM
Eaters hunger for victorySeventy-one tamales in 12 minutes — just thinking about that can be hard to stomach. That's right: 71 — one short of six dozen. That's the tamale record held by Tim "Eater X" Janus, who's ranked No. 4 in the world of extreme eating. The tamale champ is one of several top-ranked eaters in town for the Cherokee Casino World Barbecue Eating Championship. The 30-year-old day trader said he stumbled onto competitive eating while looking for a fun day away from work. "I was sick of my job and read about a contest near my apartment. I thought it'd be fun and signed up," he said. He admits that he didn't really know what he was doing and finished in the middle of the pack. "Right away, I saw a bunch of areas I could improve. I kept feeling that way, that I could do better, so I stuck with it," he said. His signature painted face was something he did even in that first competition in the spring of 2004. "It's something I enjoy doing at sporting events and thought it'd be fun. People seemed to like it, and in my next competition they actually remembered me," he said. Janus won his first title
in the winter of 2005 by devouring four pounds of tiramisu (an Italian dessert cake) in six minutes. He's since won titles in burritos, cannoli, nigiri sushi, Ramen noodles and tamales. "There's not a whole lot to it. You try to make sure you feel good that day, and you don't go out and party too hard the night before," Janus said. "A lot of it is figuring out a plan. If you know what you're going to be eating, you can try and pick it up at the store or a restaurant or make it yourself and then figure out the best way to break it down."

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Gallery Of Pictures From The 2006 Canoli Contest

Charles Hardy
Crazy legs Conti

The Canoli

The Crowd

Wild Bill Meyers and Justin Mih

Eater ''x'' Tim Janus

The Stage

Tim Janus , Crazy Legs Conti , Ed Jarvis

Ed Jarvis Gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Rich Shea

The Winner and Sponsor

Allen ''The Shredder'' Goldstein

The Actual Contest( Don Lerman at Far Left)

Don Lerman 's Back As Judge at This Years Canoli Contest!
slated for Sept 12th

Don Lerman To Be Judge At Canoli Contest
San Gennaro Festival , New York City

Slated for Sept 12th
* story to follow so stand bye


July 25, 2008
Freaky Fast Sandwich Making and Eating

Heaven knows we love our food and have been accused of eating at a clip that puts nearby fingers in jeopardy. But we're pretty sure we're going to be put to shame this Saturday when Jimmy John's offers up three of its fastest sandwich makers to see if they can make subs faster than the sandwiches can be eaten. Of course, they won't be eaten by just anyone.
These will be inhaled by
Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, ranked second in the world in the competitive eating circuit. The guy once ate 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes. We kid you not. (Ed. Note: More impressive — or repulsive, depending on POV — is the 177 pickled jalapeno peppers Bertoletti wolfed down in fifteen minutes at a 2006 competition).
Also eating as fast as Jimmy John's can make them will be Tim "Gravy" Brown (pictured, left), who was a candidate for the Major League Eating Rookie of the Year in 2007. You've got to eat a lot of mashed potatoes to get that kind of nickname, folks.
If you want to take in the action, head to Taste of Lincoln Avenue (SE corner of Altgeld Avenue, between Fullerton and Wrightwood) this Saturday, July 26th, where the competition will begin at 3 p.m. Oh, and....bring an appetite.

Moses News .Com Is Changing
More news briefs
More pictures
more breaking news
For Great Tee Shirts Click Here...http://www.tshirttank.com/

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Broadview Heights novice shares burger-eating title

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Michael Heaton
Plain Dealer Reporter

There is a new king among Cleveland competitive eaters.

At the hamburger-eating contest Saturday night at the National Hamburger Festival in Akron, novice competitive eater Kevin Kordalski, 19, of Broadview Heights, tied trencherman Pete "Big Plate" Maurizio from Pittsburgh at 13 5.5-ounce burgers in 10 minutes. Dave "Coondog" O'Karma of Cuyahoga Falls clinched third place with 12½ burgers.

"It still hasn't clicked that I did so well," said Kordalski. "I was hoping to land in the top three or four, at best. It was cool being up in front of the crowd. I thought it would be a lot tougher."

Kordalski was the least experienced of the 10 competitors but said he wasn't nervous.

"I wasn't thinking about the other guys," he said. "I told myself it was just me against the burgers. I tried to go to the water more often this time. I took a lot of little sips."

Kordalski is eyeing a pulled-pork eating contest Saturday, Aug. 2, in New Jersey and the Slavic Village Festival's pierogi-eating contest Saturday, Aug. 23. He needs a nickname now, something like Kevin "Carnivore" Kordalski.

"Alliteration is good," said Kordalski. "I was also thinking about 'Flash' and maybe 'The Lion.' A lion can eat 60 pounds of meat in a sitting."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


BRIDGETON: Register now for BBQ contest

From staff reports • July 23, 2008

BRIDGETON -- The Bridgeton Breakfast Rotary Club will host its third annual Bridgeton Best Bar-B-Que contest on the River’s Edge Community Campus on Sunday, Aug. 3.

The contest includes several categories, and organizers encourage all local barbecue enthusiasts to enter and win prizes. The event also will include a pie-eating contest for youths and a chicken wing-eating contest for adults. Space is limited for the barbecue contest. To register for the contests or for more information, call Blanca Rivera at (856) 451-6330.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Mike Datsko, 38 of Akron, (right) defeats Jamie Richardson of Louisville and Emilee Welfley of New Philadelphia in the Bobbing for Burgers contest on Saturday. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)
View more photos >>

Skyway DriMike Datsko, 38 of Akron, (right) defeats Jamie Richardson of Louisville and Emilee Welfley of New Philadelphia in the Bobbing for Burgers contest on Saturday. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)
View more photos >>

Skyway Drive-InsFairlawn, Medina, Green & StowClick for couponve-InsFairlawn, Medina, Green & StowClick for coupon


An in-your-face competition

By Kevin Mertz
A FUN MESS — Keri Albright, left, president and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, was covered in chocolate cream after taking top honors in the female division of a pie eating contest held at the Watsontown United Methodist Church. As Albright proudly sits with a face full of cream, Tedd Silker dives face first into his pie.


By Kevin Mertz
Mon Jul 21, 2008, 11:49 AM EDT
Story Tools:
Email This Print This
WATSONTOWN — With chocolate cream pie dripping from her face, Keri Albright, president and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, was basking in the limelight Saturday evening. She took top honors in the female division of a pie-eating contest at the Watsontown United Methodist Church.The contest featured six community leaders and was the main attraction at the church’s block party. Cindie Lytle, event chair, said proceeds from the party will be used to help build a new church along Eighth Street Drive. Lytle said the congregation hopes to begin construction within the year.Before the start of the contest, the three female contenders had a “serious” discussion centering on their preparations for the event.Maria Culp, president and CEO of the Central Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, said she carefully studied video footage from other pie-eating contests on You Tube, a web site.“I wanted to know enough so I don’t look stupid,” she said.Ali Stevens, a radio personality from WQKX, could be seen carefully sipping a soda.“I’m drinking some soda beforehand so I have the fizz to help me digest the pie,” Stevens noted.Albright said she wore waterproof mascara for the event. She added that she wasn’t focused on taking top honors.“I will settle for third,” Albright said.But as the one-minute contest got under way, with all six challengers, male and female, decked out in plastic rain gear and shower caps, Albright tore into her pie at a fierce pace.Intense laughter erupted among the crowd and the contenders as the competition wore on. In the end, Albright was thrilled to receive a special trophy for her rather messy efforts. Pastor Doug Eberly claimed the first place trophy in the male division, beating out Dr. Dale Chomas and Tedd Silker for the honor.Kevin Mertz: 570-742-9671


What a cool way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day
Craig Peterscraig.peters@shj.com

To celebrate National Ice Cream Day (today), Bruster's Real Ice Cream shop at Hillcrest held an ice cream eating contest, top. Between contests for younger children and the older kids, it also held an icy T-shirt contest, above.
Ashanti James practiced speed eating for nearly three days. Kenny Ruble said his regimen of Slurpees paved his victory path. Both got one day's head start on today's celebration of National Ice Cream Day, as Ashanti and Kenny won ice cream eating contests held Saturday afternoon at the Hillcrest Bruster's Real Ice Cream shop at 100 Peachshed Road.
Matthew Graham, general manager of the shop, said everyone did well, but some showed expert technique during the second annual event.
"We had two that really knew what they were doing," Graham said. "They had some coaching on how to consume."
Ashanti, 8, of Spartanburg, ate 9 ounces of vanilla ice cream in the allotted two minutes to win the 5-8 age bracket against 10 other competitors. She received a beach bag of aquatic toys. But that wasn't all.
"I got a brain freeze," said Ashanti, whose 6-year-old brother, Alexander, also participated and helped her practice during family speed-eating contests.
Kenny, 14, of Sarasota, Fla., who was in town visiting his dad, Gary, vanquished 23 ounces of the frozen treat without pain in two minutes. Kenny said he long ago defeated brain freezes because of frozen drinks sold at 7-11 convenience stores in Florida.
Kenny said all he ate before the contest was a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. His victory will give him a chance to rock out with an i-Pod Shuffle, which was awarded to the winner of the 9-14 age group.
Kenny also won the frozen T-shirt contest, in which contestants must unroll a T-shirt that has been rolled up, dipped in water and frozen, and be the first to put on the frosty shirt. Graham said he got the idea for that contest from another Bruster's owner and said it provides a good distraction while employees clean up after the first age group and prepare for the second.
Employees from the three Bruster's stores in Spartanburg County helped judge the event. All three are owned by Graham's parents, Jim and Linda.
Participants received Bruster's T-shirts and ice cream scoops to dip future treats.
In 1984, President Reagan designated July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day, encouraging Americans to partake in "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
Matthew Graham said Bruster's will oblige by continuing to hold the event


Published: July 19, 2008 09:44 am
Competitive eating is a national embarrassment
Phil Riddle, Democrat Editor
Here’s one reason the rest of the world hates us.Only in America are there professional eaters.They produce nothing. Sell nothing. Manufacture nothing. They eat massive, unhealthy amounts of food for a living.Everyone has heard of or seen the July 4 hot dog eating contest at Coney Island. This year’s edition was won by Joey Chestnut who downed 64 hot dogs in less than 15 minutes.That’s eight supermarket packages of franks with buns.You know the guy who comes to the company picnic and keeps going back through the line. You know the guy. He’s already got a season ticket at the angioplasty clinic. He might eat five or six dogs because he thinks no one is keeping count.Chestnut ate more than 10 times that amount. Sixty-four hot dogs would feed a family of four eight meals, allowing two dogs per family member at each meal.While other parts of the world see people fighting daily for sustenance, we televise and embrace gluttony. On ESPN, no less. Not only are we putting this over the airwaves, we’re turning it into a sport.As a trophy to said gluttony, Chestnut was awarded a mustard yellow championship belt and a check for $10,000.He got $10,000 for eating enough food to feed entire third-world villages in less time than it takes for your morning shower.Besides the July 4 competition, there is a pro tour — Major League Eating — which is part of a larger organization, the International Federation of Competitive Eating.Question: How do you decide to take competitive eating as a career path.Are you bad at math? Maybe communication is not a strong suit. No business school will take you. You probably won’t be a draft pick in the NFL, NBA or MLB.“Look here son. Your SAT scores say the best job you can hope for is sticking labels on pickle jars. We’ve got to figure out what you’re good at, besides emptying the refrigerator ... wait a minute.”And a professional eater is born.Besides being a national embarrassment, doctors say contests like the hot dog eating event are bad for contestants.Duh!No kidding, Doc? Is it really unhealthy to eat 64 processed meat dogs laden with calories, salt and cholesterol? I would think even competitive eaters know that.Also, with the quantities consumed, competitors probably suffered nausea, bloat, headache and possibly high blood pressure for days until digestion was complete.I wonder if there’s a record for taking Alka-Seltzer.Want more reasons to be embarrassed.OK.There are regular tour events including next weekend’s Cherokee Casino World BBQ Eating Championship, last week’s World Rib Eating Championship and all the qualifying events to the get world class eaters to the championship tables.Like the professional golf qualifiers to get to the U.S. Open. However, I’d be willing to bet you’ve never seen Tiger Woods throwing up from playing too much golf. John Daly, maybe.The IFOCE sanctions records for all sorts of grub.I’ll bet you didn’t know the most pickled beef tongue consumed in a 12-minute sitting is three pounds, three ounces by a gentleman named Dominic Cardo.What would you expect the record for eating chicken wings might be. If you said 167 wings in 32 minutes, you’d be right.There are also records on file for eating buffet food, cheesecake, fruitcake, hamburgers, matzo balls, oysters and watermelon.But the most disgusting of the records belong to Donald Lerman and Oleg Zhornitsky. Lerman ate seven quarter-pound sticks of butter in five minutes, while Zhornitsky inhaled four 32-ounce jars of mayonnaise in eight minutes.I don’t know how they felt after their record-setting performances, but I’m feeling a little queasy.


Mutton busters
Chunks of lamb chowed for big prize

By Ryan Chalk
Article Launched: 07/20/2008 07:17:33 AM PDT
var requestedWidth = 0;


Marilyn Wire, of Ponderosa, takes a moment to sit with Mac and Buck, her St. Croix Sheep who participated in the sheep showing competition at the Lambtown Festival. (Ryan Chalk/RChalk@TheReporter.com)
if(requestedWidth > 0){
document.getElementById('articleViewerGroup').style.width = requestedWidth + "px";
document.getElementById('articleViewerGroup').style.margin = "0px 0px 10px 10px";

Don't think about anything and just eat." Those were the words of Dixon resident Chris Kilkenny after winning Lambtown's first rib eating contest, netting him $300 in cash.
Over 100 pounds of lamb riblets were prepared by Cliff Foulk and his crew from Superior Farms for the event which saw eight competitors take to a stage for nine minutes shoveling lamb into their faces.
At the other end of the stage was Charlie Lanfranco of Davis, who is no stranger to competitive eating competitions. His wife Melanie proudly pointed out he came in second during the California Strawberry Pie Eating Contest of 2002 in Watsonville, prior to the start of the event.
"Look at those cheeks," said Melanie as Charlie began tearing into tin of ribs. "Think

Chris Kilkenny, of Dixon, stands triumphant after winning a rib eating contest which debuted at the annual Lambtown Festival. (Ryan Chalk/RChalk@TheReporter.com) strategy! Take out the ones with biggest bones first! It'll weigh less," she cheered.
After the rib eating contest, crowds dispersed to some of the more traditional aspects of the venerable event which marked its 22nd year, and first year back at the Dixon May Fair grounds after a brief stop in Dixon's Hall Park last year.
Visitors had to carefully plan their schedules as the event offered plenty to see, such as the sheep shearing and show, sheep dog trials, craft booths, along with wool vendors and spinning competitions.
Under a tent sat a handful of ladies who called themselves the Del Oro Spinners and Weavers Guild-their antique spinning wheels going round and round.
"This gives us a reason to get together, eat, talk and have

fun," said guild member Wendy Brown of Sutter Creek. "You get a chance to meet a lot of people and let them know there's another way of getting your clothes than going to Wal-Mart

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Lamb-eating contest adds twist to festival
Dixon native wins $300 – and bragging rights – at Lambtown.
By Wesley DeBerry -
Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, July 20, 2008Story appeared in METRO section, Page B2

DIXON – A mouthful of freshly grilled lamb had Chris Kilkenny's jaws working hard Saturday afternoon at the Lambtown USA Festival's first-ever eating competition.
He chewed and swallowed the greasy pieces of lamb so quickly he had to take care not to bite his fingers as he stuffed in more food.
Kilkenny and the seven other contestants were given nine minutes to eat as much meat as possible from a pile of lamb ribs, weighed before and after the competition to determine the winner.

The wacky contest was the newest event in a festival that for 22 years has celebrated Dixon's lamb industry and agricultural heritage. Over the years, the annual festival, held at the Dixon May Fair grounds, has been filled with a lamb-cooking contest, weaving and fine arts activities, petting zoos and pony rides.
"We just try to think of ways to educate people about the uses of lamb," said Jill Orr, a volunteer and co-chairwoman of the eating contest.
With medical personnel standing by, a crowd gathered around the eating contestants showing off their starting plates – each filled with seven pounds of grilled lamb ribs. As the contest began, spectators snapped photos, maneuvering to get better shots.
Two minutes into the competition, Kilkenny was well ahead. Some of the other contestants tried to catch up as others slowed to catch their breath while the sun glared down.
But Kilkenny kept his lead, throwing down used rib bones with one hand and picking up a new rib with the other. In the end, he consumed two pounds and six ounces of ribs, beating his closest competitor by a full six ounces.
Kilkenny, 22, who said he entered the competition "just to have fun," won the grand prize of $300.
"It was very entertaining," said the Rev. Harrel Wiley, one of the contest's spectators and a regular at the Lambtown festival.
Orr and other volunteer workers who helped facilitate the competition said they gained know-how for next year's contest.
Their day at the Lambtown festival began at 7 a.m. Saturday, long before the first rib was eaten. For the contest, they prepared 115 pounds of lamb, given to them by Superior Farms, a lamb supplier based in Dixon.
"We had no idea how much people would eat," Orr said adding that they didn't want to run out of lamb during the contest.
Kilkenny, a Dixon native, plans to return next year to defend his title and said he may look for other eating contests.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Contestants attack meatballs with gastronomical gusto

July 19, 2008Recommend (1)

BY GUY TRIDGELL Staff writer
Even at 5 foot 4 inches, Michael Derong always has been a big eater.

The Evergreen Park college student leisurely can pack away 3-foot-long Subway sandwiches or an entire bucket of chicken with no problem. His prodigious appetite has inspired awe at family gatherings as he slowly moves up and down the buffet line.

» Click to enlarge image

Mark 'The Looper' Mullan (seated left) of Tinley Park, Illinois competes in the annual Bartolini's meatball eating contest Friday night at St. Christopher Church in Midlothian, Illinois.
(Art Vassy/STNG)
But after trading bite for bite Friday night with some of the world's biggest eaters at Bartolini's American Meatball Eating Championship in Midlothian, Derong learned competitive eating is more of a sprint than a marathon.

"I'm just not used to eating that many meatballs," he said. "It's harder than it looks."

Derong finished nine meatballs in five minutes - not good enough to advance to the championship "speed" round of two minutes.

The event's winner was Pete Czerwinski, a strapping Canadian who put down 43 meatballs during his seven minutes of competition at St. Christopher Church's annual summer Fiesta. He takes home $3,000.

Dominic Bartolini, co-owner of Bartolini's restaurant in Midlothian, said the competition originally was started to generate a little good will in the community. All proceeds go to local food pantries.

Once sponsors got involved, the prize money grew and the event took off. It's billed as the country's only meatball-eating contest, drawing ringers on the competitive eating circuit.

"I just thought it would be fun to start something like this," Bartolini said. "The growth of the contest has been amazing. It's the money that brings them in."

Among the 20 combatants this year was Joe Menchetti, a 350-pound New Yorker known for gulping 89 cicadas in one minute. Another contestant, Tom "Goose" Gilbert, once sucked down 46 boiled eggs in five minutes.

This year's champ, Czerwinski, once inhaled a 72-ounce steak in seven minutes.

The contest's smallest entrant, Derong came with a strategy.

He brought a gallon of water with him on stage to better down the large meatballs, which were about the size of billiard balls. He also attacked the meatballs standing up, while everyone else sat.

But with one minute left in his round, a look of nausea passed over Derong's face. Pellets of sweat formed on his forehead. He exited the stage when the clock expired, waiting with the other eaters so the judges could make sure they didn't puke.

The competitive juices - and zesty hunks of meat - still flowing inside him, he couldn't wait to step up to the plate again.

"Get me pizza or something, and I could do better," Derong said. "Give me rice, and I'll kill you."

Friday, July 18, 2008


Atlanta men trying to eat way into hamburger championship
'If you don't puke every now and then, you didn't try hard enough,' one says

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/18/08

Loren ''Bubba'' Yarbrough swings his torso, warming up for the heavy competition about to unfold.

Paul Barlow adjusts the sweatband on his head, which features the initials SPBBBMB: SuperPaul Bone-breaker Big-mouth Barlow.

Latest Headlines:
More Living Stories
Living photo galleries

Larry McNeil stays stone-faced, his eyes masked by his sunglasses.

The 45 Krystal burgers never stood a chance.

"Bubba ain't wasting no time," an onlooker says as Yarbrough pounds burger after burger into his mouth during a competitive eating practice round Thursday.

Yarbrough, Barlow and McNeil are three of Atlanta toughest gurgitators. The trio will try to qualify for the Krystal Square Off V World Hamburger Eating Championship on Sept. 28 in Chattanooga.

"It literally gets in your blood," Barlow said of the sport. "It's fun."

Atlanta residents may not realize it, but the city is home to various offbeat sports such as competitive eating, cricket and foosball. Clubs are just waiting for them to join.

For some sports, like mixed martial arts, you better be prepared to get hit. For others, like rock band competitions, you just need fast fingers.

Barlow, an artist and author, got into competitive eating six years ago when he was a last-minute entry in a contest at a zoo. Yarbrough and McNeil, both employees of the city of Atlanta, began entering International Federation of Competitive Eating qualifiers in 2006 after a few years of watching Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating contests on the Fourth of July.

They've tasted everything from waffles to pulled pork since then and still have room for food after they compete.

"If you're not a big eater, you're not going to be a competitive eater," Yarbrough said. "Period."

The men try to avoid "reversals" because they don't want their bodies to regularly respond that way when they compete. But sometimes it can't be helped.

"If you don't puke every now and then, it's because you didn't try hard enough," Yarbrough said. "That's just a fact of life."

Today there's no reversal. Just debris.

When they finish their two-minute practice round, Yarbrough and McNeil have devoured all 15 of their burgers. Barlow clocked in with 11. His mouth is stained with mustard, and Yarbrough has a piece of soggy bread stuck to his shirt.

"Something's leaking," Yarbrough observes.

"My mess," McNeil replies, looking at the scraps on the table.

McNeil and Yarbrough used to compete in as many as 17 contests a year, traveling to places like Las Vegas and North Dakota. Barlow tries to stick to trips that can be made on a tank of gas. He usually competes in six per year.

Most of the qualifiers take place at fairs. Yarbrough's daughters are always in attendance, and after they scream themselves hoarse, they plead with their dad to take them on the carnival rides.

He tells them he will go on anything that doesn't spin.

"That leaves me and her's favorite rides out of the picture," 8-year-old Caroline said.

Barlow usually is on the defensive with his family, especially when they decide to eat at buffets like CiCi's Pizza, where he can put away 47 slices in one sitting.

"My family says 'Stop it. It's time to go,'" he said. "We're the only world-ranked athletes who have to fight to compete."

Still, the men have high aspirations for the future of competitive eating.

"We're looking forward to the Olympics," Barlow dreamed.

For general competitive eating information: http://www.ifoce.com/

For those interested in competing at the Krystal Square Off: http://krystalsquareoff.com/register.php


Loren Yarbrough

• 30 Krystal hamburgers, 8 minutes

• 19 grilled cheese sandwiches, 10 minutes

• 18 hot dogs, 12 minutes

Paul Barlow

• 21 Krystal hamburgers, 8 minutes

• 14 hot dogs and buns, 10 minutes

• 11 Waffle House waffles, 10 minutes

Larry McNeil

• 16 brats, 10 minutes

• 5 pounds meatballs, 10 minutes

• 4 pounds waffles, 10 minutes

Vote for this story!

Buzz up!


National Hamburger Festival in Akron kicks off competitive eating contest

Posted by Michael Heaton/Plain Dealer Reporter July 18, 2008 12:07PM

Categories: Food news
Dave "Coondog" O'Karma eats a 5-pound hamburger last year at a promotional event for the National Hamburger Festival. Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic is to his left, eating a much smaller burger. The event kicks off again Saturday.

National Hamburger Festival
Where: Lock 3 Park, 200 S. Main St., Akron.
When: Noon-10:30 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday.
Admission: $5 for adults, free for children under 48 inches tall.

Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island is the unofficial kickoff of the competitive-eating season.

With that gorgefest out of the way, fairs and festivals across the country will keep the "sport" alive with eating contests featuring pizza, sausage, corn, pierogi and hamburgers. Akron's annual National Hamburger Festival, which opens at noon today and runs through Sunday night will host a hamburger-eating contest tonight at 6.

Representing Cleveland will be competitive eater Dave "Coondog" O'Karma. The 52-year-old painting contractor from Cuyahoga Falls will be going for the three-peat tonight, having won the last two Akron competitions.

"I've won the hamburger title twice -- no one beats me on my home turf," said O'Karma. "I got some clown from Pittsburgh coming who's talking smack."

The Pittsburgh "clown" is Pete "Big Plate" Maurizio. "I'm going to beat Coondog the way the Steelers beat the Browns. He's an old man," said Maurizio, 42.

O'Karma is no slouch. In 2003, he devoured 28 pierogi in three minutes at the Slavic Village Festival -- 15 more than the previous record. He has gobbled corn, pineapple, chicken wings and doughnuts. He's competed in Japan twice.

O'Karma and another eater from New York, Arnie "Chowhound" Chapman, formed the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters, or AICE, whose "picnic style" rules do not allow contestants to dip their food in water as allowed by the New York-based Major League Eaters. The only AICE-sanctioned events in Ohio are tonight's hamburger contest and the North Canton Chili Open in February.

Last March, AICE sponsored a brownie-eating contest in Cleveland Heights. They look to sponsor other eaters when they are invited to events.

"We were trying to make Cleveland the world's brownie capital, tying it to the Cleveland Browns," said O'Karma. "Hey, we're a business. We try every angle we can."

College student and first-time competitive eater Kevin Kordalski, 19, was discovered by O'Karma at the brownie-eating contest. The 6-foot, 230-pound sophomore from the College of Wooster inhaled 2 pounds of brownies in six minutes, two nights in a row.

"He showed promise for a kid in his first time out," said O'Karma of his protege. "He is AA material right now. He has good potential but needs seasoning on the pro circuit."

Kordalski will compete in Akron tonight. He says his gift for eating can also be a curse. "You always feel a little bit empty inside," he said.

It sounds like O'Karma will have his hands -- and mouth -- full tonight.

"Tell that has-been Coondog I said to bring whatever he has left of his game," said Maurizio.

"I'll die before I let a Pittsburgh person take my title," countered O'Karma. "I'll chew this guy up and spit him out." 


More Ohio eating competitions scheduled for this summer:

July 19: National Hamburger Festival, Akron
July 30: Pizza, Columbus Zoo
Aug. 1: Chili Coney, Camp Washington Fountain Square, Cincinnati
Aug. 2: Pulled pork, Famous Dave's BBQ, Promenade Park, Toledo.
Aug. 2: Hot dogs, Dan's Dogs, Medina Square.
Aug. 9: Corn on the cob, North Ridgeville Corn Festival.
Aug. 23: Pierogi, Slavic Village Festival, Cleveland.
Aug. 27-30 -- Corn on the cob, Sweet Corn Festival, Millersport.


Stop glorifying eating contest, Americans already too overweight

I agree wholeheartedly with letter writer LuAnn Dunham Doty, who volunteers at a food pantry and is disgusted by your coverage of food eating contests. I would take it one step further. I plead with all organizations that hold these gorging contests: Please stop! In a country of overweight people battling major health problems, why glorify and reward gulping copious amounts of junk food down one's gullet in record speed?

--Jean Kwas


If you want to eat, do it, just make up for it later

The Republican Eagle
Published Friday, July 18, 2008

Sign me up. I’m ready to go. Bring on the dogs.

You read it here first: The dark horse in the 2009 Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest will be food-loving newspaper reporter and amateur eater Jen Cullen.

Those of you familiar with the holiday face-stuffing contest know I have some stiff competition in six-time champion Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi and defending champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut.

These boys each ate 59 dogs and buns in 10 minutes, then had the stomachs to go head-to-head in a five-hot dog “eat-off.”

But I’m confident I could give those dog eaters a run for their money.

Consider my credentials:

• I may only be 5-foot-3, but my height is deceiving. I once ate an entire box of Super Pretzels — that’s six pretzels with gooey cheese — in less than two hours.

• I know how to wiggle and jiggle to make room for more.

• I have more space — a bigger stomach — to house those hot dogs than Chestnut and Kobayashi combined. Beating a small-framed competitive eater from Japan — where does all that food go anyway?

Seems suspicious to me — and an overly confident American who looks more like he works out every day than practices eating?

Place your bets now, people. And place them on me.

Consider the training I put myself through earlier this week.

Tuesday started off slowly with a can of vegetable juice to lubricate my insides. Then came a tuna sandwich, lots of grapes, a piece of string cheese and two Chips Ahoy cookies.

Later that day, after 40 ounces of water, I consumed three pieces of licorice. Then four handfuls of sunflower seeds and three handfuls of honey BBQ peanuts went down the hatch.

A few hours later I was hungry. I had a big salad and two servings of spaghetti with meat sauce. Five more cookies for dessert. A little later, some cranberry-raspberry applesauce and a piece of string cheese.

I finally collapsed from food fatigue. And we won’t even talk about Wednesday.

Seems like I’m failing, doesn’t it? Like I’m falling off the wagon.

I’m not. I lost 5 more pounds and

5 more inches at my weigh-in on Monday.

We all have days when we could win competitive eating contests. On Tuesday and Wednesday — for several reasons I am well aware of — I could have eaten until I popped.

But I don’t feel bad about my marathon. That’s the key. Eat it, enjoy it, get over it.

Now I’m back to my healthier, smarter ways.

I’ve never really been a big hot dog fan anyway. Where do I sign up for the pretzel-eating contest?

There are several different video clips of me posted on YouTube. Footage from my most recent weigh-in will be available soon.

My next weigh-in is Sept. 2.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Krazy Kevin Lipsitz Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Kevin Lipsitz Who may have enterd more Nathans contests along with Ed Jarvis and Don Lerman has received the coveted lifetime achievement Award. Kevin a 6 time Finalist at Nathans 4htof july 6 time Bens Matzah Ball Finalist who sent Curtis Sliwa into permanent retirement ( Competive eating Career) As Carnegi Deli pickle champ, star of the Fox Glutton Bowl, Gutbusters and The Big EATS and Gutbusters Documentary Films A hall Of Famer has been presented with this award.

Krazy Kevin Lipsitz Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

PICTURED L-R RICH Shea, George Shea, Lorraine Lipsitz, Ed Jaris. Kobyashi , Don Lerman ,Kevin Lipsitz


Gross Out and Knockoff, but Hardly Any Sendup

Evans Vestal Ward/Comedy Central

Dave Attell with guests on Comedy Central's new version of "The Gong Show."

Published: July 17, 2008

“Hurl!,” an extreme eating contest on the cable channel G4, has a certain elegance, an economy of action and intent that is too often lacking in contemporary ballet or fine dining. Contestants, almost all male, eat as much as they can in one sitting, then exert themselves in a strenuous physical activity. He who eats the most and vomits the least wins $1,000.

As the show’s premiere on Tuesday suggested, “Hurl!” will not win any public service awards from the National Eating Disorders Association. It revels in “hurl cams,” close-ups of young players power-gobbling tubs of macaroni and cheese, and instant replays of the losers puking. And like so much summer cable fare, it is basically a straight-to-YouTube event, a spectacle that only teenage boys want to watch in full or at any length at all. But just because it is puerile and revolting, doesn’t mean it is stupid. “Hurl!” has a disarming “Jackass” knowingness: it is tongue-in-cheek as well as face-in-bucket.

“Athletes have long understood the connection between what they eat and how they perform,” a gravel-voiced narrator intones as a supermarket cart careens through well-stocked aisles. “But tonight a new breed of competitor will find that these things are now one and the same.”

“Hurl!,” like “Reality Bites Back” and “The Gong Show” (back-to-back shows that begin tonight on Comedy Central), are attempts at satire. And at least in that sense they are almost quixotically brave. It turns out that it is as impossible to parody the fearless, effervescent vulgarity of shows like ABC’s “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” or NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as it is to outfiddle Yo-Yo Ma or undersell Costco.


Ex-Gator builds competitive eating career

By BRIAN STEELE , Alligator Staff Writer
Hundreds of hot dogs can blame their digestion on Dragonfly restaurant's California rolls.

About four years ago former UF student and soccer team manager Hall “Hoover” Hunt stumbled into the restaurant as a joke for a sushi eating contest. He made it to the finals of the contest, but wasn’t able to go as he had a road game with the soccer team.

His competitors in the finals should have thanked whoever made the Gators’ schedule. Hunt, the No. 8 Major League Eater in the world, recently competed in the annual Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog eating contest and demolished 30 dogs in 10 minutes. And he was disappointed.

“I was very happy with the position, but as far as the actual number I was extremely disappointed,” Hunt said of his sixth-place finish. “It wasn’t even my personal best. I was hoping to get about 10 more.”

At least he had a nice basket of chicken fingers and French fries after the contest to make him feel better. He was still hungry.

Let’s change your view of professional eaters, though. Just more than a week after the Nathan’s contest, Hall ran a 26.2-mile marathon with a bad knee.

“Doctors say I should probably get my knee scoped,” he said.

He still finished the race in just more than five hours.

And Hall, just 185 pounds, is also a member of MENSA, an engineer and a devoted Christian.

It’s probably easier just to let him explain how one gets these habits.

“I just really enjoy eating and traveling,” he said.

His personal records are 23 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes and 33 Krystals in 8 minutes. He also has participated in the Alka-Seltzer US Open.

Before Hunt started this eating binge, he actually considered himself a slow eater. He always ate his fair share, but it was a slow and steady movement. What’s the key to getting food down quicker then?

“I had to break the old habit of chewing 20 times before you swallow,” he said.

That would help.

Except for the fact that your stomach probably doesn’t take kindly to having unchewed food rushed into your system. Orlando-based nutritionist Tara Gidus, who has spoken on the potential effects of competitive eating, said they don’t know exactly what can happen because they don’t want to make a test subject go through that. Several logical guesses can be made, however.

“We can guess that putting that much food into your system is not healthy,” she said. “It can potentially cause some gastric problems in the future if you’re really doing a lot of competitive eating.”

The throat only has so much room to have food shoved down, too.

“There’s potential with choking with the hot dog or really anything that you’re eating,” Gidus said. “Then obviously it’s a large amount of calories all at once.”

The engineer in Hunt, however, does what he can to keep himself healthy. Before the marathon Hunt said he has plenty of liquids to get rid of extra electrolytes so he can reach a suitable body equilibrium again.

The trio of running, eating and his job causes the daily planner to be used a lot.

“A very detailed calendar down to the minute for every day pretty much,” he said on how he balances everything.

Hunt’s considered one of the top young eaters in the profession. But Gainesville wasn’t named one of ESPN’s top 20 TitleTown’s based on just potential. Gators want to be the best in everything, and Hunt doesn’t consider competitive eating to be an exception.

“Gator fans are pretty spoiled,” he said. “If you don’t win a championship, you’re considered just okay.”

A Letter TO The Editor :

Sickening contests

Please stop all coverage of eating contests that are held throughout the year. As a volunteer at a local food pantry, it is sickening to read of adults downing hot dogs, pies, pizza, etc. in the name of friendly competition. If you could only see the faces of the families, children and the elderly who go hungry each and every day in this country, you would see how obnoxious and upsetting this behavior is to those of us who do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Silicon Alleys - Gary Singh

Silicon Alleys

Local Chefs Say Eat Me

By Gary Singh

SAN JOSE'S own Joey Chestnut once again won the world-renowned Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest this last July Fourth, and his "bib sheet" on the International Federation of Competitive Eating's website rattles off an impressive list of his gluttonous conquests—records like 8.8 pounds of deep-fried asparagus spears in 10 minutes or 56 sausage-and-cheese kolaches in eight minutes. Advocates of clogged arteries from coast to coast are hailing the dude as a true hero and a national treasure. He's as American as apple pie.

But if you want to quack about local boys done good with their food, there's a much more wholesome rock & roll story you should know about. You see, Gordy Carbone and Gary Sunbury, two local pillars and swillers of the community, have now appeared on celebrity chef Bobby Flay's newest show on the Food Network. The program, Grill It! With Bobby Flay, named after his recent New York Times bestselling cookbook, lets fans live out their ultimate culinary fantasy by cooking on television alongside Flay himself. Through audition videos and casting calls, Carbone and Sunbury competed with grillmeisters nationwide for 13 coveted guest spots, and they made it. If you were up at 6:30am last Sunday, you saw the debut of their episode, and it will now repeat again and again. Check your television schedules now.

(Chock-full disclosure: Both Carbone and Sunbury are old pals. Gordy is the throatman for the Forgotten, a local punk outfit on TKO Records that has been around 10 years and toured everywhere, while Gary is now the dude who changes the light bulbs above my desk.)

Years ago, the two blokes had already starred in their own homemade Internet cooking show called Eat Me (www.eatmetv.net), so they had plenty of source material with which to concoct their proposal when Sunbury first discovered the initial call for submissions on Craigslist. They both figured they had a unique package to submit: Two married punk-rock guys in their late '30s who cook a lot but can't afford $1,000 cutlery, have no need for gourmet parsley and who aren't concerned with the beta-carotene content of kale.

"I'm not going to talk shit on anybody who cooks, but I think what a lot of cooking shows lack is that they're not talking to the normal person," Carbone says. "When I emailed the show, I told them they were really missing the boat by not taking on what we've got to offer and from the get-go, it wasn't, 'Take Gordy and Gary,' it was, 'Take Eat Me.' I said, 'When it comes to cooking shows, we're something you've never seen before.'"

So, with a punk-rock do-it-yourself aesthetic, Carbone and Sunbury fired off their home-edited submission complete with a soundtrack, and it worked. After all the contestants were whittled down, Flay's show contacted the two and informed them they had made the cut. A cameraman from Burbank even came to downtown San Jose in order to film Carbone and Sunbury in their environment. The guy spent seven solid hours shadowing the two while they shopped at Zanotto's, skated around town, cooked up their fare in the kitchen and then bickered with an old Vietnamese lady who regularly goes through their trash can.

Next step: Plane tickets, hotel rooms in New York City and the studio where Grill It! With Bobby Flay is filmed. On the show, Carbone and Sunbury grilled up homemade chicken quesadillas, a marinated flank steak and a surf 'n' turf salad. "This is a great example of teamwork," Flay said during the show. "You guys work very well together." The dress code for appearing on the set was not what they expected, as there exist certain stipulations about what works on camera. "We couldn't wear white or black or red or anything with stripes, or nothing with checkers, or pretty much, like, everything we own," Sunbury says. But both were absolutely blown away by Flay's dedication to his craft. "What impressed me the most about Flay was that he was just like us, he was a normal guy, but with him, it's food first," Carbone says.

And when Flay autographed Carbone's copy of Grill It!, he wrote: "Punk on. Thanks for the delicious quesadillas." In Sunbury's copy, Flay scribbled, "Eat San Jose alive."


Chipotle to the max
My heart almost stopped when I saw this email:

The Bowie Baysox (Class AA Minor League Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) are gearing up for the Chipotle National Burrito Eating Championship, the Main Event during the first ever Competitive Eating Night at Prince George’s Stadium when the Baysox take on the Reading Phillies this Sunday, July 20th.

Oh Chipotle! Oh sweet heavenly delicious burrito time!

Why oh why don't I get free burritos?

Chipotle! Can you hear me? Sponsor my blog! Sponsor my radio show! Sponsor my life!

I want to tell you a story about the Four Meat Challenge ...

Waaaay back in college (3 years ago-ish) I used to eat Chipotle burritos like it was nobody's business. Three a week? No problem. Four a week? Bring it on! My job at the college paper paid for it, you see.

Then, one day, I heard of the Four Meat Challenge. Dig this: You take all four meats (steak, chicken, barbacoa and carnitas) wrap them in a tortilla and stuff your face. So, I guess my question is, are you game?

My roommate Sammy was. (Yes, two Sams in one house.) So he and another roommate Young and I all went down to Chipotle for some action. Sammy walked up to the counter, and announced "I'M HERE TO TAKE THE FOUR MEAT CHALLENGE!"

The woman behind the counter was stunned. All she could manage to say was 'que.' (In hindsight, she may not have spoken much English to begin with).

But when Sammy explained the Four Meat Challenge to them, they obliged him, piling all four meats on one tortilla. It was glorious.

Then, when we rolled down to the cashier -- get this -- Sammy whipped out a Free Burrito Card. The cashier actually took a step back and said "NO!"

Together, they wrangled out a price -- something like $6. We sat down at a table and watched Sammy gorge himself.

So what was it like? After taking a few bites, Sammy said: "It's like licking the inside of a cow!"

When he finished (and finish he did), Sammy ran a victory lap around the inside of the restaurant, giving high-fives to workers and yelling "Goal!" and "Yeah!"

We went home, chilled some, then went to bed. In the middle of the night, Sammy woke up with a vivid hallucination, dry heaved for a minute, and went back to bed. But all of that is beside the point.

The point is, Sammy took the Four Meat Challenge and beasted it.

Will you?

(Photo from Sun archives


Champion competitive eater shares his training, victory

Posted by Andy Dworkin, The Oregonian July 15, 2008 19:34PM

Joey Chestnut, the 2008 world's hot dog eating champion, eats pork ribs for The Oregonian.
The average American eats 2,200 calories a day. Sunday in Lincoln City, Joey Chestnut ate 12,000 calories of pork ribs in 12 minutes.

To see video of the world's No. 1 competitive eater discussing his love of pork, his training regimen and his dramatic July 4 hot dog-title victory over the great Kobayashi, go here.

To read more about competitive eaters and what it does to their body, read the story about Joey Chestnut below.

Get ready, get set, gorge.

Competitive gluttons chow down massive amounts of food, but what does that to do the body?

Joey Chestnut hops up and down in the steamy New York summer, his face sunburn-red, one hand pressing hard against cheeks swollen to Dizzy Gillespie proportions by a soggy, balled-up hot dog.

It's his 33rd dog in five minutes. He's only half done.

"There's definitely pain involved in these contests," says Chestnut, the world's top-ranked competitive eater. He beat Japan's glorious glutton, Takeru Kobayashi, in a sudden-death dog-off at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Chestnut followed that meal with another title defense Sunday in Oregon, when he downed 8.05 pounds of pork ribs in 12 minutes at Chinook Winds Casino's Smokin' at the Ocean festival.

"The critics who say it's gluttony or unhealthy, I agree," Chestnut says. "I know it's not healthy what we're doing. But it sure is fun."

Healthy would be a stretch. But as competitive eaters regularly prove, the human body has an amazing capacity to hold a massive amount of food, process it and return for more, with surprisingly little damage.

"The stomach is really just a very stretchy organ," says Dr. Emma Patterson, medical director of the Legacy Good Samaritan Obesity Institute. "If you think back to the caveman days, we'd probably take down some sort of big animal, pig out and not eat for a few days."

Patterson knows bellies like Chestnut knows franks. She performs bariatric surgeries, drastically reducing the size of obese patients' stomachs to limit their food intake.

She grabs a 20-ounce bottle of iced tea from her desk. The human stomach is normally about twice this big, Patterson says. Then she grabs the small plastic cap: She tries to make to make it twice that big.

Patterson's a fan of competitive eating. "I find those things fascinating to watch, actually," she says. And gurgitators -- competitive eaters' chosen moniker -- may have a healthier relationship with food than many jockeys, gymnasts and wrestlers, who can become anorexic or bulimic trying to keep their weight down.

Eating for contests is not a disorder, or "in any way contributory to any eating disorders," says Dr. James Hancey, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University -- though "to my mind, it's the height of stupidity."

Stupid is thinking you can jump straight into the echelon of top gurgitators. It takes lots of practice.

Chestnut says he trains months in advance for the July Fourth contest, the Olympics of competitive eating. He fasts for a day or two, then gorges on hot dogs. "Every time, I'd try to push myself to a new limit," he says.

The International Federation of Competitive Eating warns against training without medical help nearby. You're unlikely to bust a gut -- that's hard to do, Patterson says. But you might choke. Paramedics attend every official eating contest, mostly for that reason.

And don't think a big gut will make you a great gurgitator. Obese people don't have bigger stomachs than the slender. They just fill them more often.

Few top competitive eaters are obese. The excess fat mass in obese people would push in on the stomach, Patterson says, making it harder to compete. And it's actually a lot of physical work to breathe and chew in rhythm and force down that much food.

Chestnut says he's starting to put on excess weight. His official "bib sheet" lists him as 230, though he tops 6 feet. Kobayashi, now the world's No. 3 eater, weighs 160 pounds. No. 6 eater Sonya Thomas weighs 105. No. 7 eater Rich LeFevre, who finished second at Smokin' at the Ocean, weighs 130 pounds. His wife, Carlene, once the world's No. 7 eater, also worked for years as an aerobics instructor for Richard Simmons.

Though their early dates involved 2-pound steaks with salad and a sundae for dessert, the LeFevres now eat mostly veggies and chicken to stay slender. A lot of veggies and chicken, of course.

"I don't sit down and eat one apple. I eat three or four apples with a handful of nuts. And an ounce of cheese," Carlene says. "I'm not one of those dates who leaves half their dinner."

On contest days, though, gurgitators hurl healthy eating out the window. So Chestnut will gulp 45 pulled-pork sandwiches, or 47 grilled cheese, in 10 minutes. "Kobe" still holds the cow brain record: 57 brains -- that's 17.7 pounds -- in 15 minutes.

Carlene LeFevre once ate roughly 5 pounds of canned Spam in 12 minutes. She finished second to her husband, who ate 6 pounds. He's also eaten 247 pickled jalapenos in eight minutes. He washed those down with nearly a gallon of chocolate milk. Then he went for an ice cream cone, as he and Carlene do after each competition.

Ah, yes, the aftermath. Even if your belly doesn't burst after 8 pounds of pork ribs, what happens in the end?

Surprisingly, the eaters don't all rush backstage to throw up what they just threw down. Regurgitation -- a "reversal" in competitive eating parlance -- is looked down on in the sport, though it sometimes happens. Carlene's Spam was so salty she reversed it about 20 minutes after the finish line.

"Eventually the food settles to the bottom of the stomach," Chestnut says, "and I just want to take a nap .¤.¤. I'm on a pretty much liquid diet for the rest of that day and the next."

Still, what goes in must come out. "It'll all pass through," Patterson confirms. "They'll be pooping for days."

--Andy Dworkin;


The Oregonian

Competitive eaters show off at the Oregon coast

The proud gluttons chow down massive amounts of food for fun, from franks to Buffalo wings
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The Oregonian Staff

Joey Chestnut hops up and down in the steamy New York summer, his face sunburn-red, one hand pressing hard against cheeks swollen to Dizzy Gillespie proportions by a soggy, balled-up hot dog.

It's his 33rd dog in five minutes. He's only half done.

"There's definitely pain involved in these contests," says Chestnut, the world's top-ranked competitive eater, who beat Japan's glorious glutton, Takeru Kobayashi, in a sudden-death dog-off at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Chestnut followed that meal with another title defense Sunday in Oregon, when he downed 8.05 pounds of pork ribs in 12 minutes at Chinook Winds Casino's Smokin' at the Ocean festival.

"The critics who say it's gluttony or unhealthy, I agree," Chestnut says. "I know it's not healthy what we're doing. But it sure is fun."

Healthy would be a stretch. But as competitive eaters regularly prove, the human body has an amazing capacity to hold a massive amount of food, process it and return for more, with surprisingly little damage.

"The stomach is really just a very stretchy organ," says Dr. Emma Patterson, medical director of the Legacy Good Samaritan Obesity Institute. "If you think back to the caveman days, we'd probably take down some sort of big animal, pig out and not eat for a few days."

Patterson knows bellies like Chestnut knows franks. She performs bariatric surgeries, drastically reducing the size of obese patients' stomachs to limit their food intake. She grabs a 20-ounce bottle of iced tea from her desk. The human stomach is normally about twice this big, Patterson says. Then she grabs the small plastic cap: She tries to make to make it twice that big.

Patterson's a fan of competitive eating. "I find those things fascinating to watch, actually," she says. And gurgitators -- competitive eaters' chosen moniker -- may have a healthier relationship with food than many jockeys, gymnasts and wrestlers, who can become anorexic or bulimic trying to keep their weight down.

Eating for contests is not a disorder, or "in any way contributory to any eating disorders," says Dr. James Hancey, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University -- though "to my mind, it's the height of stupidity."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The Secret Behind Competitive Speed Eaters ..... Is It Neurological?

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Elhashemy

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Elhashemy
Based on my theory of Elhashemy's Stomach Satiety Spot (ESSS), competitive speed eaters can consume large quantities of food in short period of time (such as 15 minutes) due to suppressing stomach Satiety Spot (neuronal effect) and not due to suppressing the satiety hormones.

Many scientists suggest that successful speed eaters have the ability to expand the stomach to form an enormous flaccid sac capable of accommodating huge amounts of food.

Stomach elasticity is usually considered the key to huge food volumes eaten by competitive eaters, and competitors commonly train themselves by drinking large amounts of fluids over a short time to stretch out the stomach. Eating champions are able to keep eating huge volumes of food way past beyond the point where most people would be nauseated by such amounts of food.

Many competitive eaters train for an event by drinking gallons of water to help stretch the stomach. Others eat large quantities of low-calorie, high-fiber foods, like cabbage, that stay in the stomach longer before breaking down. Many scientists believe that competitive eaters may have the ability to keep eating after they're full by suppressing the satiety hormones that signals to the brain that the stomach is full.

As the stomach fills with food, its muscles relax in response, enabling it to swell. Competitive speed eaters can tolerate a higher degree of tension before becoming uncomfortable.

Scientists noticed that the empty stomach of some competitive eaters showed virtually no peristalsis nor normal squeezing motion that helps the stomach break down food.

I think that the present hormonal hypothesis has a number of weak points in comparison of my neuronal hypothesis (ESSS) because:

1. Hormones of satiety take more than 20 minutes to travel from stomach to the brain through the blood stream to inform brain satiety's center about fullness. Within those 20 minutes ordinary persons like competitor participants will finish their meals, so suppressing satiety hormones cannot be a cause for gorging stomach of a competitive eater.

In contrast, gastric sensory nerves at the satiety spot (ESSS) may be stimulated immediately by contact of food to inform the brain about satiety in ordinary persons. In cases of competitor eaters, the frequent suppression by training of these sensory nerves may weaken the satiety response, hence allowing them to eat huge amounts of food.

2. Hormones cannot be trained by frequent actions, while satiety spot (ESSS), similar to other sensory nerves, could be suppressed by compression training using heavy meals in cases of competitive eaters similar to the desensitization of finger tips of carat champions.

According to Elhashemy's hypothesis, competitive eaters used to blunt their stomach satiety spot sensations through frequent training using huge meals plus directed thinking process. This satiety spot which is neurologically innervated by afferent vagus nerve (sensory) become non-responsive to satiety signals, hence stretching the stomach extensively. As a result their stomachs can gorge huge volumes of hot dogs or any other foods. This scientific explanation of competitive eaters capacity may direct scientists' research to study my hypothesis about Elhashemy's Stomach Satiety Spot (ESSS).


Hurl! - Season 1
Premieres: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 9:00 p.m. EST
Network: G4
Website: g4tv.com

Hurl! is a new game show on G4 in which contestants speed-eat piles of food and are then subjected to grueling physical acts that are meant to get them to throw up. The object of the game is to make it through the eating and the physical challenge without puking. The contestants that are able to keep their food down will be subjected to another round. The contestant who can hold their food down the longest wins a prize.

In one episode, the contestants have to eat as much Cream of Spinach soup as they can and then they board a ride that will fling them through the air. Afterwards, anyone who didn’t chuck undigested soup all over the place will get to feast on tuna casserole. Then it’s back on the ride.

This show sounds totally disgusting. It’s as though they took one of those food-eating competitions then said, “Hey! How can we make this even more disgusting?” That said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued. It’s the same as those eating competitions. I say they’re totally gross but then I stumble across one on TV and sure enough, I can’t look away. Though something tells me, once the puke starts flying, I’m not going to have a problem looking away from this one.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Competitive Eating Night Sunday July 20

July 14, 2008 - Baysox To Host Chipotle National Burrito Eating Championship Sunday NightThe Bowie Baysox are gearing up for the Chipotle National Burrito Eating Championship as the Main Event during the first ever Competitive Eating Night at Prince George�s Stadium when the Baysox take on the Reading Phillies this Sunday, July 20th.

Think you have what it takes to take on the Professional Eaters? You could have the chance to compete for a piece of $800 in prize money this Sunday Night!

Four of America's hungriest and top ranked Competitive Eaters in addition to non-professional eaters chosen through a short essay contest, will be on hand to battle it out in the Chipotle Burrito Showdown following the game.

Area fans that think they can beat the stomach for this �gut wrenching� contest are encouraged to Prove It! Fans can enter the contest by submitting a short (50 word maximum) essay via e-mail to info@baysox.com with the subject line �Eating Contest� telling the Baysox why they should be selected to take on the Professionals. Entries will be accepted through 5:00 pm this Thursday, July 17th. There will be 6 contestants selected and they will be notified on Friday, July 18th. Those selected will receive two (2) Reserved Seat Tickets to Sunday�s game and a guaranteed spot in the Chipotle National Burrito Championship.

Prize money will be awarded for the top three finishers in the contest. The winner of the Showdown will receive $500, second place will get $200 and $100 will be awarded for third place. Decisions by the officials and judges present at the contest will be final. All participants will be required to sign a waiver and an EMT will be present during the contest.

The Professionals

#4 ranked: Ian "The Invader" Hickman (Sterling, VA) headlines the list of professional eaters that will be taking part in Competitive Eating Night. Hickman is currently ranked among the best eaters in the country by the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters. "The Invader" got his nickname thanks to his reputation for laying waste to entire restaurant buffets. Hickman is considered by many to be the heartthrob of Competitive Eating, and is also known as the "Hunk of Hunger." He holds several current eating titles, including titles for the National Spoon Bread, World Fried Zucchini, National Potato Latke, World Elvis Sandwich, and National Black & White Cookie competitions.

# 14 Ranked: "Tiny" Tim Rausheder of Cleveland Ohio began eating competitively in high school, where he polished off 32 raw cookie dough cookies and 10 cartons of milk in one lunch period. Rausheder made waves on the professional circuit with his second-place finish in the 2007 National Pierogie Eating Championship in Pittsburgh. Tim also holds local records for eating ice cream and chicken wings.

98 pound Elizabeth "Rubber-Gut" Canady hails from Brandon, Florida and has only been eating competitively for one year. Also known as "Queen Guttress," Canady gained recognition by breaking a well-known record in the two-minute mini-hamburger event. She backed up that performance with a strong showing in the eight-minute mini-hamburger event days later. After just one year on the circuit, Canady is already the 6th ranked picnic style eater in the country.

# 16 Ranked: Elliot �The Savage� Cowley (Audubon, NJ) whose berserk demeanor and contest antics compel parents to hold on to their children tight, anytime "The Savage" makes an entrance. The Savage has distinguished himself by taking 2nd place at the National Strawberry Eating Championship in 2006 by losing by less than .14 of an oz. Also, Elliot again suffered heart break by barely losing to the Great Ian Hickman at the BR Frozen Custard National Eating Championship in 4/2008 by consuming 5.42 LBS to Hickman's 5.50 LBS. Elliot has twice made the final table at the prestigious PA-Wing Bowl and has qualified for the Windmill National 1/4 Hot Dog Eating Championship. Other Eating accomplishments include eating the most Suicide Wings (18) ever consumed at Tony Soprano's in southern New Jersey.

Elliot works as a Social Worker for the state of New Jersey and is a graduate of Bucknell University where he was a Division 1 Soccer and Rugby player. In addition to his responsibilities as a father & husband, Elliot, who is a black-belt in Martial Arts, also makes time to compete at a high level on that that circuit as well. Elliot stands 6' 1" and weighs 230 lbs.

Tickets for Competitive Eating Night and all Bowie Baysox home games are available online at www.baysox.com or by calling the Bowie Baysox Ticket Office at 301.464.4865. Tickets start at just $6.00 and parking for all home games is FREE.

Tonight AT 9 onG4 Cablevision Ch 175As seen in Todays Newsday


Early Results Just In...

Chinook Winds rib eating contest :

1st Joey Chestnut 8.05 lbs,
2nd Rich Lefevre 5.3 lbs, 4th
3rd Erik Denmark 4.55 lbs,
4th Jason Erb 3.7lbs,
5th Brickhouse Braunstein 3.35lbs

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Wing Bowl snub costs WIP

The Federal Communications Commission has upheld a $4,000 fine against WIP (610) over the 2005 Wing Bowl. Arnie Chapman of Long Island, N.Y., had qualified for the spectacle by eating 28 clementines but was bounced because he runs the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters, a smaller rival of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which sanctions Wing Bowl. The FCC found that WIP didn't announce contest terms, which now exclude AICE eaters. Lawyers for parent company CBS told the FCC that Chapman had been disqualified in part because he did not reside in the station's listening area - a curious assertion since Sonya Thomas of Virginia came within a bone of beating winner Bill "El Wingador" Simmons that year. A CBS spokeswoman had no comment on the ruling.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


West Milton Teen Eats His Age In Hotdogs To Win Contest
POSTED: 8:57 pm EDT July 12, 2008
UPDATED: 9:25 pm EDT July 12, 2008

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio -- A West Milton teenager adds yet another eating contest victory to his name.
Saturday afternoon near Troy at the Safe Harbor Ministries, Tyler Malott out-ate seven other contestants in the first-ever hotdog eating contest.
Malott, 17, consumed 17 hotdogs on buns in 10 minutes. The second-place winner only ate 7.
Malott won $100, plus a trophy, for his efforts.
Participating in food-related contests is nothing new for Malott, a recent graduate of Milton-Union High School in West Milton. Mallott is a two-time winner of the cheeseburger-eating contest at his high school. His record is seven cheeseburgers in two minutes. Malott said he also ate 11 hotdogs, without buns, in 11 seconds during a high school talent show.


Alex Nye: Ready, Set, Eat
While Olympic athletes are off practicing for this summer's Olympic games in Bejing, other athletes are training hard for events that are equally enduring and testing.

The men and women from the IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating) are diligently working toward their own goals of bigger, fatter, stronger. However, for all they put their bodies through, they are neither recognized nor lionized for their expansive gastronomical achievements.

And it's a shame.

I consider myself an authority because 1) I have been very involved in their group and 2) who is going to tell me I am not an authority? The editors? Ha ha! It's my column and I can do what I want.

Anyway, my first experience with the IFOCE was three years ago when it was in Buffalo for the Wing Festival. There was a competition called the Battle of the Buffet. It was a race to see who could eat the most food in a certain amount of time.

For 10 minutes, the athletes bend forward and stuff their faces with a semi-implausible mixture, which includes wings, beef on weck, pirogues, and cannoli. It is grueling. Their scrunched-up expressions give the impression that they are going through tremendous pain, as if they were giving birth to a small horse.

Like the Olympics, these events are a close sprint to the finish. And like the Olympics, there are often great controversies.

I am speaking from experience here. Just last week, I was involved in a chicken wing eating contest at Byrncliff Resort, in Wyoming County. To make it clear, it was an amateur event, not IFOCE sanctioned. But perhaps it should have been.

My dad and I signed up for the contest well in advance. We gave ourselves a few weeks to practice eating wings and memorize the rules. The eating came naturally, but the rules seemed rather stringent.

For example, the rules stated that if you did not clean your wing before going to the next one, you would be disqualified. (Throwing up was also grounds for disqualification.) We were slightly nervous about this rule because it was so subjective: how do you determine what a cleaned wing is? Do you have to get all the gristle? The only thing we could do was wait until the day of the contest and ask the judge for an official ruling.

When we got to Byrncliff for the show, things were quite frantic. There was a lot going on at the restaurant and people were running around to get everything prepared. My father finally located a woman running the competition, who told us that we would be briefed right before the start of the contest.

With questions and concerns still floating around, we did what anyone would do: we ordered dinner. There was more than an hour until the eating and we were bored. Over a sandwich, we discussed eating strategies and theories.

We came to the conclusion that you should start with the small legs first and use a spinning method. You could chew and chomp and store the food in the side of your cheeks, a technique called chipmunking.

With the wings, you could go one of two ways. The more daring approach would be to stuff the whole wing in your mouth, clamp down, and then pull it out, ala cartoons. It works well, but is risky. The other way is to tear off the top and bottom layers and push the middle meat out with your fingers.

Even after dinner, my father and I were both feeling confident. We knew our plan of attack, but were still wondering about what constitutes a clean wing.

The "briefing" we finally received was just that, brief. The singer from a band playing under a tent read the rules as they were told to us on the forms we filled out. He did not expound and we had no time to ask questions. We began eating.

Almost immediately into the competition, controversy started. The reigning champ, a guy called Duffman, was hounded by the crowd to finish his wings. There were a few from the audience who were yelling to Duffman to "clean your wings."

I could not see what was going on, but I could determine that whatever it was, something was askew. Overall, in the five-minute sprint to see who could eat the most wings, Duffman won by seven wings. He ate 32, which was nearly double third place.

Let me just state: I appreciate the fact that it was Byrncliff's second annual wing contest. I love the fact that they would sponsor such an event; I had a great time doing it; and I hope to do it again next year. However, Byrncliff needs to establish some ground rules first.

For one, they should declare the winner by the amount eaten, in terms of weight. Not all wings are equal and, consequently, not all people clean their wings the same. To rectify the situation, they should weigh every tray before and after the competition. That way they would be able to know exactly who really ate the most.

Am I a sore loser? Perhaps. But the way I see it, I am just trying to level out the playing field. It would be equivalent to Michael Phelps losing the 100-meter freestyle by seven body lengths because the other guys got flippers.

Alex Nye lives in East Aurora. Tales of his adventures appear regularly in the Advertiser. Related Items

Friday, July 11, 2008


After the Gorge

Last Friday, on July 4, I went out to Coney Island for the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, in which the great Kobayashi was beaten for the second straight year by Joey Chestnut. I wanted to see what I could learn about the sport of competitive eating, and I learned quite a bit.

If all goes as planned, we’ll touch on the subject in SuperFreakonomics. In the meantime, here’s a picture I took of the contest aftermath, showing the floor of the stage where the contestants stood while chowing down.


If you look hard, you can see trace evidence of Kobayashi and Sonya Thomas, who did a good Q&A here in anticipation of the July 4 event. You can also see bits and pieces of dog and bun that may persuade you to you go vegan for a week or two.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moses News Is Changing..For The Better!
for great tee shirts click here..tshirttank.com


FCC Affirms $4,000 'Wing Bowl' Fine

WASHINGTON -- July 10, 2008: A forfeiture order in the amount of $4,000 has been issued to CBS Radio, as the FCC says Sports WIP-AM/Philadelphia "failed to announce the material terms of a contest and neglected to conduct the contest in accordance with its material terms."

Back in March 2007 the FCC issued a notice of apparent liability to CBS Radio over WIP's annual Wing Bowl after the station disqualified a contestant who had won a chance to compete in the long-running chicken-wing-eating contest. The contestant was dropped after WIP found out he belonged to the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters -- a rival of the Wing Bowl-associated Independent Federation of Competitive Eating.

CBS argued in its response to the NAL that it had a right to exclude the contestant at its discretion, and also claimed WIP's conduct was just a "technical" violation that didn't deceive the public.

The FCC says in the forefeiture order that CBS acknowledged that it had disqualifed the contestant because of his membership in the AICE, and notes that the contest rules didn't state that members of eating associations other than the IFOCE were ineligible. Says the FCC, "The commission's contest rule generally does not permit a licensee to modify the material terms of a contest -- in this case, eligibility requirements -- after the contest has been conducted."

The commission also rejected CBS's argument that there was merely a technical violation, saying, "The licensee changed the material terms of its contest and disqualified a contestant after the fact, which, in effect, resulted in deceiving the public."


Thunder' questions champ's Apple Ugly eating method

By Sara Gregory


This eating contest just got a little, well, ugly.

After Keatin Shelton downed 14 Apple Uglies at Faith Fourth's inaugural competition, something — and not the 440 calories in each pastry — didn't feel right.

Shelton stomached the Uglies with the help of water. So did most of the eight other Ugly eaters.

Except the professional.

Dale "Mouth of the South" Boone dipped each ugly in a mug of hot tea.

After friends pointed that out, Shelton e-mailed the Apple Baking Co., which organized the competition, to say that he didn't think Boone's record should count.

"I believe the tea may have given him an advantage," Shelton wrote. "Anyway your rules were broken."

The rules say that contestants can have cups of water. The rules also say contestants can't use condiments on Uglies — which are "delicious enough on their own."

So is hot tea a condiment?

Apple Baking Co. President Matt DeBoer says no. In an e-mail he says that Boone will keep the Ugly Champion title until next year's competition.

"(Shelton) was a great competitor and stood shoulder to shoulder with an International champion and he held his own," DeBoer wrote. "(His) nickname 'Thunder' was well deserved."

Which might have ended Apple Ugly debate of the century, except Boone feels funny about the results, too.

He videotaped the competition, and after watching it says he doesn't think Shelton actually ate 14 Apple Uglies.

That's "no big deal" to him, though, and Boone says he considers Shelton a friend.

DeBoer says he hasn't seen the video and based on that, "I can only stand by the judge's decision."

Boone also says he's surprised with the tea complaint.

"They saw me pour the hot tea in," he says. "The judges were standing right there, and they had no problem."

Boone says he notified the judges ahead of time that he was bringing hot tea, a trick he learned at other eating competitions.

"You pick up knowledge as you go," Boone says says. "It makes the attack of sugar on your system a lot less.

"It's a huge difference between Monday night eating 13 and then eating 17 at the finals."

Would-be Ugly-eaters who take that advice in next year's competition won't be the first to learn from Boone, a professional competitive eater from Atlanta who has eaten everything from hot dogs to crocodile eggs.

During the final, other contestants brought big cups of water just as Boone did in the first round.

"They saw me bring bigger cups and they brought bigger cups," he says, adding that he expects to see others use hot tea next year.

The competition was meant to be "fun and entertaining," DeBoer says, and "we consider it to be a great success."

For Shelton's part, he says he's fine with the the Apple Baking Co.'s decision and can't wait to try again.

He plans to use the six- month supply of Uglies he won to practice for next year's contest, when he thinks he can beat Boone.

"I'm sure I can beat him with the practice," he says.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


July 4 Grossout (Hot Dog Eating Contest)
Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at 5:14 PM

Ali vs. Frazier, Bird vs. Magic, Yankees vs. Red Sox rivalries that have lived in sports enfamy. On July 4, another rivalry came into fruition, Joey Chestnut vs. Kobayashi, the field, professional eating.

I am just going to go on record and say competitive eating is not a sport. I will admit it's amazing to see such scrawny individuals pound hundreds of hot dogs, pizzas, eggs. etc, and not even twitch but like many people say professional wrestlers are not athletes (on this I say differently), there's no way these guys can be considered athletes, sure there are sports aspects to these contests like the Mustard Belt (a literally mustard colored title belt) or several of the athletes participating in face paint or costumes, but it's just not a sport, it's in the same non sports category as the Scrabble Championships or the Spelling Bee.

I miss back in the day, when ESPN covered sports and only sports. But now, it as worse as MTV who forgot what their station was based on music.

Anyway, this year's event was interesting to watch, how Chestnut and Kobayashi finished off 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes and had to finish off five more hot dogs before a winner was decided. In the end, Chestnut won his second Mustard belt.

As cool as this is, it's just not sports, a spectacle but not sports.

"Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town."--George Carlin

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


World's weirdest eating contests

Gross ... Fourth of July Hotdog Eating Contest in New York

Gross ... Fourth of July Hotdog Eating Contest in New York


Published: Today

But some people take over-eating to another level.

This is what happens when gluttony is on the menu.

Last Friday saw the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hotdog eating contest in Coney Island, New York.

Champion Joey Chestnut munched through an astonishing 59 hotdogs in ten minutes.

He then ate a further five to win a tie-break �eat off�.

To see more examples from the mad world of competitive eating, click on the thumbnail pictures above right.


Jalapenos eyed in Salmonella outbreak probe
Lisa Schnirring Staff Writer

Jul 7, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Federal investigators are eyeing jalapeno peppers as the possible culprit in a nationwide Salmonella outbreak that has now sickened 943 people in 40 states and involved at least one death.
According to unnamed sources who are familiar with the probe, investigators are looking at jalapenos as a leading suspect in the outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported on Jul 5. Investigators are also considering cilantro and Serrano peppers, two other produce items that are commonly served with fresh tomatoes in Mexican cuisine, sources told the newspaper.
The CDC said in a Jul 4 update on the investigation that the identification in Texas and other states of many clusters of patients who ate at the same restaurants has led the agency to broaden its investigation, though tomatoes are still strongly linked to the illnesses.
Glen Nowak, a CDC spokesman, told the Journal that the agency is focusing on 29 clusters linked to restaurants, most of which serve Mexican food and are not part of national chains.
Today health inspectors on the Mexican border planned to begin stopping and checking shipments of ingredients common to Mexican food coming into the United States, according to Tommy Thompson, former US secretary of health and human services, CNN reported on Jul 4. Thompson told CNN he had been told about the plan.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Jul 4 that it had linked another death to the outbreak, which involves the relatively rare Salmonella enterica Saintpaul strain. The man, from Texas, was in his eighties. (In earlier updates, the CDC said salmonellosis might have contributed to the death of a Texas man in his sixties who died of cancer.)
Based on information from 645 patients, at least 130 people were hospitalized, according to the CDC update. The outbreak has spread to 40 states and the District of Columbia, though many of the cases occurred in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Illinois. The most recent illness onset date is Jun 26, which is 6 days later than was listed in the CDC's previous update and a sign that the outbreak is ongoing.
Also, the CDC said one ill person with salmonellosis matching the outbreak strain has been identified in Ontario, Canada. The patient said he or she had traveled to the United States and got sick upon return to Canada.
The outbreak, which began in early June, prompted federal health officials to advise consumers to avoid eating raw red round, Roma, or plum tomatoes from growing areas that had not been cleared by investigators. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not found Salmonella Saintpaul in any of the tomato samples it has tested.
Some infectious disease experts have criticized the FDA and CDC response to the outbreak, saying that poor communication with state and local health departments and missteps with case-control studies have hobbled the investigation. Last week the FDA said it was tapping into a larger laboratory network to speed the lab investigation.
See also:
Jul 4 CDC update


Houston Chronicle Ken Hoffman column: In the belly of the feast
Tuesday, July 08, 2008; Posted: 05:36 AM
Stocks RSS

Jul 08, 2008 (Houston Chronicle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- -- There's a ton more fun to the July 4th Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest than you see on ESP

Like Kobayashi puking ... through his nose ... after losing the first-ever, sudden death, five-frankfurter eat-off to decide the championship last week.

I was a judge at this year's hot-dog-eating contest, the crown jewel of the International Federation of Competitive Eating circuit. I was standing in the spray zone, directly in front of the eaters table, when Kobayashi suffered his "reversal of fortune." I didn't get hit. Kobayashi ducked down behind the table when it happened. He's classy that way.

Plus, if I got one chunk on me, I'd still be in the shower pouring Clorox on myself.

This was my fourth visit to the July 4th contest, but my first as an official judge. Thirty thousand people crammed the corner of Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island, the once majestic but now dilapidated beach town at the tippy end of Brooklyn. ESPN cameras pick up the action at noon each year.

The fun starts at 10 a.m. when George Shea, a real-life marketing genius, turns into carnival barker with the simple accouterment of a straw hat. He welcomed the crowd to Coney Island and introduced a poor shnook in a frankfurter costume, a dwarf dressed as Uncle Sam, the Bunnettes cheerleaders and performers who wouldn't hack the first freak week of American Idol.

Last year, cloggers. This year, a trampoline act.

If P.T. Barnum came back to life, he would take one look at Shea and say, "You might want to tone it down."

Shea even performed a wedding onstage this year. He said he was qualified to perform the ceremony because he was recently ordained a minister by an online church. Ten bucks to become a Man of God.

"And by the powers vested in me by the Universal Life Church ... dot com, I now pronounce you man and wife."

The bride -- and groom, for that matter -- wore shorts, T-shirts, fanny packs and flip-flops.

As he danced with the bride's sister, Shea, caught up in the moment, gushed, "This is just like Las Vegas, except much, much worse."

The judges' meeting was at 11 a.m. Each judge was assigned one of the eaters. I got Juris Shibayama, an orthopedic spine surgeon and professional bodybuilder from Tennessee. He goes by the name Dr. Big Time. He is the No. 17th-ranked competitive eater in the world. I met him last March at Kenny and Ziggy's deli when he came in third in the World's Matzoh Ball Eating Contest in Houston.

Because I was a rookie judge, there was no way I was getting defending champion Joey Chestnut or a top challenger such as Kobayashi, Patrick Bertoletti, Eater X (Tim Janus) or the Black Widow (Sonya Thomas).

The judges were handed a score card and told to keep their eyes on the number of hot dogs consumed. No cheating. Competitors are allowed to eat the franks any way they choose. They can dunk the hot dogs and buns in tea or water, they can eat them together or separate the dog and bun, it doesn't matter. Just as long as they git 'er done. I mean git 'er down.

The "10-second Dunk Rule" was in effect. If a competitor dunked his bun in water for more than 10 seconds, the bun would start to disintegrate, and that dog would not count in his total.

Several years ago, the History Channel did a documentary about hot dogs, and Shea said he hoped that competitive eating would one day be an Olympic event. I asked if he still held onto that dream.

"As far as the Olympics, no. As a boy, I thought the Olympics and Dom DeLuise would remain relevant forever. Neither has. However, if the Olympics wanted to gain some publicity by sending their athletes to one of my events, I'd let them," Shea said.

Next week, a video game called Major League Eating: The Game will be released. Ten characters, based on real competitive eaters, will face off in challenges involving 12 foods. Not only will the characters eat, they'll squirt ketchup at each other, there will be spectacularly colorful "reversals of fortune" and, when all hope is lost, you can hit your opponent with some deadly gas.

"Hey, it's my turn to be Joey Chestnut! You were Joey Chestnut last time!"

The real-life Chestnut thinks it's, like, the coolest thing ever to be in a video game. "I just wish I was getting paid for it," he said.

As a judge, I was given an adjustable Nathan's baseball cap with Juris Shibayama's name on the bill ... so I wouldn't forget whose hot dogs I was counting. I got a striped referee's shirt and a VIP badge that said "Judge."

I also got to eat all the free hot dogs and french fries I wanted backstage. I snuck a few free ones out to my friends in the crowd.

At 11:45 p.m., before ESPN hit the air, Shea introduced the eaters with long apocalyptic explanations of how each qualified for the event. One was "born at the edge of the shore, in that eerie space that is neither ocean nor land."


He mused what would happen if Kobayashi and the Black Widow conceived a child together. Wow, that kid would really eat. Much like if Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand had a child, imagine what a singer the child would be. "Sadly, Barbra is beyond her childbearing years," he accepted.

It turns out that "Kobayashi and the Black Widow don't like each other, so it would have to be a test-tube baby, and they probably wouldn't even go for that." Another George Shea dream shot down.

After Shea introduced the contestants, they left the stage and waited for ESPN to come on at noon. Then Shea introduced them all over again, this time with shorter, less end-of-the-world spiels.

As Kobayashi walked across the stage, he paused at the mural listing all the previous champions. He looked for Chestnut's name -- and punched it. Yes, there is a competitive fire that burns in the pit of Kobayashi's stomach.

Or it might just be indigestion.

There were 20 contestants, but it was really a two-man show: the defending champion Chestnut and six-time winner Kobayashi. Even though I was counting Shibayama's hot dogs, I was videotaping Chestnut and Kobayashi's furious assault on processed meat and enriched white bread. I looked like a total tourist with my badge and camera dangling from my neck.

While the contest was going on, my cell phone rang. It was my buddy Sean Pendergast. "I'm watching on TV -- which judge are you?"

I waved my hat, never missing a Shibayama hot dog.

"I can see you!" Sean yelled.

In previous years, the contest was 12 minutes, with Chestnut holding the record of 66 hot dogs and buns. This time, the contest was reduced to 10 minutes. The International Federation of Competitive Eating claims it found a dusty old document saying the first contest in 1918 stipulated a 10-minute time limit.

"We felt we had an obligation to the institution," Shea said. "We live in a time when so many have lost faith in our institutions, like the federal Food and Drug Administration, FEMA and the presidency, that we felt it was our responsibility to maintain true integrity."

Yeah, whatever.

I think the rule change had more to do with ESPN asking for a shorter contest. Or safety reasons. Or something.

Definitely not integrity.

The contest began, and Shibayama separated the hot dogs from their buns and ate them two at a time. At the three-minute mark, he started to eat them one at a time. Nice knowing ya; you have no chance of winning.

Meanwhile, Chestnut ate 10 hot dogs in the first minute. Kobayashi was right with him.

My guy Shibayama limped home with 28 dogs and buns down the hatch. Pretty impressive. I think he finished 14th.

Hold on: Chestnut and Kobayashi finished with 59 hot dogs -- the first-ever tie!

Uh-oh, what to do now? They couldn't come back the next day and do it again, like Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate at the U.S. Open golf championship.

Shea decided that Chestnut and Kobayashi would have a five-dog eat-off; first to down them all would be the winner.

"In most matches, we use a one-minute overtime to decide ties," Shea said. "However, the speed with which Kobayashi and Chestnut eat would have made it very difficult to judge who had eaten more. I felt it would be more decisive to have a five-hot-dog eat-off."

Chestnut, the master of "chipmunking," where you jam as much food as possible in your mouth and deal with swallowing later, beat Kobayashi to the punch and was presented the Yellow Mustard champions belt and a huge bowling trophy.

Shea ordered the crowd to bow down to the champ.

I must tell you, I heard some grumbling in the crowd that Kobayashi actually ... really ... beat Chestnut in regulation time, and Chestnut was given a favorable judge's ruling to bolster America's pride.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Shea may exploit this controversy next July 4.


Monday, July 07, 2008


Hot dog! Competition is a wiener( shut music off on top of page as clip contains its own sound)

Download story podcast

04:25 PM PDT on Monday, July 7, 2008
The Press-Enterprise

Kevin Ross of Temecula was a bit under the weather on July 4 when he competed in the 93rd annual Hot Dog Eating Competition at famous Nathan's Hot Dogs on Coney Island. Ross could only gobble down 14 of the gourmet dogs, which isn't bad for a quasi-vegetarian.

"I'm just put off red meat and chicken," he said. "The thought it came from an animal kind of grosses me out."

Luckily Ross said he doesn't think of what he eats during a contest as food. In fact, he doesn't remember even eating a hot dog until the competition came up.

The winner of the Independence Day competition ate 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Ross said he gave up after 14 dogs because he wasn't feeling well.

Ross earned his spot the Coney Island competition by placing first at Nathan's Hot Dogs Eating competition t the Tanforan Mall in San Bruno on June 28. He finished 17 hot dogs and buns in six minutes.

"One of the strategies is to wet the bun with water to get it to go down easier, but that's really gross," he said.

In addition to winning his place in the international contest he also won a year's supply of Nathan's hot dogs.

"I have no idea what that means yet," Ross said, "But I don't eat them so I have no idea what I would do with them."

Ross began his eating hobby in 2004 at the Los Angeles Tofu Festival where he entered a tofu-eating contest at the encouragement of friends. He was challenged to eat a pound cube of tofu hands-free and although he didn't win it got him started on what some would call a peculiar hobby.

"It's a fun excuse to travel," he said. "I saw it on TV and figured I could do it."

At 5 feet, 11 inches and 180 pounds Ross doesn't look like he's been stuffing himself with pounds of food on a regular basis. The 26-year-old has lived in Temecula for four years and owns his own business selling used broadcast video equipment. He also spends time at the gym regularly.

He trains for his hobby by eating at local buffets.

"I love to eat a lot anyway," Ross said.

His favorite foods are sushi and pasta. He also loves seafood and recently competed in a New Orleans raw oyster eating competition where he downed 21 dozen oysters in eight minutes.

He is a member of the International Federation of Competitive Eaters and ranks 29 on the list of competitive eaters in the US. The federation has created the guidelines for most competitions.

Most competitions do not allow the contestant to continue if they vomit, so being able to hold down the dog is important. Ross has never upchucked during a competition but has after a particularly filling trip to the buffet during training.

Ross said he isn't too sure what the future holds for his competitive eating hobby.

"I'd be an idiot to think this is a healthy thing to do," said Ross.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


US hotdog champ keeps title

American Joey Chestnut has successfully defended his title at the annual hotdog eating contest at Coney Islahttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7491066.stmnd, New York, eating 59 in 10 minutes.
*Please shut music off on top of page as clip has its own sound


World's eating champ says he won't have an edge in contest here
July 07, 2008

HE can scoff down 47 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes, 60 hotdogs (buns included) in 10 minutes, and 241 chicken wings in 30 minutes.

Top dog: Joey Chestnut holds a tray of 64 hotdogs after defeating Japan's Takeru Kobayashi at Nathan's annual hotdog-eating contest in New York.picture: Reuters
But when it comes to local fare such as curry puffs, fishballs and satay, competitive eating champion Joey 'The Jaws' Chestnut is a little unsure of how well his stomach will handle it.
'Sometimes, food with strong flavours makes you nauseous, especially when you're eating a lot as quickly as possible,' he said.
'You feel like throwing up - but you're trying to keep it down.'
That is why the 24-year-old American, who is the reigning champion and world record holder at the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition on Coney Island, New York, will have to do a lot of taste-testing before he arrives in Singapore later this month.
He will be taking part in the finale of a local eating competition, held in conjunction with the Singapore Food Festival, at Robertson Walk on 27Jul.
Singaporean contestants will go up against Chestnut and Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi, who won the hotdog eating competition six times in a row up to last year.
Even though he is a professional competitive eater, Chestnut said that the locals have an edge over him on their home turf.
'Competitive eaters are familiar with the food they eat and know their bodies very well. It will be a challenge for me to acquire and be familiar with the taste of the food,' he said.
'I'm lucky that my parents cooked a lot of different types of food when I was growing up, although I'll definitely be facing some flavours I've never had before.'
In the American competition, no condiments are used as simpler flavours are easier to digest.
And that is why, like any professional athlete, Chestnut plans on doing some specialised training in the US before the Singapore competition.
'I asked my friends to find the right foods for me for practice,' he said.
'Over in America, we have a lot of different restaurants, so we do manage to find things like satay - but I'm not sure which is the authentic one, so I'm just trying manytypes.
'But of course, I need to practise even more, to get my body to accept the flavour.'
For Chestnut, preparing for a competition is an exercise in mental strength.
He said: 'Get into a rhythm. Training your body to eat fast is hard, and requires a lot of mental work.
'I fast for two or three days before I go for a practice contest - this lets your body be completely empty so that you know what its actual capacity is.'
To stave off excess fat from the food he consumes, Chestnut does a lot of running - at least 6.5km twice a week.
He said: 'Cardio-vascular exercise burns the calories you take in and it also helps my body get used to ingesting large amounts of food.'
As a result of the exercise, he is only just 'slightly overweight', Chestnut said. He is 1.85m tall and weighs 98kg.
Chestnut is keen to dispel the notion that competitive eating is a display of the ugly side of people.
'Some people do eat in a disgusting manner, but we're not always like this every time, gorging on food.
'I'm very well mannered and I eat very healthily outside of the competition. I have to take care of my body and treat it well for the day of the actual contest.'
Most importantly, Chestnut feels that competitive eating is not about physical size.
He said: 'Some larger people might actually be unhealthy, and so they run out of breath during the competition, which makes it difficult to maintain a fast pace or push themselves.
'Contrary to what we think, some of the best competitive eaters are actually very small in size.'
Kelvin Chan, newsroom intern


Published: July 6, 2008 6:00 a.m.
3RF contest could be a wiener
By Steve Penhollow
The Journal Gazette

If you’re anything like me, you were a little disappointed when you heard that the big new event at the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival this year was going to be a hot dog eating contest.
I guess I expected something a little bit flashier. Perhaps involving flashers.
But after I did a little research, I started to get excited.
The finals of the Dog and Suds’ Hot Dog Eating Competition happen in Headwaters Park right after the parade on Saturday.
The history of the hot dog is a tale filled with sound and fury (not to mention meat and spices).
At times it may have even been a tale filled with tails … and other choice cuts.
The hot dog’s precursor, the sausage, was mentioned as far back as the ninth century B.C. in Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.”
I don’t remember the exact quote, but I think it involved Odysseus saying to his friend Larry, “Well if the Cyclops doesn’t die after we stab it with this fire spit here, we can always try hitting it over the head with this great honking sausage.”
The first person to stuff an empty intestine with ground meat, grains and spices was Gaius, chef to Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar. Before that, presumably, empty intestines were just strewn uselessly around the house, gathering dust.
The early Catholic Church purportedly banned sausage eating because of a Roman festival called Lupercalia, during which sausages were allegedly put to other uses than the mere gustatory.
A special sausage dubbed the frankfurter was developed in Frankfurt, Germany, in the 15th century. In the 1860s, it belatedly arrived in New York, where we can imagine that some native immediately tried to rename it the Manhattanfurter.
The first Coney Island stand was opened in Brooklyn around the turn of the century (as in the turning of the 19th to the 20th) by a butcher named Charles Feltman.
Feltman became a millionaire selling frankfurters. He credited warm buns with the success of his business and his marriage.
Hot dogs were so named by a newspaper cartoonist who was either celebrating the frankfurter or criticizing it (historians aren’t sure which).
In the 1920s, weenie roasts (parties at which guests brought their own hot dogs to roast over an open fire) became all the rage.
In the 1930s, the double entendre was invented in France and weenie roasts subsequently fell out of favor.
July is National Hot Dog month and over this holiday weekend alone 155 million hot dogs will be consumed, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
I’m not sure which is more surprising: that figure, or the fact that there’s actually an organization called the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
Hot dogs today are generally of a much higher quality than they were 80 years ago or so. People back then just never knew what was in a hot dog: snouts, grout, Mucilage, chiggers, stoppers, flanges, rinds and resins.
My guesses are as good as theirs were.
Now standards are as high as they are broad.
And competitive hot dog eating has become a lucrative, much-viewed and controversial sport.
The sport’s detractors think it’s disgusting and the sport’s supporters probably agree. The latter group is just more entertained by disgusting things than the former.
Three Rivers Festival executive director Shannon White says preliminary rounds have yielded 15 contestants who will compete Saturday. One of them is a 12-year-old girl.
“The funniest thing was that she was the one who made it in and the biggest guy there thought he was gonna win,” he says. “And he only ate three hot dogs. We’re laughing at him, saying he got beat by a 12-year-old girl.”
White says he thinks the most anybody ate was 7 1/2 dogs in two minutes.
The finalists will have five minutes to eat as many hot dogs as they can.
It probably won’t be close to what was consumed by the current (as of this writing) world-record holder.
On July 4, 2007, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won the 92nd Annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, Brooklyn, N.Y., by eating 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes.
He beat six-time champion Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi in the contest televised live by ESPN.
The 2008 edition of the contest happened Friday (after this column’s deadline).
Strategies for winning a hot dog eating contest vary. Getting the hot dog moist and mushy is one way.
“Seems like most people these days are following Kobyashi with the ‘dunk and drive’ – basically dipping the hot dog and bun together in water and then slamming them into the mouth as fast as possible,” competitive eater Scott “The Cluckbucket” Roth says. “The other one that I’ve seen is a ‘grip it and rip it’ approach, essentially taking the hot dog and bun together, snapping it in half, and then chowing on a half at a time. Lastly, some people try to separate hot dog from bun but I’ve never found that to be very successful.”
“Dunking the dog in water is the way to go,” competitive eater Don “Moses” Lerman told me.
Others think dunking the dog is disrespectful.
“The folks from Nathan’s have taught us that it’s OK to mutilate, mush and mash and saturate the beautiful American Icon known as the hot dog,” says Arnie “Chowhound” Chapman, competitive eater and chairman of the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters. “We at AICE eat our food ‘picnic style’ which means that we eat it without desecrating or deconsecrating the food item … and in accordance to the history, culture and tradition of the food.”
Chapman contemptuously labels the dunk-and-dive approach “competitive food drinking.”
“It’s bad for America,” he says.
So as you chomp copious franks on this July Fourth holiday weekend, take a moment to consider whether your eating style is good for America.


Epic Hot Dog Contest Almost a TieWinner downs 64 frankfurters in annual contestBy Shaoshao Chen and Mimi LiEpoch Times New York StaffJul 04, 2008TRIUMPHANT: Winner Joey Chestnut holds up the first place trophy. (Shaoshao Chen/The Epoch Times)NEW YORK—Regulation wasn't enough for this dog-eat-dog skirmish of the stomachs at Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest where arch-rivals Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut engaged in an intense face-off.The event drew thousands of spectators eager to watch the 21 competitors shove and chug hot dogs in the short span of 10 minutes at the annual contest on Coney Island.The heated struggle between six time former champion Kobayashi and reigning champion Chestnut highlighted the event's 93rd year running. The two arch-rivals faced off in an intense struggle to claim the highest honor of the competitive hot dog eating world, the Mustard Belt.Kobayashi and Chestnut took center stage and delved in a split second after the starting bell rang.This year's competition mirrored last year's when Chestnut stole the title from under Kobayashi. The crowd favorite of this year, diminutive 30 year old Kobayashi went head to head with Chestnut and fought to a tie with 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes. The result was a first ever tie in the competition's history.To break the tie, five additional hot dogs were added. Kobayashi and Chestnut dove in. The two were seemingly in a tie right down to the last bite when Chestnut opened his mouth, signaling he was done once again ousting Kobayashi as the champion.Initially, Chestnut was in the lead with 31 frankfurters in four minutes but Kobayashi quickly caught up. As usual, Kobayashi's strategy was to scarf down the dogs then dunk the buns in water.FACE-OFF: Takeru Kobayashi (left) and Joey Chestnut (right) face off at the 93rd Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest. (Shaoshao Chen/The Epoch Times)Chestnut's victory was met by a roar from the crowd of thousands chanting "USA". The chants roared despite Kobayashi being the crowd favorite, whose hopes of reclaiming the belt after losing to Chestnut last year were dashed. In the 2007 contest, Kobayashi lost by 63 hotdogs to Chestnut's 66 in 10 minutes.At the awards ceremony, a proud Kobayashi held up the second place trophy and greeted fans."Thank you very much. I love you," said Kobayashi to the crowd.Unlike Kobayashi, newly reappointed champion Chestnut was not quite so reserved. When asked how he got through overtime, he replied that he needed to "push through the pain and do whatever it took to win.""The audience pushed me hard," shouted Chestnut. "I love you New York!"Every year, competitors are selected from a group of winners in regional contests. This year saw a total of 21 competitors including a pizza cook from New York City, a fisherman and a 110-pound Chinese mother of two.
posted by
Don "Moses" Lerman # 2:41 AM 1 comments


Passerby clenches hot dog victoryOriginally published July 06, 2008By Nicholas C. Stern News-Post Staff
View additional photos

Photo by Stephanie Ramsay
At eight hot dogs, Mike Schumun ate the most out of all the competitors who competed in a hot dog eating contest Saturday, sponsored by Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries. The object was to eat as many hot dogs as they could in 10 minutes.

With eyes bigger than their stomachs, some contestants preparing for a downtown hot dog eating contest Saturday boasted of appetite, technique and experience.
Yet a man who stepped from the crowd minutes before the stopwatch began ticking took home the prize.
Victor Alford of Frederick scarfed seven hot dogs, with bun, in downtown Frederick's First Saturday event along Carroll Creek. He beat four other contestants in the 10-minute battle and won a dinner for two at event sponsor Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries restaurant.
"It just happened," Alford said, polishing off the remains of his final frankfurter. "I wasn't coming here for this, but it filled me up pretty good."
Not so for Emmitsburg local Nick Combs, who stepped from the table mid-contest overloaded and nauseous.
For an hour before the eating began, Combs taunted passersby to enter and be defeated, by him.
Combs claimed he'd eaten 32 hot dogs, sans bun, in 15 minutes at one sitting. He spoke of his prospects as a competitive eater.
"There's no point in joining if I'm in it," he crowed to two men who walked briskly by.
But under pressure, Combs was the only contestant to fold.
An hour later, Mike Schumun, who competed in the second contest of the evening, topped Alford's victory with eight hot dogs.
Josh Zygmout, who was visiting from Connecticut, said before the first contest he wanted to follow in the footsteps of competitive eating champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, holder of the Mustard Yellow International Belt.
On Friday, Chestnut defeated his Japanese rival Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi, at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July contest in New York by eating 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes, and an additional five to clinch the tiebreaker.
The specter of Chestnut's accomplishment hung heavy on the lips of many considering whether to enter. One man walking by said he had enough just seeing Chestnut eating on TV.
Zygmout said he'd entered a handful of eating contests involving hamburgers and chicken wings and was confident, despite being untested in the challenges of downing so much bun, that he would win his first hot dog contest.
"I think I can make it," he said. "It's the great American challenge."
He appeared calm and collected throughout the 10-minute trial, but destiny had other plans.
Elena Juris of Washington had signed up, simply looking for a little dinner on her sightseeing tour of Frederick.
"I think eating contests should be relegated to the non-serious, non-profit realm," Juris said.
Seconds before the contest began, however, Juris, sprinting toward the table, stepped back, declining the remaining seat.
The whole point of entering the contest was to have her friends, who'd suddenly vanished, watch her, she said


Published: July 05, 2008 11:17 pm
Watermelon: A treat anyway you slice itBy Jeff Mullin, Senior Writer
Wow the risk of cancer, oranges can help support your immune system and oat bran can help lower cholesterol.But watermelon is the only food known to man that apparently can do, you know, which puts it in a class all its own.Marketers of drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are likely unhappy about the discovery of watermelon’s hidden power. They may be tempted to run ads pointing out the fact their products do not require slicing or the spitting of seeds.But that is half the fun of eating watermelon. Or it was, at least, until this recent news broke. There is nothing better on a hot summer afternoon than slicing off a big hunk of a pink, juicy watermelon and sinking your teeth into it, spitting seeds and wiping juice off your chin as you go.And despite its newfound reWow. Watermelon. Who knew?I have been eating watermelon for years, savoring the sweet juiciness as it runs down my chin, spitting seeds with more enthusiasm than accuracy.I never knew I was actually ingesting a form of veggie Viagra.That’s the word, at least, from a group of scientists in Texas. They have found watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline, which can spark production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels.That is similar to the effect Viagra has on the male, er, anatomy.The compound, arginine, has other beneficial effects, as well. It can help heart patients with angina, can lower high blood pressure and can assist with other cardiovascular problems.Watermelon. Wow. Who knew?Of course to boost the body’s level of arginine, you would have to eat about six cups of watermelon to get the proper amount of citrulline. Anyone eating watermelon to improve his love life should take into consideration the side effects of ingesting that much watermelon.First, you will have to spend a great deal of time in the bathroom, given that a watermelon is mostly water. Also, watermelon contain a great deal of sugar. Putting that much sugar into your bloodstream all at once could cause cramping, which could certainly put a crimp in a guy’s, er, amour.Actually, you can get much more citrulline from watermelon rind than you can from the flesh, but who wants to eat that stuff? It also is present in cucumbers and cantaloupe, but at lower levels.So watermelon is your best bet to obtain citrulline, a fact that should not be overlooked by those who grow and market melons.The National Watermelon Promotion Board bills watermelon as “healthy and delicious, every day.” Maybe they could spice it up a bit. How about “Watermelon is for lovers,” or “Watermelon, it’s not just for picnics anymore.” OK, maybe not.Watermelon isn’t the only food that can benefit our health, of course. The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help your brain, a diet containing soy can lower your putation as some sort of love potion, watermelon will continue to be a staple of picnics and church socials alike, though it might be a good idea to keep your teenage daughter’s boyfriend away from the stuff, just to be on the safe side.According to the International Festival of Competitive Eating, the world record for watermelon eating is held by Jim Reeves of Buffalo, N.Y., who consumed 13.22 pounds of the stuff in 15 minutes in July 2005 at the Brookville (Ohio) Community Picnic. Whether or not Mr. Reeves experienced any, er, unusual side effects from his excessive melon consumption, is not recorded.OK, let’s try another slogan. Watermelon, don’t leave home without it. OK, maybe not.


The incredible stretching stomach: How competitive eaters do it
After watching an event like the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest or the gluttony contests in Japan, most viewers are sure to wonder what makes it possible to eat that much food without literally losing it, and maybe whether their bodies could be pushed to such extremes as well.
Competitive eaters aren’t built like you and me
A study from the Journal of Roentgenology (that’s the study of radiation, in case you were wondering) discovered that people who eat competitively and people who are just big eaters don’t deal with food the same way.
An unnamed competitive eater and a man who liked to eat a lot were both
studied with real-time X-rays while they ate hot dogs.
The regular guy, who was six foot two and weighed 210 pounds, ate seven hot dogs with no buns before feeling full. The X-ray showed that his stomach was full of hot dogs and that there was no real stomach stretching.
On the other hand, the competitive eater, who was five foot 10 and 165 pounds, chowed down 36 hot dogs in 10 minutes and said he wasn’t full when the researchers told him to stop. His stomach swelled to hold the massive contents, making him look more like a pregnant woman than an otherwise slim man.
Training for eating
The competitive eater said he had trained himself to be able to eat mass quantities of food, and now he no longer feels hunger.
This same stretching of the stomach was seen in a Japanese investigation into the stomach of competitive eater
Tomoko “The Aesthetician” Miyake.
Pictured is a normal woman’s stomach on the left after eating as much as she could eat and Miyake’s stomach on the right after consuming a 5,000-calorie meal of pork and curry. So perhaps oogui champs around the world have learned this same mechanism for stretching their stomachs.
Or it could be there’s something else special about them that makes it possible for them to eat so much. For instance in Japanese oogui champ
Natsuko “Gal” Sone’s new book, a doctor suggests the ability to eat tons of food without getting sick or gaining weight may be caused by an abnormal abundance of bifidobacteria in the gut or just an amazing ability to metabolize fat.
Whatever the reason these superhuman eaters can do what they do, it’s still pretty disturbing to watch, and potentially harmful as well. Doctors say it’s possible the stretched-out stomach one day won’t stretch back, leading to permanent nausea and vomiting that would require surgery to fix. So don’t try this at home.
(By Sarah E. White for CalorieLab Calorie Counter News


Crowds flock to Nathan's, but once is enough
Story Highlights

It's about gluttony. But also, a lot of people can relate to it," said Patrick Siller, who was attending his first hot dog eating contest. "It's something you'd do with your friends on a Thursday night."
Michael Meyer and his son David certainly could. The pair got jobs as judges at the contest when the elder Meyer mentioned to the event's organizers that he had challenged his son and his friends to an eating contest (Dad won with 13 dogs).
There was also no typical hot dog contest viewer. There were shirtless, tattooed men sneaking beer cans from plastic bags, as well as co-eds in Lacoste pulling beer cans from their backpacks. Spectators discuss strategy -- "Joey's going too fast! He's got to pace himself" -- and their own intestinal fortitude -- "Hey, how many dawgs do you think you could eat?" (That last question kept a group of police officers occupied for about 10 minutes.) The only similarity is that most were first-time attendees, coming once and never needing to see this "spectacle" again.
"It's a one-time thing, like the Super Bowl or Wrestlemania," said Kevin Gehl, a studThe July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest isn't that different from other sporting events
Every gimmick employed by the NBA or MLB is taken to extreme at Nathan's
After experiencing the contest, many admitted they probably wouldn't go back

Amusement and gluttony make the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest one can't-miss spectacle.
Related Links
Chestnut remains king of dog eating
TALE OF THE TAPE: Will Smith vs. Joey Chestnut
GALLERY: Highlights from Coney Island
GALLERY: Top 10 competitive eaters

By Reeves Wiedeman, SI.com
NEW YORK -- Like any big-time American sporting event, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest had "thundersticks" (mustard yellow, of course) and T-shirt tosses.
It had 35,000 fans with an estimated million more watching on cable.
It had the requisite asterisk controversy: The shortened time span for the contest, reduced from 12 minutes to 10, made for a glaring incongruity to the event's record books.
It even had its own steroids scandal -- who knew that Anbesol is a gum-numbing cream used for ice cream-eating contests? -- and chants of "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe," albeit for Kobayashi, not Bryant.
And ultimately, there was a finish that matched Jordan over Russell, or Tiger Woods at the 18th hole, for drama, if not importance, when a tie at 59 hot dogs forced a five-dog overtime where two very serious-looking judges declared defending champion Joey Chestnut the winner by seven seconds.
"If this was the Super Bowl or the World Series, I'd say this was a sporting event," said emcee and chair of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, George Shea. "But this is a spectacle."
Shea is known for hyperbole -- as Takeru Kobayashi and Chestnut hit the 40-dog mark, he shouted: "This is Sosa-McGwire. This is Ali-Frazier. These men are warriors. These ... are ... Spartans!" -- but he is right about the event being a spectacle. To entertain the massive crowd that began showing up before 8 a.m. -- about five hours early -- the organizers rolled out a buffet of entertainment that included the No. 1 trampoline duo in the country, a rock band from South Jersey, the "Bun-ette" cheerleaders, and two Uncle Sams -- one on stilts, the other a dwarf. There is a "neat-eating" contest for kids: one hot dog, least ketchup and mustard on the face wins.
Every gimmick employed by NBA or MLB teams was seen here, except with Nathan's they were taken to their most implausible extremes: An on-stage marriage proposal took the ballpark tradition a step forward when a couple from upstate New York actually did get married on stage. (Shea claimed he had just been ordained a minister.) As the vows were exchanged, a spectator yelled, "Only in America."
And how.
Major League Eating and the International Federation of Competitive Eating claim to have affiliates as far away as the Ukraine and Thailand, but even Kobayashi, the runner-up from Japan who speaks only through a translator, must come to America to compete. With one fan holding up a poster with the pictures of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Chestnut under the title "American Heroes," it may be the only sporting event where the national anthem singer called for a chant of "U-S-A, U-S-A," before taking off his hat and singing.
"It's fun, it's a little bit disgusting," said Anna Schoen, who moved to New York from Hungary three weeks ago and was witnessing her first eating competition. "You would not see this in Hungary."
Said Shea: "People in other countries think this is some sort of quaint blueberry-pie eating thing. It's not. It's an institution. It's about our heritage."
It was also about excessiveness. Time recently reported that 18.8 percent of Americans are overweight, and there aren't many options at the hot dog contest to send them elsewhere. The only food options are a Nathan's, Big Al's Hot Dogs, a Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits and a grocery store that only advertised its alcohol and cigarette selection. The contestants average out to 204 pounds (214 without the two female lightweights
ent at the University of Missouri. "I had to do it, but I don't need to go again


Community turns out to celebrate July 4th
By Michael CaryThe Gazette-Enterprise
Published July 6, 2008Fourth of July Parade judges picked the nuttiest float in the parade as the winner of the grand prize for best overall entry.The winner in Seguin’s Biggest Small Town 4th of July Parade in Texas was the Floresville Peanut Festival float.Residents and out-of-towners alike lined the Austin Street parade route and waved and shouted as more than 100 floats passed — many of them stood and saluted as the advance color guard marched down the middle of the street with the U.S. and Texas flags waving in the breeze.This year’s parade had everything from vintage cars to shiny red fire trucks as it slowly made its way toward Central Park.The parade was one of the first events to mark a Fourth of July celebration in Seguin, a celebration that lasted through Saturday Night with the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Freedom Fiesta.Fiesta food booths were ready with sno cones, hot dogs, hamburgers, frozen treats, corn on the cob and other food and drink as the parade ended.John Edwards, booth captain for the Seguin Rotary Club, said parade spectators bought more than 50 sausages on a stick within 30 minutes after the last float passed by.After suffering a breakdown of a circuit board last week, the Central Park Fountain was working again as Freedom Fiesta got under way on a partly cloudy afternoon Friday.“We got rained on Thursday night, but otherwise the weather has been good,” Dana Overstreet, chamber communications director, said as she handed out wristbands Friday evening.It was a time for seeing old friends as members of the Seguin High School Classes of 1956 through 1972 gathered in the 100 block of East Gonzales Street for a Matador Memories Reunion that continued with a banquet Saturday night at the Seguin Guadalupe County Coliseum.“Everybody came in from all over the place. We’re really pleased,” Gene Vivroux, Class of 1956, said as he walked from the Heritage Museum to the street party.“We were the first class to graduate from the new high school,” Vivroux said of the 1956 class.Reunion guests were invited to take a tour of the newly renovated Heritage Museum from 6-9 p.m. Friday. Museum officials had put up several displays of old high school photos.“These displays are wonderful, they bring back so many memories,” Shirley Hester, Class of 1961 and Seguin resident, said as she looked at photos of her classmates.She pointed out a photograph of Lois Pagel, a member of the Class of 1961 and her best friend’s sister.The reunion attendees were set to celebrate their homecoming with a banquet and a dance to the music of Dottsy Dwyer as the reunion climaxed Saturday night.Beth Lange, president of the museum’s board of directors, said many volunteers worked long hours to get the museum ready for the reunion tour.“This has been one of the most exhausting weeks of my life,” Lange said.“I’m really pleased. I thought people would come and check out these old high school photos, but there has been a lot of interest in all of the displays,” she said.County Commissioner Roger Baenziger, whose family once operated a Red & White Grocery Store in the Heritage Museum building, met high school friends and toured the museum.“I ran into quite a few of my old classmates, a lot of them are local but some of them came from a good ways away,” Baenziger said.“They’ve done a really outstanding job,” he said regarding the museum’s new look.Max Starcke Park was filled to capacity and people lined South Austin Street parking lots for the Friday night fireworks display that went unhampered by wet weather.Vicki and Dan Johnson of Seguin had a reunion of their own as their daughter, Emily, and her husband, Brian McAfee, visited them from Temple during the weekend.“We enjoyed it. We used to take our daughter to see the fireworks,” Dan Johnson said.Vicki said they found a great spot along Tor Drive to watch the fireworks from their lawn chairs.“Brian had not seen fireworks since he was a kid. They had a fantastic time,” Vicki said.Rainy weather held off for the most part during the Saturday festivities in Central Park.“We’ve been doing really good, we’ve been busy all day,” said Steve Johnson, chamber president.Johnson had been working one of the beer booths, but he also put on his swimsuit and took a turn in the dunking booth.It wasn’t long before he was soaking wet — and cooled off in the water.“I think that might not be a bad job today,” Mayor Betty Ann Matthies told him as she passed the booth.“This is one of the highlights of my tenure as president of the chamber,” Johnson said.Ruben Longoria, proprietor of Longoria’s Concrete, sponsored the washer pitching tournament Saturday. He and his partner, Juan Hernandez, found themselves in a final round of competition for a $500 prize and a trophy made from an aluminum Budweiser bottle.But it was Ray Patlan and his son, Mario, who took the top prize in the washer pitching contest.Then the crowd gathered around to see four contestants sweat their way through one of the toughest jalapeño eating contests in the state.Many jalapeño contests use pickled jalapeños, but not here in Seguin, where sponsors Advanced Home Health Services chose to serve up fresh — and very hot — plates of jalapeños.Seguin resident Jordan Brawner took the championship last year, but he wasn’t present to defend his crown in the second annual contest.No worries, Lori Kluth of Seguin kept the trophy at home as she managed to get nine jalapeños down in four minutes.“You’ve made us women proud,” said Tammi Murphy, co-chair of the Freedom Fiesta event and referee of the jalapeño eating contest.“Beer never tasted so good,” Kluth said as she gasped for breath and waited for the heat from fresh raw jalapeños to subside.Her husband, Clay, and their dog, Daisy Doo, were in the crowd to cheer for her.“I smell the jalapeños coming off of you,” Clay told her after she started on her second cold beer.“They seem hotter now,” Kluth said after she had a few gulps of water and beer.Kluth said she was confident going into the contest, although she doesn’t make it a habit of eating the raw peppers.“I thought a woman needs to win this thing, and I was the woman to do it,” Kluth said.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

City Hall Weigh In ... Courtesy Of Ed "Cookie" Jarvis

Will The Real 3 Amigos PLease Stand Up!Recently US Male , Wingkong and Steakbellie have been touted as the new 3 Amigos . As I speak I'm sure for Ed Jarvis and Kevin Lipsitz .let the new eaters be called something else such as th e3 Musketeers for example. but only Chevy Chase Steve Martin and Martin Short , other than myself Cookie Jarvis and Krazy Kevin , should have that title in the realm Of Competitive eating in the ifoce as The 3 Amigos., Don't belittle our memory and blur it to the fans I have a lot of respect for these 3 eaters , there motivated good in front of the camera and handle the press well they are not what I term The arrogant pimple face kids of today in C.E. .let them have their place in the sun , their share of the limelight , but not as the 3 amigos ...Don lerman
DonLerman, Ed Jarvis And Kevin Lipsitz
* enlarge to read
US Male Wingkong , Steakbellie
( the new 3 amigos ? No way)


The Greatest! Chestnut beats Kobayashi in historic playoff
By Gersh Kuntzman

The Brooklyn Paper
Similar stories
Brooklyn Angle: Hot dog heresy?
No ‘brains’ for Chestnut
Brooklyn Angle: “59.5*”: Chestnut’s ‘record’ is tainted by modern air conditioning
(Eat this, Japan!)
Happy Fourth, former colonists
Call off the dogs: Nathan’s frank contest goes on a two-minute diet

Joey Chestnut, the greatest eater in modern history and, perhaps of all time, outdid even himself on July 4 at Coney Island, tying former six-time world champ Takeru Kobayashi with 59 hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute contest — and then shoving down five more HDBs in an unprecedented one-on-one stuff-your-faceoff to beat Kobayashi by mere seconds.
It is not an overstatement to say that there has never been such a dramatic duel in the history of sport.
It almost never happened. Chestnut, the returning champion, jumped to an early lead in regulation, and many believed that Kobayashi’s well-documented jawthritis would, as this reporter predicted in The Brooklyn Paper on Thursday, make him unable to keep up with the champ.
But Kobayashi poured it on and caught up, at one point grabbing bunches of hot dogs out of their buns, shoving them into his mouth, compressing the remaining dough into what can only be called a “bun ball,” dunking them in hot water, and eating the soggy mess like an apple.
“We’re calling that ‘Nagoya style,’ in honor of Kobayashi’s hometown,” said George Shea, the event’s irrepressible master of ceremonies.
At the end of regulation, judges realized that history had been made: never had there been a tie in the 92 or so years of the contest.
Confusion rained down on the judges like the bits of spittle, gristle and bun that had cascaded on them only minutes earlier (and I have the referee shirt to prove it).
But like George Washington 232 years before him, Shea remained an oasis of calm, of gustatory gravitas, in that tumultuous moment.
“Gentlemen, the rules are quite clear,” he bellowed! “Each eater will be given five hot dogs and buns and the first to down them all is our new champion!”
Chestnut, spent from just devouring 18,231 calories, 1,180 grams of fat and 40,356 milligrams of sodium in 10 minutes, looked like he was going to cry. Kobayashi hopped around on both legs, hoping to keep the roiling mass in his gut from going north. Neither looked ready for the task ahead.
The whistle blew, and Kobayashi jumped to a lead. In fact, he quickly downed all five of his dogs, and only needed to consume the bun ball to secure his place in the history books.
But then, like Lincoln at Gettysburg, like Armstrong on the moon, he paused — ever so slightly, but long enough for this judge to see it. He was done.
Yes, he kept chomping on the bun ball, but as Chestnut sped past, closed his jaw on his last bite and swallowed, Kobayashi gave up, spitting out the chewed up buns that remained in his mouth at the final seconds.

Later, he admitted that he wasn’t ready for the five-dog faceoff.
“It never even entered into my mind that I wouldn’t win, so I never thought about what would happen in a tie,” the legendary eater said. “There’s no question that I lost momentum in the playoff round.”
He remains a crowd favorite at Coney Island, and, of course, no one can take away from him his greatest achievement: eating 17.7 pounds of pan-seared cow brains in 15 minutes.
For his part, Chestnut said the crowd pushed him to victory. “They wouldn’t let me fail,” said the pride of San Jose, Calif. “They pushed me through the pain.”
As he spoke, a crowd at Stillwell and Surf avenues that Shea estimated was 35,000 people but was closer to 5,000, roared its approval. One man showed off his “Obama/Chestnut ’08” T-shirt, a presidential ticket that emerged as increasingly viable in light of the champion’s win.
“Clearly, today, we came together as a nation, as a species,” Shea said. “This contest was emotionally overwhelming, but it shows that America has its priorities back in order.”
When asked to explain how it shows that, Shea added, “Competitive eating is the battleground on which Lucifer and God compete for men’s souls — but who won today? Humanity.”


KRIEGER: Eating's top dogs eye wiener's circle
Dave Krieger, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
Friday, July 4, 2008

It was everything they said it would be and more. It was a bun buzzer beater, the first dog-off in Fourth of July history.
You can have your all-Williams Wimbledon final. Text me when Federer-Nadal is over. I'll take the great Kobayashi ("The Tsunami"), aging now, trying to fend off the American upstart, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose, Calif.
The greatest gurgitators in the world met Friday before an overflow crowd at Coney Island, as they do each year on the Fourth of July. As you may know, a pall had been cast over the sport by an injury to the great Kobayashi. He had come down with the dreaded arthritis of the jaw, a potentially career-ending injury in the world of gurgitation.
There was some suspicion that this injury was responsible for Chestnut's upset last year, which snapped the great Kobayashi's six-year winning streak.
Fortunately, ESPN traveled to Tokyo to review his treatment. It was sort of like watching LaDainian Tomlinson lift weights. There was the great Kobayashi, slowly flexing his jaw and pursing his lips. He insisted the condition would not hamper him at the 93rd edition of Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Controversially, there was also a sudden change in the rules this year. The time limit went from 12 minutes to 10. Apparently, somebody did some research and found out that was the deal back in 1916 or something.
"We just wanted to preserve the sanctity of the game," explained George Shea, co-founder of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which changed its name recently to Major League Eating, owing to its rapid rise into the ranks of major American sports. "We decided we've got to do the right thing."
With the mushrooming popularity of competitive eating came an MLE video game, of course.
"In the video-game world, it's guilt-free calories," veteran gurgitator "Crazy Legs" Conti pointed out. "For me, I have to run those calories off."
One challenger to the Kobayashi-Chestnut hegemony this year was expected to be Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, of Chicago.
Bertoletti is a 2007 culinary-school graduate. "The irony is pretty amazing, in that aspect," he told ESPN.
George Shea's brother, Rich, the other co-founder of MLE, was the analyst on the telecast, which seems like a possible conflict of interest, like Bud Selig's brother, Mr. Magoo, doing analysis on national baseball telecasts. I'm thinking ESPN ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber might want to look into this.
Rich Shea's commentary did tend toward the promotional. For example, he pointed out that while "lesser sports" such as baseball and basketball changed their rules to promote scoring, Major League Eating did the opposite, shortening the competition, and thereby reducing scores, in the name of integrity. I have to agree that MLE is better known for integrity than either of the other sports he named, but it's a tad immodest for one of the co-founders to point it out.
Anyway, Chestnut dethroned the great Kobayashi last year, 66 hot dogs and buns to 63. The great Kobayashi's injury and the change in the time limit brought a heightened level of intrigue to the rematch. Even tiny Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas and "The Lovely" Juliet Lee, cranberry-sauce-eating champion of the world, were overshadowed, which is hard to do.
"She has a great facility with the hot dog," Rich Shea marveled, speaking of Lee.
The great Kobayashi, known in MLE circles as the Tiger Woods of eating, is also a great showman. In the past, he has dyed his hair yellow or red for the Fourth. Last year, he went with his natural brown, which did not work out. This year, he had a mix of yellow and red.
"A little bit like Carrot Top meets Amy Winehouse," Rich Shea observed.
The great Kobayashi had a lot to live down. Not only had he lost his crown, he experienced an embarrassing moment at the end of last year's contest when a judge had to rule whether a "reversal" had occurred. In competitive eating, a reversal, which carries automatic disqualification, is when . . . well . . . you can probably imagine.
Anyway, like I said, the rematch was everything advertised. Chestnut had the early lead. The great Kobayashi caught him late. Chestnut's face was covered with bits of soggy bread from dunking the buns and dogs in water and ramming them down his throat.
The great Kobayashi was methodical as ever, cannonballing the dogs down nearly whole.
"Kobayashi has that throat power," Shea noted. "It's almost reptilian."
When the 10 minutes were up, the two were tied at 59. Exhausted and burping, they were forced into the famous five-dog eat-off, known for short as a dog-off. A lot like the shootout in hockey. Chestnut finished first.
"I think I lost because I wasn't quick enough in the rematch with the five hot dogs," the great Kobayashi said through a translator, with the insight we have come to expect.
"A little bit messier than I wanted to be, but I got 'em in me, got 'em down, and that's all I had to do," said Chestnut, after wiping off his face.
The greatest gurgitational competition ever? That, my friends, will be debated for many years to come.


Food For Thought: Hot-Dog Eating Contests

Contributed by Dick Scanlon - Posted: July 5, 2008 12:28:03 AM

Hot-dog eating contests have become part of the Fourth of July.

Frankly, it makes me sick.

Now these exercises in gluttony are actually getting television and newspaper coverage. I'm not sure what this says about the media, but I know it's nothing good.

Guys who can jam the most chemicals, preservatives and pieces of dead pigs into their digestive systems are hailed as athletes and champions, as if "competitive eating'' were a legitimate sport.

And this is somehow linked to American independence now.

What have we become? A thousand years from now, will people think about us the way we think about the ancient Romans?

Friday, July 04, 2008


Friday, July 4, 2008

Chattanooga: Krystal Square Off V World Hamburger Eating Championship Set

By: Staff Reports

The top competitive eaters in the world will face off for the title of world hamburger-eating champion on Sept. 28 on the Chattanooga Riverfront, officials with Krystal announced today.

The burger-eating contest has become a major event in the sport of competitive eating, according to a news release about the upcoming event. The Krystal Square Off V is the only world hamburger-eating championship sanctioned by Major League Eating.

Last year, the contest attracted a live audience of more than 10,000 people to the Chattanooga Riverfront where they watched Joey Chestnut devour 103 Krystal burgers in eight minutes.

Mr. Chestnut’s mark shattered the previous world-record of 97 Krystals set by three-time Krystal Square Off champion Takeru Kobayashi in 2006.

Kobayashi and eaters like “Humble” Bob Shoudt, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti and Tim “Eater X” Janus are expected to compete.

Krystal soon will announce and the championship prize purse and details of how amateur hopefuls from across the South can qualify to compete against the world’s best, Krystal officials said.


4th of July - Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Odds

The 4th of July is here and the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is the perfect excuse for a bunch of lunatics to get together and devour hot dogs like there's no tomorrow.

The contest's popularity has been growing year after year; ever since 4 years ago online bookmakers began offering betting odds on the contest's participants, along with props and match ups.

Believe it or not the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest has become a major betting event and early reports suggest new betting volume records will be set this year.

Odds makers at Bookmaker.com (visit web site here) currently favor Californian Joey "Jaws" Chestnut over Japanese master Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi with the over/under for total hot dogs eaten by the winner at 68.5 dogs, a total that would be in world record territory.

Chestnut is the Nathan's defending champion, having won Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007 by beating Kobayashi by polishing off 66 dogs and buns in 12 minutes, setting a new world record.

At the time of that defeat, Kobayashi was the six-time defending Nathan's champion. Kobayashi is recovering from a serious jaw injury he sustained last year in a training accident.

Currently ranked #3 by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, Kobayashi will have plenty to prove as the 10-11 dog.

Here are some of the latest odds posted at Bookmaker.com:

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest (Chestnut or Kobayashi must participate; contest must exceed 12 minutes for action)

Nathan's Winner Eats Over 68.5 +230
Nathan's Winner Eats Under 68.5 +300

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Winner - Pick Winner

Joey Chestnut -200
Takeru Kobayashi +160
Field +300

As everyone celebrates Independence Day, be sure to tune into ESPN to see whose stomach will reign supreme, and don’t forget to place your bets at Bookmaker.com, now offering a 20% sign up bonus.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Good Luck To All The Eaters In The Nathans 4th of July Contest


Champion Eater Tells How He Does It

The Associated Press

Joey Chestnut says he didn't want to be a competitive eater when he was growing up; "It was something that chose me."

Published: July 3, 2008

Joey Chestnut, 24, set a world record by devouring 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes during Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest last year and recently answered five questions about the growing popularity of competitive eating.

Q: Do you actually have to prepare for an eating competition?

A: A lot more than you would think. It usually takes about two months to build up a tolerance for hot dogs to get to not only used to ingesting, but digesting that many hot dogs. I have to make sure my body is absolutely empty to eat hot dogs. I have a reason to eat that much food. When I'm not eating, I'll drink lots of milk and lots of water and use the muscles around my stomach to stretch.

Q: Do you and Kobayashi actually hate each other?

A: We might like each other in 15 years when we're done. A lot of us are close friends. I push myself harder when Kobayashi is in a competition. I respect his ability. I want to beat him more than anything. Kobayashi has a crazy style. He tried to eat his barf in the contest. He was willing to do goofy things. He was losing control. He's crazy to do what he does for a living 24-7.

Q: Did you grow up wanting to be a competitive eater?

A: I didn't grow up wanting to do this at all. It's something that chose me. I entered a contest [lobster eating in April 2005] and after the first contest, I knew my body was made for it. I got a call from one of the Shea brothers [Major League Eating organizers] and he offered me a spot and I said, 'Yeah, I'll do it.' I had never eaten lobster before. I was so mad because I didn't know what I was doing and apparently I was eating the lobster guts. I didn't know what the heck I was doing at all. Two weeks later, I entered a deep-fried asparagus eating contest, which was only an hour away from my house [in San Jose, Calif.] and I won that contest. Then it was pretty much every couple of weekends I'd enter a contest. I won a rib contest, wing contest, spiral ham. I won a grilled cheese sandwich eating contest by eating 47 in 10 minutes and I won a Krystal hamburger contest by eating 103 in eight minutes.

Q: Can you enjoy eating in a restaurant after being in so many competitions?

A: I will take seven or eight weeks off sometimes and go on a pretty normal diet. I will eat a normal portion of my mom's chicken parmesan. I can put my body back onto a normal eating schedule.

Q: Does your stomach always tolerate the high amount of food you eat?

A: There are some times when my body does not cooperate. I will have heartburn and it will be like a Pepto-Bismol commercial. Other times my body handles it perfectly.


Study: Competitive Eaters' Stomachs Like a 'Giant Balloon That Looks Like It Has No Limit'

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, Michael David Smithwhich means one of America's great annual sporting events -- the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest -- will take place on Coney Island.

The typical reaction from people who watch competitive eating is that it seems impossible that the human digestive system can handle the stress of getting 60-plus hot dogs shoved into it in a 12-minute span. So how do they do it? The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog reports that a study published last year in the Journal of Roentgenology, titled, "Competitive Speed Eating: Truth and Consequences," provides an answer by observing a competitive eater stuffing his face.:
"His stomach now appeared as a massively distended, foodfilled sac occupying most of the upper abdomen, with little or no gastric peristalsis." [Marc Levine, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania] said the stomach was like no healthy stomach he'd seen in his 30-year career. He compared it to a "giant balloon that looks like it has no limit." The eater's previously flat belly swelled out as if he were pregnant.
So that's the bottom line. A normal person's stomach doesn't stretch much when food is put into it, and that's why we feel full. The stomachs of guys like Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi just keep expanding.


So many hot dogs: competitor eats to win
So many hot dogs: competitor eats to win

by Kevin Olsen
staff reporter

One year ago, 49 hot dogs were consumed by Palos Heights native Patrick Bertoletti at Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest.

But it was not nearly enough as he finished in third place, 17 hot dogs behind the champion Joey Chestnut. This year 49 just may be enough, as the contest has shifted from a 12-minute competition to only 10 minutes as Bertoletti tries to cross off the most sacred accomplishment in competitive eating.

Bertoletti, 23, is in his fourth year on the competitive eating circuit and currently ranks second in the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). With two minutes being taken off the clock in this year’s storied hot dog eating contest, Bertoletti is shooting for 50 hot dogs for a chance to win the Super Bowl of competitive eating.

“Last year I thought I had the best method for eating hot dogs, but afterwards I went back to the drawing board and refined my technique and have been working on my speed in the first three minutes,” Bertoletti said.

The Morgan Park Academy graduate, nicknamed “Deep Dish” for his love of pizza, has risen from the bottom of the heap to eating’s elite, putting in his time, effort, and most of all, love of eating. Bertoletti said he knew after his first pizza eating competition four years ago that this was something he was going to stick with.

“After the first competition, I knew it was something I could do better. I am never satisfied and feel there is always room for improvement. Perfection is tough to attain.”

In the past four years, if he has not reached perfection, he has come very close as the top Chicago area-based eater. His list of records is constantly growing and includes record totals in pickled jalapenos (177 in 15 minutes), strawberry shortcake (15.25 pounds in 8 minutes), ice cream (1.75 gallons in 8 minutes) and short form oysters (34 dozen in 8 minutes) among others.

He would have had a tamale championship to go in his collection as well, if he had not gotten a little greedy at the end of the competition. He had the victory in the bag, but after shoving too many into his mouth at the end he vomited, thus disqualifying himself from the competition. Reflecting, he said it is a pretty funny story, but not worth the $2,500 he lost out on in the process.

The 49 hot dogs he consumed last year made him just the third person ever to eat that many in the competition at Coney Island, N.Y., that is aired live on ESPN on July 4. But while he said hot dogs are one of the hardest foods to eat in competition, he vows not to leave the competitive eating circuit until he is awarded the famous Mustard Belt that goes to the hot dog eating champion.

“I still have a few more years where I want to compete and a few more things I want to accomplish,” Bertoletti said. “I am not going to retire until I win the hot dog eating contest.”

He will face stiff competition from world record holder and No. 1 ranked Chestnut, 66 hot dogs and buns last year, and Takeru Kobayashi, the six time winner from 2001 to 2006 who consumed 63 hot dogs and buns a year ago. He has bested both of them in other competitions, but has not been able to master them in hot dogs. But these are not bitter rivalries that are seen in other major sports, rather quite the opposite.

“The camaraderie is one of the main reasons I stuck with eating so long. I’m pretty close with everyone in the Top 10 (IFOCE rankings) and friends with others in the Top 20.”

It also does not hurt that Bertoletti was able to gain about four pounds of stomach capacity each year since he started professionally competing. He trains a couple times a week, eating about 20 hot dogs at a time at a comparable pace, but does not like to do a practice run of the entire competition because it takes some of the fun out of the real thing. Two days before a major competition, Bertoletti eats a big meal and then drinks excessive amounts of water leading up to the big day.

“It took time to learn myself, my body and my strengths and weaknesses. I learned how to use my strengths and overcome my weaknesses.”

“I know how to push my body and coax out every ounce of strength.”

Bertoletti may have a massive stomach capacity, but you would not be able to tell just by looking at him. He knows the importance of containing himself when he eats outside of competitions and how to separate them from a normal diet. He said learning self control around food has been one of the hardest parts of being involved with the IFOCE. And that is coming from someone who works for a catering company and is anxious to retire to get back into work in restaurants to accomplish a whole other set of goals.

For now, he will take his semi-celebrity status around the country in his bid to reach the number one ranking in the world. He is not shy about any attention he receives and cites his time on one of his longtime heroes’ Steve Dahl’s radio show as one of the highlights of his career. Bertoletti has also been a guest on “The Early Show.”

“If people are going to pay you for something you love, it’s ridiculous. I love to talk about it and I could do it all day long. I don’t have a problem answering the same five questions every day.”

Bertoletti competes in anywhere from 30 to 45 competitions a year in “every corner and cranny of states” around the country.

“I look at every competition like a vacation. Most people take one vacation a year; I take 30, 40 or 50.”

He has received quite a fan base in the Chicago area from word of mouth and support from his family, which resides in Palos Heights, and friends.

“I’m not a small Japanese man (Kobayashi) but the Mohawk is serving a purpose,” Bertoletti said about his signature look.

Friday, Bertoletti will aim to cement his name and face into the record books forever in the 93rd annual Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest. He said the adrenaline of a victory trumps all feelings of fullness while with a loss, the feeling hits you right away. We will see what kind of emotion Bertoletti can pull out when the 10 minutes of furious eating comes to an end.


To Cut Mustard As Competitive Eater, You Need A Strong Stomach

The Associated Press

Takeru Kobayashi, left, and Joe Chestnut try to hold down the final hot dogs at the end of the Nathan's Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y., last year. Chestnut won, having scarfed down 66 hot dogs.

Published: July 3, 2008

Updated: 05:04 pm

Related Links

TAMPA – After failing to eat 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes, Takeru Kobayashi had the same reaction last year that more than 2 million people fought back.

He became nauseous.

Kobayashi could "only" stomach 63 hot dogs during Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y., before heaving what was in his mouth. As a result, Joey Chestnut set a new world record by engulfing 66 hot dogs, breaking Kobayashi's six-year consecutive championship streak.

Those two famous gluttons are among 20 competitors battling again this year at Coney Island, site of the original Nathan's, in what has become a freakish July Fourth tradition in many American households.
The food race will air live on ESPN at noon Friday.

"It's horribly gross," said ESPN's Paul Page, who is hosting the competition for a fourth consecutive year. "You'll hear it at least once during the show when I throw it to [reporter] Jimmy Dykes in the 'Spray Zone.'

"One of the first things somebody told me was to make sure you are more than 3 1/2 feet back from the front of the table, and they were right because with all that chomping, there is just kind of a mist that covers you."

There is nothing hazy about the professionalism or popularity of competitive eating, which is what the event is considered.

Nathan's contest is run by Major League Eating, a corporation that overseas professional eating events, and supervised by The International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Some of the national eating competitions MLE conducts are strawberry shortcake, pizza, rib, BBQ pork sandwich, fried asparagus, chicken wings, Krystal hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches contests, but today's event is its biggest.

According to ESPN, last year's telecast posted a 1.3 rating and had 1,632,000 viewers, the highest in the competition's four-year history on ESPN. Additionally, more than 45,000 spectators attended the event at Coney Island.

"This competition is the Masters of competitive eating," MLE spokesperson Richard Shea said. "This event has become a part of America's Fourth of July. It's like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"I used to have competitions and practically pull people from out of the audience to compete. Now when we have different competitions, we have lots of people on standby hoping somebody does not qualify just so they can participate."

Friday's hot dog eating pageantry actually took months of preparation for the competitors, who do not solely rely on their bizarre ingestion abilities.

The majority of successful competitive eaters are not 400-pound mammoths, but slender eaters who routinely practice consuming food, coupled with exercise, to thrive.

"I will eat 55 or 60 hot dogs [to practice] … I get my body used to ingesting so many hot dogs," Chestnut said. "There are also times that I'm taking in too many calories and I'm gaining weight, so I have to keep practicing. It's a weird balance because you have to stay in somewhat healthy shape. I can tell when I'm gaining weight and starting to become unhealthy because my breathing is affected and I start sweating more and I slow down faster.

"You look at these 400-pound eaters who eat just as much as me and they run out of breath in two minutes."

Chestnut, who ashamedly admits he earned more than $100,000 eating last year, also constantly works on strengthening his eating muscles to retain his current No.1 MLE ranking.

"I'm pushing muscles everywhere from my jaw to my esophagus all the way to my abdomen. I'm trying to make them all work together," Chestnut said. "I feel like I have really good control of those muscles. Not only control, but they are strong."

The ravenous competitors not only learn how to stretch their stomach and strengthen eating muscles, but master a personal eating technique to become successful.

Although it may appear participants are just stuffing their mouths, some strategically eat the hot dog and bun together, scarf them separately, take swigs of water between bites, or dunk their dogs.

"I start with two hot dogs at a time and I try to get them and a bun down in 10 seconds," said competitive eater Pat Bertoletti, who ate 49 hot dogs during last year's competition. "As I'm feeding the hot dogs in, I use my left hand to feed me and my right hand to dunk them.

"Pretty much everybody dunks their hot dogs [into a cup of water]. I like the flavored liquids for dunking liquids because it can kind of get gross just dunking it in just water. I don't get grossed out, but that grosses me out."

If Kobayashi and Bertoletti can get grossed out, nobody's stomach is safe today.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
WHERE: Coney Island, N.Y.
WHEN: Today at noon
PRIZE: $20,000
2007 WINNER: Joey Chestnut ate 66 hotdogs in 12 minutes last year, setting a new world record.

Dairy Inn Hot Dog Eating Contest
WHERE: 1201 9th N, St. Petersburg
WHEN: Children begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by the women and men's competition
PRIZE: $100 (all contestants receive free ice cream and coupon for a free haircut)
2007 WINNER: Men - R.J. Frasca (14 1/2 in 10 minutes); Women - Margee Murray (10 1/2 in 10 minutes)
CONTACT: (727) 822-6971

Reporter Anwar S. Richardson can be reached at (813) 259-8425 or arichardson@tampatrib.com


Buck's Weird News Blog

Can Hot Dog Champ Stomach New Rules?

Thursday July 3, 2008
Hot Dog Eating Contest With Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut

The eye of the competitive eating world once again turn to Coney Island, N.Y. , where American hot dog champ Chestnut once again takes on Japanese eating legend Takeru Kobayashi –- and both men look to break new records in gluttony.

But for either eater, it’s going to be doubly difficult --if not impossible -- to top Chestnut’s record of 66 franks and buns in 12 minutes. That’s because the Nathan’s Famous July 4th contest is now only 10 minutes.

Major League Eating – the sanctioning group of stomach-centric sports – says that newly discovered evidence shows that the original Coney Island contest, held in 1916, was just 10 minutes long, so it's chopped two minutes off the event.

Kobayashi, the diminutive six-time winner who revolutionized the sport and showed that short, skinny men can beat hefty eaters at the dinner table, is looking for a comeback. Last year, he was said to be hampered by “Jawthritis.”

I’ve stood just a few feet from Kobayashi in eating competitions, and I am a big fan of Joey’s. But my money is on the man from Japan.


Death by Cheese and the Dreaded Ruptured StomachThe past and future of competitive eating injuries.

On July 4, six-time Nathan's-hot-dog-eating champ Takeru Kobayashi will try to reclaim his title from Joey Chestnut. Last year, Chestnut set a world record at the Coney Island contest by downing 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. In a 2007 "Sports Nut," Jason Fagone explained the brutal consequences of eating all that meat. The piece is reprinted below.

Illustration by Rob Donnelly. Click image to expand.

On June 24, Japan's Takeru Kobayashi posted some troubling news on his blog: The greatest eater in the world could no longer open his mouth. The culprit? An arthritic jaw. Kobayashi, who has dominated every Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest since 2001, later blamed the injury on wisdom teeth that had grown in crookedly, coupled with overly vigorous training. As the Google translation put it, "Long time strength training, becoming big stress in the jaw, it is to be accumulated." Sounds reasonable—and if Kobayashi's jaw had crapped out six months ago, few would have noticed. But this is hot dog season. When the champ implied that he might not compete in this Wednesday's big contest at Coney Island, the 29-year-old's refusenik mandible was the lead story on the New York Times' Web site. A few days later, he beat a quick retreat. "Thanks to everyone's support," he blogged, "I am able to aggressively pursue treatment for my condition. ... I look forward to facing my fellow competitors on July 4th!"

It's rare, to say the least, for a competitive-eating injury to rate coverage on CNN and ESPN. Eating-related maladies tend to be chuckled over by newscasters and DJs, who see eating contests as fodder for light human-interest stories, and exploited by op-ed jeremiahs, who see competitive eating as the apotheosis of a litany of American sins: gluttony, obesity, our love of dumb spectacles. Honestly, most eating injuries are pretty unsurprising, arising from health conditions you'd expect to find among the professionally hungry (obesity, diabetes) or from the poor choices of inexperienced eaters who get in over their heads. But Kobayashi's sore jaw deserves all the attention it's getting and more. It is something new to competitive eating: a true athletic injury. By introducing a tragic dimension to a phenomenon that has always gorged on irony and slapstick comedy, the man they call "Tsunami" is doing competitive eating a great and useful service.


Chestnut to defend world championship

Vallejo native hopes to win $10,000 in Nathan's contest
By RICH FREEDMAN/Times-Herald staff writer
It's not that $10,000 isn't an adequate lure when Vallejo native Joey "Jaws" Chestnut defends his title Friday in Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y.

It's just that the 24-year-old San Jose State University student can't stomach losing, especially to Japanese rival Takeru Kobayashi.

"He goes to win," said Joey's mom, Alicia Chestnut. "He doesn't just go for the fun of it. He's very competitive and he is a little bit worried about Kobayashi, who plays to win, too."

Mother Chestnut isn't revealing how many dogs her son put away earlier this week in training for the event that's televised live at 9 a.m. on ESPN. But it's unlikely Chestnut can outdo his record 66 hot dogs, if only because the 12-minute chow time has been reduced to 10 minutes for broadcasting's sake.

Still, mom insisted, "I think 66 will fall."

While Joe's mom and dad, Merlin Chestnut, remain home in Vallejo, a handful of relatives will be on hand in person as the International Federation of Competitive Eating's No.1 ranked eater in the world sits down and goes face-to-bun with a plateful of wieners.

"I can't watch for all 10 minutes," mother Chestnut said. "It's kind of scary."

It's probably a good thing she's staying home. During one of her son's asparagus-chomping championships, she hollered, 'Do it for Momma!' and Joey "almost choked," she said. "I didn't hear the end of that. That's why I didn't go to New York. You never know what I'm going to say'

Joey Chestnut was just another engineering student at San Jose State University when he decided to try his hand - and mouth - at competitive eating in 2005. He won Rookie of the Year. Two years later, he whipped previously rated No. 1 Kobayashi in the hot dog contest.

Chestnut's won the asparagus and rib-eating championships three times and has dominated almost every chicken wing contest. In only eight minutes, he put away 103 Krystal hamburgers and, in 10 minutes, scarfed 47 grilled cheese sandwiches.

Yes, his mom said, it's a bit overwhelming sometimes thinking what her son - born 8 pounds, 10 ounces - can do with a plate of food.

"When he first starting competing, his brothers Paul and Lucky said they could do better," Alicia Chestnut said. "But they couldn't. He's the undisputed champion in our house in eating."

While mom winces when her son's grimacing on the last dogs, there's always the financial side of victory. Even a runner-up finish will net $5,000 Friday.

"He's managed to put a lot of money away for himself," said Mom, hoping her son's reign ends soon.

"We were hoping last year was his last," she said.

When the Nathan's event is over, Joey's headed to Oregon for a ribs contest. Then it's off to Singapore for another battle against Kobayashi to see who can eat the most fishballs.

When Chestnut wrestled the title from Kobayashi last year, it broke a string of six straight Coney Island victories by his diminutive foe.


Inside the Belly of Competitive Eating

Joey Chestnut. Photo: AP

The world’s greatest eaters are about to converge on Brooklyn for the annual Fourth of July hot-dog eating contest. As you’ll no doubt recall, Joey Chestnut snatched the title last year from the great Takeru Kobayashi by eating 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes.

For the Health Blog, this raises a fundamental question: How can anyone (much less these guys, who aren’t particularly large of belly) choke down that many hot dogs that fast?

Fortunately, we aren’t the only ones who wanted to know.

“The question was, do they empty their stomach really rapidly or does their stomach blow up like a balloon?” Marc Levine, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told us in a recent phone conversation.

Levine was an author of a study published last year in the Journal of Roentgenology — “Competitive Speed Eating: Truth and Consequences” — that provides something of an answer.

Levine and his colleagues took two guys. One of them was a champion eater, ranked in the top 10 in the world, who was 29 years old, 5′10″ tall and weighed 165 pounds. The other was just some guy who “had a hearty appetite.” He was 35 years old, 6′2″, 201 pounds. (The doctors wound up doing this because the National Geographic channel was shooting a special on the science of speed eating; the University cleared the whole thing, and the eaters went through the standard consent process for human-subject research.)

Stomach of a normal eater who felt full after eating seven hot dogs. Arrows indicate hot dog bits. (Image courtesy Marc Levine.)

The regular guy went first, and stopped after seven dogs (no buns, for purposes of the study) because he thought he’d be sick if he ate another. Using fluoroscopy, an x-ray that gives a real-time view of what’s going on inside the body, the doctors saw what you’d expect: His stomach was indeed full of hot dogs and hadn’t stretched much from its original size (see picture at left).

Then they looked at the competitive eater. First, they noticed that his empty stomach showed virtually no peristalsis, the normal squeezing motion that helps the stomach break down food. He started eating hot dogs and his stomach got bigger and bigger. Ten minutes in, he’d eaten 36 dogs. He said he didn’t feel full, but the researchers told him they’d seen enough.

Stomach of a champion eater, after eating 36 hot dogs in 10 minutes. (Image courtesy Marc Levine)

“His stomach now appeared as a massively distended, foodfilled sac occupying most of the upper abdomen, with little or no gastric peristalsis,” they wrote in their paper. Levine said the stomach was like no healthy stomach he’d seen in his 30-year career. He compared it to a “giant balloon that looks like it has no limit.” The eater’s previously flat belly swelled out as if he were pregnant.

The champion told the doctors he had “spent several years training for the sport, forcing himself to consume larger and larger amounts of food despite the sensation of fullness.” He said he never felt full anymore. They figured the training had somehow given the guy’s stomach this ability to expand indefinitely.

They also suggested that, if the eater in their study were representative of others in the sport, there was a long-term risk that the stomach could lose its ability to return to normal size, which could cause serious problems, such as persistent nausea and vomiting that could ultimately require surgery. In our conversation, Levine emphasized that those risks were largely speculative — but he said they couldn’t be ruled out.

Major League Eating, which sponsors the hot-dog contest along with the hot-dog seller Nathan’s Famous, explicitly prohibits home training. And the group’s chairman, George Shea, told us he isn’t aware of any problems that the study says are theoretically possible ever actually occurring.

“There’s a small risk in competitive eating, but I think it is much smaller than in other sports,” he told us. “If you compare that to motocross, NASCAR or football, our risk would be marginal in comparison. Are we a greater risk than ping pong? I would say yes.”

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Picks to win Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Sefrino

Wednesday, 02 July 2008
The most anticipated rematch of the year is finally here and the handicappers at Sportsbook.com currently have American icon Joey “Jaws” Chestnut as the 5-6 favorite to successfully defend his Nathan’s Hot Dog eating title against the man he took it from last July 4th: Takeru Kobayashi.

Also known as “The Tsunami”, Kobayashi devoured the competition for six straight years at what is considered the Super Bowl of competitive eating. But last year, the up and coming eater Chestnut shattered Kobayashi’s record by consuming 66 wieners AND buns in 12 minutes to bring the coveted Mustard Belt back home to the United States. Picks to win Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Reportedly, Kobayashi wasn’t 100% going into last year’s match as he injured his jaw during training. Despite his injury, the Japanese eater was still able to gorge himself with a personal best 63 frankfurters. Currently ranked #3 by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, Kobayashi will have plenty to prove as the 10-11 dog.

Since knocking “The Tsunami’ from his throne last year, Chestnut has been on a roll earning world records in numerous eating events. In October, he annihilated 103 Krystal burgers in the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship . Than in February, Chestnut inhaled 241 chicken wings at Wing Bowl XVI. Finally, in March, the California resident made 78 matzoh balls at Kenny & Ziggy’s World Matzoh Ball Eating Championship. With results like these, it isn’t surprising that Chestnut is currently the top ranked eater in the world.

As everyone celebrates Independence Day, be sure to tune into ESPN to see whose stomach will reign supreme, and don’t forget to place your bets at Sportsbook.com. If betting on competitive eating isn’t your thing, you could always take advantage of Sportsbook.com’s true dime lines in baseball all summer long.

2008 Nathan’s International fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest betting Odds

Joey Chestnut 5/6

Takeru Kobayashi 10/11


Web Extra: Marietta Wing Thing Returns to Lafayette PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 02 July 2008

James Maddox

The Marietta Register

The Lafayette Hotel has been a staple in the downtown community for nearly a century, providing entertainment to both tourists and locals for ninety years, so it’s only fitting that a growing tradition sprout up on the hotel grounds.

This year marks the fourth annual Marietta Wing Thing, which is again set to be located in the Lafayette Hotel parking lot on Sat., July 5.

Attendees of last year’s Wing Thing know that the event is filled with fun, games, and, best of all, food.

With Marietta’s Wing Thing, Kelly Blazosky, Washington County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director, says they’ve created a good quality event that will work with the Red, White and Blues Festival to keep people in town for the entire weekend.

Sponsored by Energizer, Clear Channel, and the CVB, among many others, the Wing Thing has certainly made its mark as a Marietta summer favorite.

“Last year, we took in over 840 people through the gates,” says Blazosky.

The Wing Thing has become so successful that this year Blazosky says that they’re expecting an even larger turnout for their fourth year, and that participating restaurants have arranged to fix around 15,500 wings for the event.

To help these restaurants with the costs of taking part in the Wing Thing, and as a way of saying thanks and encouraging further activity from the business community, the CVB has decided to initiate a $1 rebate for every ticket turned in at a participant’s tent.

“These are the same restaurants we are going to in our area, and we want to help them out,” says Blazosky.

Several contests are in place to recognize the best of the best wing cooks. Among them is the Best Original Wing and the People’s Choice Award.

The Wing Thing will also include such events as Chicken Bingo and the famed wing eating contest. Judges for the contests and participants for the eating contest will be chosen from the community, with an additional two eating contest competitors selected through Clear Channel radio announcements before the event.

Food isn’t the only draw of Marietta’s Wing Thing. The Code Blue Band will be providing music from their 6th studio release Tight at Midnight. Always good for a rockin’ time, the Code Blue Band mixes different genres of music with a foundation of blues, but primarily they say they are musicians who play songs that contain energy.

The Wing Thing is set to kick off on July 5 at 6 p.m. Admission to the event is $10 per person, which includes tickets to sample wings and side dishes. Budweiser products, water, and soft drinks are sold separately.

According to Blazosky, the CVB will be using proceeds from the Wing Thing to further promote Marietta and Washington County as a travel and tourist destination, so come out and enjoy the fun while supporting the wonderful events of the area.


Open Mic: Defininiton of Sport—Not Eating Food

In response to this week's Open Mic prompt, An'dre Triplett considers the merits of competitive eating in the sporting realm.

by An'dre Triplett (Scribe)

July 02, 2008

What exactly is sport? What define a sport? Are some athletic endeavors a skill, or might they truly be a sport? Steve Healey, a graduate student in Stanford University's Physics Department, wrote what he considered to be a "Rigorous Definition of a Sport" and it goes as follows: "A sport is any activity in which all of the following take place:

1. An individual playing session is held between exactly two opposing players or teams. 2. The successful completion of a playing session results in a win for one player or team and a loss for the other or a tie between the two players or teams. 3. An integer score is assigned to each team corresponding directly to the number of times certain predetermined actions are performed by that team. The only judgment by any official regarding the score is whether these actions were performed. The winner of the playing session is determined by the final score. 4. The players regularly engage in rapid, self-propelled locomotion. Examples include, but are not limited to, running, skating, and swimming. 5. The duration of the game is limited either by time or by the completion of a preselected number of play units, the scope of which is determined by the completion of certain events during play. 6. The objective of the activity does not at any time directly involve physically harming an opponent. 7. The status of a solid inanimate object, movable by the force of one player, is of central importance when play is active. Furthermore, when play is active, the object is not physically attached to any player; and it is not rendered motionless, held, or contained by any player for an extended period of time. 8. No live animals, other than humans, are used.

Using this framework of what sport, the following would not be considered sports: Boxing, martial arts, swimming, or track and field events.

Football, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, basketball, and tennis would be considered sports under this definition. The Fourth of July is this weekend and Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs will host its annual hot dog eating contest. You will hear the announcer(s) call the competitors "athletes", but I would disagree with that label. Even though the "athletes" have tranined countless hours, given their blood, sweat, and tears, and have forsaken their family life to compete on the competitive eating circuit, I would still argue that these men and women are not athletes, but rather skilled competitors. To call these people athletes would be a cruel joke to athletes worldwide.

While I can appreciate the ability to eat 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes or drink four gallons of Kool-Aid in one sitting, I don't believe what these people do is to be considered a major accomplishment—such as throwing 50 plus touchdown passes in one season like Tom Brady did. What competitive eaters do is similar to what my uncles used to do at BBQ's every summer, and that is display a skill (excessive beer drinking, in their case) that is serious only to themselves and a select few others. Having said my piece regarding what a sport is, I will still watch the slow motion train wreck that is competitive eating this July 4th weekend, along with millions of other Americans. When does football training camp begin?


Hot dog heresy?

The Brooklyn Paper

Takeru Kobayashi, the six-time world hot-dog-eating champion who lost his crown last July 4 in Coney Island, will try to win back the coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt from Joey Chestnut this Independence Day to compete at the annual Nathan’s frankfest.

But unlike everyone except the reigning champion, Kobayashi is getting his place at the so-called “Table of Champions” without earning it at a regional qualifier.

He’s getting a “sponsor’s exemption,” said George Shea, chairman of Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports.

Shea tried to spin this reporter, but that simply can’t be done. Let’s remember, I have been chronicling the heroic exploits of our nation’s gustatory gladiators since the days when little Joey Chestnut couldn’t even finish one hot dog at a backyard barbecue — and given my wealth of knowledge, I think the whole thing stinks (not the hot dogs themselves, of course; they’re delightful, with a hint of spices and a touch of garlic — I’m talking about Kobayashi’s exemption).

“There is a precedent for this,” Shea said, acting as if he was telling me something I didn’t know (as if, indeed!).

“Libnitz got a ‘sponsor’s exemption’ in 1929 in that famous faceoff against Andrew Rudman,” Shea claimed, referring to Great Depression frank-eating legend, Stan Libnitz and his decade-long rivalry with Rudman.

“Libnitz was in the Ukraine, so he could not compete in a qualifier, so he was allowed in,” Shea said.

The Ukraine? I reminded Shea that the Ukraine was not an independent nation in 1929.

“Did I say ‘the Ukraine?’ I meant to say, ‘the Soviet Union,’” Shea said. “But the larger point is this: Nathan’s has given sponsor’s exemptions in the past, just as, say, Tiger Woods is not asked to qualify for every tournament.”

I might be willing to stomach the idea of a sponsor’s exemption under normal circumstances — but Kobayashi’s very ability to eat is under such a cloud that he might not even be worthy of being at the table at all this year.

Fans remember the specter of Kobayashi’s defeat on July 4, 2007: suffering from severe jawthritis, Kobayashi struggled to eat 63 hot dogs and buns and lost to Chestnut by three HDBs.

The jawthritis condition persists. In fact, Kobayashi has not eaten (competitively, that is) since a Spike TV taping in October.

It was turkey eating, by the way.

“His jaw did seize up on him,” Shea admitted. “He was putting the slices in mouth and not even chewing. It was sad watching a great athlete like that limp his way through a match.”

So why give him a sponsor’s exemption? Why set up the greatest athlete of his generation — a man whose achievements are comparable to Secretariat winning the Belmont by 600 lengths, Michael Jordan leading the Chicago Bulls to a thirty-threepeat, or someone finally running the two-minute mile — for such a tremendous fall?

“The sponsor wants him that — the sponsor believes that it’s not a contest unless Koby is there, and I agree,” Shea said.

Perhaps, but insiders know better: One competitive eater told me that Nathan’s offered to set up a last-minute qualifier for Kobayashi, an easy tune-up where he could down 40 or so HDBs and earn his way to the Table of Champions.

But Kobayashi turned Nathan’s down and opted to go the “sponsor’s exemption” route.

O, how the mighty have fallen — or, in this case, crawlin’.

Contest is one spectacle that doesn’t bite

Fans of competitive eating admire the gustatory gladiators who compete every July 4 at Nathan’s, but the real insiders know that the contest’s straw-hat wearing maestro George Shea is the real attraction.

For three hours before the noon contest even begins, Shea, a Park Slope resident, entertains the crowd with a mix of ballyhoo, one-liners and Existential philosophy.

Here’s a smorgasbord of Shea-speak:

• “They say that competitive eating is the battleground upon which God and Lucifer wage war for men’s souls,” he said last year in a rare moment of understatement.

• “He has eaten 46 hot dogs — one hot dog for every hot dog in 46 hot dogs.”

• “Things can get very confusing during the contest. It’s like Harvey Weinstein, Michael Feinstein and Harvey Fierstein. Really, how are you supposed to figure it out?”

• “He is the David Blaine of the Bowel, Evel Knievel of the alimentary canal, the Houdini of cuisini.”

• “He is a man who understands nuance in a line like, ‘I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot the deputy.’ What does that mean? You shot the sheriff, so does it really matter what you didn’t to the deputy?”

• “His stomach is a cauldron in which food is cooked by the heat of his liver.”

So, sure, Joey Chestnut may down 60 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes on Friday, but without Shea, he’d just be a disgusting spectacle.

Gersh Kunztman is the Editor of The Brooklyn Paper. E-mail Gersh at kuntzman@brooklynpaper.com

Nathan’s hot-dot-eating contest will start at noon on July 4 at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island. Call (212) 627-5766 for info. Crowds are extremely large, so if you want to see the contest, get there hours early.

2, 200
Singapore Food Festival 2008 brings love of food to new heights
Wednesday, July 0
The Singapore Food Festival returns for the 15th year to serve up the nation’s rich culinary heritage, vibrant food culture and celebrated local delights. From 4 to 27 July 2008, all-time favourites such as Singapore Char Kuay Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Satay and Fish Head Curry take centrestage as thousands of participating establishments island-wide serve up a gastronomic storm to delight the tastebuds.

Co-organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Peter Knipp Holdings (PKH), the Singapore Food Festival 2008 will feature more than 40 events including the Opening Celebrations at Lau Pa Sat, A Dish for Every Wish at Suntec City, Seafood Weekend at Robertson Walk, The Sentosa BBQ, heritage trails, thematic food carnivals such as the Spice Odyssey Tale, Makan Classes and for the first time in Asia, a Major League Eating competition.

In 2006, food and beverage spending by visitors accounted for more than S$1 billion or about 12 per cent of overseas visitors’ total expenditure. Last year, over 460,000 people attended the Singapore Food Festival’s core events and thousands more visited the fringe events to savour the food promotions hosted by various dining establishments island-wide during the month-long Festival. Over 20 per cent of the attendees were tourists. The STB expects more locals and visitors to enjoy the dining festivities this year.

"Over recent years, Singapore cuisine, featuring Laksa, Satay and Hainanese Chicken Rice amongst others, has reached the far corners of the world with local street food even listed in the popular travel guide 1,000 Places To See Before You Die by Patricia Shultz. Through the STB’s efforts to promote local cuisine overseas, we hope that local must-try dishes will be inextricably linked to Singapore in the minds of diners worldwide.“ said Mr Andrew Phua, Director of Cluster Development, Tourism Shopping and Dining, STB. Noting that Singapore presents a host of restaurants, eateries and hawker centres which serve up a range of Peranakan, Chinese, Malay or Indian cuisine to whet every appetite and satisfy any craving, he added, "With so much variety to choose from, we have introduced The Singapore Food Sampler for visitors to taste more of the rich flavours that local cuisine offers. Once they discover their personal favourites, we hope that they will be irresistibly drawn to a full portion of seconds!”

The Singapore Food Sampler
The Singapore Food Sampler makes its debut this Singapore Food Festival. Visitors simply need to present their passports at the Singapore Visitor Centres and core event venues to receive Singapore Food Sampler redemption vouchers. These vouchers allow visitors to sample any three available must-try dishes at participating dining establishments in key tourist precincts for free. The Singapore Food Sampler provides visitors smaller portions so that they can sample even more of Singapore’s diverse “must-try” dishes.

“Our single-dish meal culture, well represented by all of the “must-try” dishes, is unique in that it is not restricted by the time of the day. We don’t just have bread or porridge for breakfast and we don’t have to wait till noon for a plate of fried carrot cake,” said Mr Peter Knipp, Managing Director of Peter Knipp Holdings, a food and event consultancy.

This year, the Singapore Food Festival takes the love of food to a new dimension by presenting more interactive events and activities such as cooking classes and ethnic food tours for a complete food experience. Ethnic Food Tours will allow tourists to experience Singapore’s unique food culture available at participating ethnic districts. Budding chefs can try their hand at the various ‘Makan’ Classes available throughout the month from local desserts to ethnic delicacies.

Ethnic Food Tours
Foodies keen to have an in-depth culinary discovery of Singapore’s rich ethnic cuisines can take part in special food trails showcasing the varied and colourful delights available in the ethnic districts of Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam In addition, there are special daily tours to Little India as well as Lau Pa Sat and Chinatown for tourists to have unique personal experiences of these food haunts that are favoured by Singaporeans.

‘Makan’ Classes
‘Makan’ classes and cooking workshops are back by popular demand at this year’s Festival, highlighting “Old Fashion Cakes”, “Claypot Favourites” and “Some Forgotten Dishes”. For the first time, these will be held at Lau Pa Sat with several renowned Singaporean chefs and local food operators providing culinary enthusiasts an opportunity to pick up some skills and tips to prepare these mouth-watering local delights. Other ‘Makan’ classes are also available at At-Sunrice (Fort Canning Park), Cookery Magic (Jalan Tembusu) and Chef’s Secret (Bukit Merah).

“We also hope to promote Singaporean cuisine and hawker food to the younger generation through activities like the culinary classes, where they will learn from the experts and appreciate our single-dish meal culture” said Mr Peter Knipp, Managing Director of Peter Knipp Holdings.

City Gas, which is supporting the Lau Pa Sat ‘Makan’ classes, is a primary partner of the Singapore Food Festival for the fourth year running. Its President & CEO, Mr Ng Yong Hwee, said: “City Gas is proud to be the primary partner of this iconic food festival, where great food is presented to both Singaporeans and our friends from overseas. We inaugurated The City Gas Singapore Chef Awards at last year’s Festival. This year, we will introduce a new category for junior chefs, aged below 23 years and hope to nurture the next generation of budding chefs, as well as find the next “Singapore dish” through this competition.”

Major League Eating
The Major League Eating competition makes its debut at the Singapore Food Festival 2008. Singapore is the only Asian nation lined up in this year’s calendar and will host the event showcasing competitive eating at its best. Held on 12 July, Robertson Walk will host the Singapore leg of the Major League Eating which will feature contestants battling for the right to compete with the World Champion on 27 July.

Food Stamps
For the first time, the Singapore Post will introduce stamps featuring some of Singapore’s must-try dishes such as the Singapore Laksa, Roti Prata and Satay and allow visitors to take home a collectible memento of their gastronomic adventures during the Singapore Food Festival.
Vicky Karantzavelou - Wednesday, July 02, 2008


The Final Word: On July 4th, 66 hot dogs is par for the course
Last July Fourth, a guy by the name of Joey Chestnut won the 92nd annual hot-dog-eating contest at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island. He downed 66 hot dogs — and buns — in 12 minutes.
He beat out six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, who was able to swallow only 63 hot dogs, which was eight more than his personal best but still not good enough. Kobayashi, often dubbed "the greatest eater of all time," blamed a jaw injury on his defeat.
And now comes the news that Tiger Woods won't be playing any more golf this season because of a torn knee ligament and double stress fracture, injuries that obviously hindered his game, too.
Maybe the two should switch sports.
United States Super Bowl Tiger Woods Brooklyn Nathan Coney Island Krispy Kreme Famous Joey Chestnut Final Word Personally Takeru Kobayashi of Japan
I've always thought Tiger looked a little too lean. A few dozen hot dogs would do him good. And now that he has dropped out of this summer's tourneys, he has enough time on his hands to drop by Friday's competition at Nathan's, which everyone agrees is the Super Bowl of these events. We wouldn't expect Tiger at anything less.
But he'll have to be up on his game. Chestnut will be there defending his title against 21 other competitors. There's more pressure this year, too: The competition is now only 10 minutes.
As for Kobayashi's golf game, I don't have a clue if he knows a birdie from a bogey. But you don't really need your jaw to play a round of golf. Other than uttering a few obscenities along the way.
And a good walk around a few golf courses might do him a bit of good, being a competitive eater and all.
There are hundreds of such eaters now. With and without jaw injuries. Competitive eating is one of the fastest growing "sports" in America.
There's a man in Brooklyn who can eat 49 doughnuts in eight minutes. There's a woman who ate 44 lobsters in 12 minutes. (She had downed 21 grilled cheese sandwiches the week before.)
Personally, I don't get it. What's the rush? Where are they going?
I'll confess to eating a whole box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts once. While it took far less time than I would have thought, I didn't make a fool of myself by jamming them all in my mouth at once. I was raised better than that. I ate one. Then another. And another. And so on. I think it took an hour. A respectable amount of time.
And if I wanted to eat 44 lobsters in one sitting, which I think I could since it's one of my favorite foods, why do it in 12 minutes? I think 12 hours would be better. That would be about 31/2 lobsters an hour. One every 20 minutes or so. Civilized.
Warm a tub of butter, grab a few bibs, set a nice leisurely pace, and we've got ourselves half a day of good eating.
The challenge, I think, would be keeping the conversation going for 12 hours. Considering the woeful decline in the art of table talk, I'm not even sure it could be done. But let's give it a try.
Call me when the water's boiling. Happy Fourth


The (Hungry) Odd Couple of the Nathan's Hot-Dog-Eating Contest
Training for July 4 with Eater X and Crazy Legs
by Sarah DiGregorio
July 2nd, 2008 12:00 AM

Tim a/k/a Eater X (left) and Crazy Legs prepare for the Fourth of July. More photos of Crazy Legs and Eater X at home here.
Ivylise Simones

tiramisu (four pounds in six minutes). He started eating competitively in 2004, and immediately seemed to have a knack for it. "Organized competition is fun," he says. "Maybe it's a built-in guy thing." Janus is slight, with an earnest manner, big doe eyes, and an invariable uniform of orange baseball hat, khaki shorts, and T-shirt. He has a habit of letting Conti do the talking. When the eaters were on the Today show recently, Conti chatted away while Janus smiled gamely.

Crazy Legs Conti, on the other hand, is a flamboyant master of self-promotion. He was born Jason Conti, and says he won't reveal the secret behind his new name until he defeats Kobayashi (which is unlikely). He sports red dreads, big fuzzy pimp hats, and Hawaiian shirts. He's ranked 11th in the world, and holds records in corn (34.75 ears in 12 minutes), pancakes and bacon (3.5 pounds in 12 minutes), and buffet (5.5 pounds of buffet food in 12 minutes).


Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Rocchi's Retro Rental: Super-Sized and Super-Stupid

Idiocracy (2006)

Between WALL-E's mountains of trash, my just having finished reading the gruesomely compelling book Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream by Jason Fagone and the upcoming 4th of July holiday, Mike Judge's Idiocracy was on my mind. You probably didn't see Idiocracy; it was dumped, with minimal fanfare, into a handful of theaters after Judge's follow-up to Office Space turned out to be a blunt, brute satire of modern mores instead of a wiseacre-yet-ultimately-warm flick like Office Space was.

Idiocracy begins as Army librarian Joe Bauers is selected for an experimental program. The Army would like to hypothetically freeze the best of the best so they can be unthawed in times of crisis; first, though, they're going to test the process for a year, with Joe (who's described as average in every way) and Rita (Maya Rudolph), a prostitute who's a little fuzzy on the concept. But the test is forgotten about -- until a trash-valanche unearths their cryro-pods 500 years in the future, where Joe soon discovers that a half-millennium of bad food, bad TV and bad choices have made everyone into a frickin' idiot.

In Judge's future America, the most popular program on TV is called Ow! My Balls!, revolving around the adventures of a man who is constantly struck in the junk. The number one film is Ass, a Warhol-esque 90-minute shot of, yes, someone's ass. Everyone wears corporate branding; water fountains spout the sports drink "Brawndo -- the Thirst Mutilator!" (Which has, in a demonstration of perverse reverse marketing, become a real product.) And everything is filthy and badly-run and the crops are dying (the President explains the stakes of the famine by noting that " ... we are running out of French fries and burrito coverings ...") and no one's smart enough to figure out why. Joe, whose average nature makes him a genius in comparison, is eventually named Secretary of the Interior by President Dwayne Camacho, an adult film-star and professional mixed martial arts champion played by Terry Crews with complete conviction.

Joe is tasked with ending the famine; Joe does so, only to learn that in a stupid world, simple solutions aren't so simple, winding up on the gladiatorial/judicial top-ranked program Rehabilitation as a defendant and contestant, with commercial breaks and sponsorships during his execution. ... And it's that pumped-up, bloated, excessive vision of tomorrow that came to mind as I read Horsemen of the Esophagus's descriptions of the world of competitive eating. In Idiocracy's future, the only food is fast food, and the only servings are "Mega-size"; it's all sci-fi satire, but reading Fagone's depiction of people eating chicken wings, hamburgers and hot dogs by the dozens in pursuit of cash and glory, it felt a little less sci-fi than I'd like.

Idiocracy's portrait of the future -- with jet-skis tooling around in the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and the FDA and FCC both owned by a sports-drink company -- is a little hard to take, and as unsettling as it is uneven; like Woody Allen's Sleeper, Idiocracy tells us that tomorrow will be like today, but even more so, and good luck to the future if that's really the case. It's hard not to laugh, though, at the sight of a newscast being delivered by bodybuilders, or when a character notes he went to law school at Costco: "Luckily, my dad was an alumnus and he pulled a few strings." And fortunately, Wilson plays it straight -- Joe just wants to get back home, if he can, or at the very least try to improve things even a little bit. Wilson's a fairly slow-burning screen presence, which is precisely what makes him the movie's heart and soul -- tired, exasperated, hopeful, horrified, and leaving plenty of space for actors like Crews and Stephen Root and Justin Long to go over-the-top all around him.

The DVD of Idiocracy is no work of genius; there's a few deleted scenes, and that's about it. Presumably Judge wasn't asked to provide commentary by the studio that dumped the film, and it's doubtful he'd want to provide one after the way Idiocracy was summarily kicked to the curb. Even with that caveat, though, blunt, bracing comedies are hard to come by these days (thanks to an industry that considers The Love Guru an astute commentary on the way we live now), and I always find that the occasional spoonful of medicine helps the sugar go down. Idiocracy's cold sneering mockery may be tough to take, but it's still got plenty of laughs; if you need something to half-watch as you lay dazed in a post-barbeque torpor this holiday weekend, you'll find Idiocracy has a light-yet-bitter flavor that'll freshen even the most overloaded palate.

James Rocchi is a film critic who, surprisingly, actually likes movies; he's written about pop culture and movies for publications like Mother Jones and Metro Newspapers. He currently writes for Cinematical.com and also The Moviegoer column for The Huffington Post and was the film critic for Netflix from 2001-2005 and the film critic for San Francisco's CBS-5. When not sitting expectantly in the dark of a movie theater, Rocchi enjoys California's scenic beauty, the company of his cat Coaly and talking about himself in the third person. You can find Rocchi's Retro Rental every Tuesday, right here on the Culture Blog.


Apple Ugly eating contest packs 'em in
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 6:04 AM
Mark Wineka
FAITH — Pass the barf bag, please.
"There were a few times I thought I was going to hurl," said Keatin Shelton, a 320-pound behemoth who entered the Apply Ugly eating contest qualifier Monday night at the Faith Fourth of July celebration.
His roommates talked him into it. He had never eaten an Ugly before but was able to down six in 10 minutes.
Shelton acknowledged afterward it took him awhile to figure out the right combination of pastry and water for maximum eating.
Monday's qualifier drew 10 contestants, all of whom are invited back for the finals at 8:30 p.m. Friday, the Fourth. Those who show up will be trying to upset Dale "Mouth of the South" Boone, who easily ate 13 Apple Uglies in the allotted time.
"A baker's dozen," said Boone, a professional eater from Atlanta who set a goal of 13 to honor the contest's sponsor, Salisbury's Apple Baking Co., makers of the 440-calorie, 4-ounce, glazed Ugly.
To Rowan Countians, "Ugly" rhymes with "delicacy."
The Uglies consumed Monday night were fresh, made that day at the bakery.
It was the first-ever Apple Ugly contest, which organizers hope can become a sanctioned eating event in future years.
Any mark that Boone or the other competitors set this week will be a world record.
Boone said the sugar content of the Uglies was much stronger than he anticipated, but he really enjoyed the down home, friendly atmosphere of the competition and the large crowd watching.
Last Saturday, the 303-pound Boone said he set a corn dog record, eating 17 in five minutes, at the Corn-Dog-A-Rama in Atlanta. He divulged one of his training tools to get his stomach ready for competition — watermelons.
During much of the year, he travels the competitive eating circuit in Asia and calls India his home base.
"I just like going up against people and saying you're world champion," said Boone, who holds records for several foods, including Russian dumplings and reindeer sausage.
Contestants had to be at least 18 years old. They were required to unwrap each Ugly from its cellophane packaging and were allowed to drink water. Small waste cans stood in front of them in case they had to, as Shelton put it, hurl.
But any regurgitation of an Ugly was an automatic disqualifier. The good news to report Monday was that contestants kept all their cookies.
Judges, part of the "Ugly Staff," determined when each competitor had eaten an Ugly and could go on to the next one. Scorers behind the table kept count for each contestant.
Some of the top performers Monday, besides Boone, included Timothy Cameron of Granite Quarry, who notched eight Uglies; Kristy Spurlock of Salisbury, who recorded an impressive seven; and Shelton of Rockwell and Eric Stone of Faith, who each put down six.
"Bloated," the 23-year-old Spurlock said afterward. "I thought I was going to puke."
Spurlock and her longtime friend, Amy Buckey of Faith, dared each other to enter the competition. Both were talking trash an hour before the eating starting.
"You're going down, girl," Spurlock told Buckey.
Both set a goal of eating 10 Uglies. Buckey ended up eating only a half-Ugly before the pastry caught in her throat. She bowed out quietly.
Cameron, who entered at Spurlock's urging, proved to be more of threat. The first five Uglies — each deep-fried pastry has about 20 grams of fat — went down fairly well, Cameron said. Then things got tough. He could hardly manage No. 8.
Shelton, a 24-year-old bar bouncer and sometime substitute teacher, said he had tried to win a hot dog eating contest at Hap's in Salisbury once, but he had to walk out and be sick after hot dog No. 12.
In getting ready for Friday's final, Shelton said, he'll be trying to stretch out his stomach. A mistake he made Monday was eating lunch, he said.
First prize in the Ugly eating contest is $497.36 and a year's supply of Uglies (a 24-pack each month).
There are substantial cash and ugly prizes for second and third place, too.
Matt DeBoer, president of Apple Baking Co., said exciting things are on the horizon for Uglies (they come in several other flavors, too). They will soon be available in Food Lion grocery stores.
Also, Apple Baking has been collaborating with Salisbury-based Cheerwine to make a Cheerwine Cake, which will be launched as a product later this summer. Cheerwine Cake will be available in a 3-ounce mini-bundt, a half-cake and whole-cake sizes, and the Ugly Staff handed out free samples Monday night.
Other contestants in the qualifier Monday included Dana Garris and Timothy Garris, both of Salisbury; Crystal Morris of Faith; and Elizabeth Foye of Salisbury.
"It was a fun experience," said Foye, who quit the contest after three Uglies. "It was very sweet."
She offered a quiet "maybe" when asked if she would return Friday for the final. In fact, she acknowledged she might not be able to look at an Ugly again for a couple of weeks. Then she thought again.
"Or a couple of months."

Good Luck To All The Eaters In The Nathans 4th of July Contest


March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?