Old Country Buffet
As we are enjoy the summer season and all the food-based gatherings that come with it, I thought it was a great opportunity to look at the field of competitive eating. I’m surely not very good at packing away food (booze on the other hand!), but these folks excel at it:
#5: The Ladies
Competitive eating may be one of the most open “sports” to equality for both genders. There have a number of notable female champion consumers, including Sonya ‘The Black Widow’ Thomas, Molly Schuyler, and Miki Sudo. These gals specialize is foods that include hot dogs, Kimchi, chicken wings, chili cheese fries, crab cakes, hard-boiled eggs, oysters, and steaks. While Schuyler and Sudo are newer to the competitive eating circuit, Thomas has accumulated a small fortune thanks to her exploits, with an estimated $100,000 in career winnings. The native of South Korea is small in stature, weighing in at less than 100 pounds for some of her most memorable events.
#4: Jason Conti
Nicknamed ‘Crazy Legs’, Conti got into competitive eating kind of innocently. He started as a fan of the Nathan’s 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Competition, before winning an oyster eating contest (he ate 400 of the shellfish aphrodisiacs) in New Orleans, and then began a career in the discipline. Conti has held world records for eating green beans and sweet corn, so I guess that’s kind of healthy. A documentary on Conti, titled Crazy Legs Conti: Zen And The Art Of Competitive Eating, was released in 2004. According to the film, Conti has held numerous jobs, among them: a window washer, nude model, and sperm donor (the trifecta of awesome!).
#3: Adam Richman
The fun-loving host of Man vs. Food may not be your traditional competitive eater, but he’s game for food challenges across the United States. Each episode of the popular Travel Channel series, shows Richman in a different city, where he visits three different must-eat-at local favourite restaurants. At the final stop, Richman takes on the eatery’s menu challenge. These have included spice trials, as well as masses of food, with Richman owning a personal record of 37 victories to 27 losses. To train for his challenges, Richman would try not to eat the day before the big meal, while drinking large amounts of water of club soda. Upon retiring from the competitive eating game, Richman dropped more than 60 pounds.
#2: Joey Chestnut
Perhaps the most famous of all competitive eaters, thanks to his annual success at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest (held each Fourth of July in Coney Island, New York), the man nicknamed Jaws, is proficient at gobbling hot dogs, chicken wings, pizza, and jalapeno poppers, holding International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) records in each discipline. Chestnut has even been featured on his own trading card, which would be a big enough honour. He has amassed a total of $200,000 in winnings, as well as two cars and a motorcycle. Not bad, for getting fed!
#1: Takeru Kobayashi
Speaking of guys that can destroy hot dogs, Takeru Kobayashi used to own the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest – winning six straight Independence Day classics – before Chestnut came along and won the next eight. The slender Japanese eater is known for his Kobayashi Shake, in which he wiggles his body around, forcing food to move through his body and settle across his stomach. On an episode of Man vs. Beast, Kobayashi came up on the losing end of a hot dog eating contest against a Kodiak bear, but he does hold Guinness Records in eating, include hot dogs, meatballs, Twinkies, hamburgers, pizza, and pasta.
Super Saturday Shot Day: Cheesecake Shot
- Rim glass with Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 oz Vanilla Vodka
- 0.5 oz Cranberry Juice
I feel that I should give at least one eating challenge a shot at some point in my life. I won’t win, I know that, but then I could say that I was a competitive eater. You’re right, I’m not sure that’s something to be proud of!