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Au revoir, Deep Dish

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted May 10, 2013
new major league eating rankings may 2013
So long, Deep Dish: A gurgitatory great whose presence will be missed. © MLE or maybe Matt Stonie

As MLE announces its new Top 50, Deep Dish tells the R&H why he's no longer among the rankings.

A glance at the latest Major League Eating (MLE) Top 50 rankings will quickly reveal that Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut has once more retained his pole position at the top of the tree, followed by Tim 'Eater X' Janus, Sonya 'the Black Widow' Thomas, Matt 'Megatoad' Stonie and Bob 'Notorious B.O.B.' Shoudt.

A slightly more studied perusal will also throw up a number of new names, including that of woman-to-watch Miki Sudo, as well as Jon 'Bastos' Bello's six-place leap from 32nd to 26th.

However, no matter how hard you look you won't find hide nor hair of unicorn enthusiast Patrick 'Deep Dish' Bertoletti.

Initially, we at Rake & Herald Towers put this down to some kind of terrible typo, a calamitous clerical cock-up of the sort feared by administrators the world over.

And who could have blamed us given that Deep Dish, or P Bert as he was known for a time, had occupied the number two spot longer than a constipated whale passing eggs on the fizz pan?

However, we can now rule out the possibility of a bureaucratic balls-up.

Instead, much to our shock, we can confirm that Deep Dish, who jointly operates the Chicago-based Glutton Force Five food truck with Tim 'Gravy' Brown, the former number 10 who has likewise disappeared from the MLE roster, has chosen not to renew his contract.

"I have no hard feelings with the League and owe them a great deal for the eight years I had with them and all the opportunities I had," Deep Dish tells the Rake & Herald in a world exclusive conducted via FaceBook.

"Unfortunately, Glutton Force Five and MLE cannot exist without friction."

"While under contract, MLE owns everything related to competitive eating, even if I'm not eating in contests, etc."

"I chose not to re-sign to explore Stuffed [a new internet-based competitive eating show Deep Dish co-hosts with Gravy] and focus my attention on the food truck."

"I realised that I have no future in competitive eating and I have to grow up and start my adult life."

"I want to leave my options open for the truck so I don't have to turn down TV and other media opportunities because of MLE disapproval."

"I can't say that I won't return to MLE but there's a good chance I may never eat in another contest," he states.

"This has definitely been one of the hardest decisions of my life."

"These have been some of the best years of my life – all the health problems down the line will be worth it because I got to meet Maria Edible through eating."

As longstanding fans of Deep Dish, a true gurgitatory great with nearly 40 eating records to his name, we at the Rake & Herald can only express our utter dismay at the prospect of the sport losing such a world-class competitor.

He was and is an absolute hero whose remarkable talents, 'wide-mouthed' messy eating style and keen sense of humour will be sorely missed.

Nathan's without his Stars-and-Stripes swimming trunks will never be quite the same.

Nevertheless, as much as it pains us to see him depart the MLE pantheon, all at the Rake & Herald respect his decision and wish him well with all his current and future projects.

But where next exactly for the Pancake Prince, the undisputed King of King Cakes?

Well, according to information supplied by PartyBot, a member of the Glutton Force Five team who describes himself as "an over-sexed robot with many substance abuse problems", a radical departure from the alimentary arena beckons.

"Deep Dish," PartyBot exclusively tells the Rake & Herald in a Metal Mickey-type voice via Twitter, "has devoted his life to dance and wants to become the next Michael Flatley."

So dance on, Deep Dish, and don't you ever stop for the Rake & Herald will be right behind you every step of the way.

We're just sorry to see you go, that's all.

miki sudo now ranked number 7
Miki Sudo: The new MLE #7. © MLE or maybe Matt Stonie

But Deep Dish and Gravy are not the only gurgitators to signal sayonara to the MLE Top 50, with 'Nasty' Nate Biller, Benjamin 'the Wolf' Taylor, Ron Koch and Jake Larry all bowing out for one reason or another.

Yet while we wave them all fond adieu, we also hail the return of Marcos 'the Monster' Owens and bid warm welcome to five new additions, the highest placed of which being the aforementioned Miki Sudo.

After rocketing down a flippin' phenomenal 40 hot dogs and buns (HDBs) in 10 minutes to win the recent Las Vegas Nathan's qualifier, the woman considered by many to be the Black Widow's biggest potential threat has now smashed her way straight into the Top 10 with a bloody impressive number-seven ranking.

"Over the last eight months, I've welcomed every opportunity to push myself against increasingly tougher fields and it's surreal that I'll be competing against the best in the world," she exclusively tells the Rake & Herald by Twitter.

"Not too long ago, I never would have considered doing an eating contest."

"It's pretty awesome to be recognised like this but this is where the work starts, right?"

"I feel like I've gotta earn up to the rank, so it's got me more focused than anything."

Meanwhile, Jeff 'the Beast Man' Butler, whose MLE début at the same event saw him shoving 31.5 HDBs down his gullet to win silver, has now bagged the number 16 spot.

"Like any competitor, the competition and love of eating against the best eaters in the world is what motivates me to continue to get better at my craft," he equally exclusively tells the Rake & Herald by FaceBook.

"I never thought my huge appetite would allow me to meet such good people and allow me to travel around the country," he continues, reporting that his next MLE outing will see him chomping down the chicken wings at the Hooter's qualifier in Las Vegas this coming June 26.

"Chicken wings are my favourite food to eat in competition," the Beast Man reveals.

"I believe I can finish in the top three and eat in the championships in Florida."

"I'm very happy and proud to join with MLE and compete with the best in the sport," adds Pablo Martinez, MLE's new number 21, via another exclusive twitterisationalism.

"I hope I can prove myself and move in the ranks."

And based on the tummy tally of 29.75 HDBs he notched up to finish fourth at the same said Nathan's qualifier, we believe he stands every chance of doing just that.

But these three veritable Vegas velociraptors are certainly not the only MLE newbloods with provision-pummelling potential aplenty.

After gulletising 128 fried fowl flappers in 10 minutes to come a pretty close second behind Jaws at the Panama City Beach Hooter's qualifier last month, Neil Sebree has now been ranked 30th, one place ahead of Corey 'Da Bayou Boy' Fanguy, the previously undefeated amateur alimentary athlete who successfully shovelled 1.8 lbs (0.8 kg) of cooked crustacean down his cakehole to come fourth at the Rouses Crawfish Eating World Championship in New Orleans this past April.

"Wings," Da Bayou Boy exclusively facebookifies the Rake & Herald, "is my main event."

"At the Hooters qualifier [in Cincinnati this coming June 8] I will be ready to shine," he says.

Prior to that, though, he will be looking to blow the competition out of the water at the Niko Niko's World Gyro Eating Championship in Houston this coming May 19 before taking the fight to the Acme Oyster Eating World Championship in New Orleans two weeks later.

"We have entered an era when there is greater eating talent than ever before on the circuit," MLE chairman and emcee extraordinaire George Shea exclusively twitterises the Rake & Herald.

"Never before have so many been able to eat so much in so few minutes."

And to our minds, at least, he of the boater and the greatest gift of the gab to date isn't simply talking out of his hat.

So on that note, and without further ado, here are the new MLE rankings.

highest climber
Highest climber: Bastos leapt six places to #26. © Jon Bello or maybe MLE

1) Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut (no change from February 2013);

2) Tim 'Eater X' Janus (up 1);

3) Sonya 'the Black Widow' Thomas (up 1);

4) Matt 'Megatoad' Stonie (up 1);

5) Bob 'Notorious B.O.B.' Shoudt (up 1);

6) Adrian 'the Rabbit' Morgan (up 1);

7) Miki Sudo (new entry);

8) Aaron 'A-Train' Osthoff (no change);

9) 'the Lovely' Juliet Lee (no change);

10) Sean 'Flash' Gordon (up 1);

11) Erik 'the Red' Denmark (up 1);

12) Eric 'Badlands' Booker (up 1);

13) Pete 'Pretty Boy' Davekos (up 2);

14) Michelle 'Cardboard Shell' Lesco (up 3);

15) Micah 'Wing Kong' Collins (down 1);

16) Jeff 'the Beast Man' Butler (new entry);

17) Kevin 'LA Beast' Strahle (down 1);

18) 'Buffalo' Jim Reeves (no change);

19) Yasir 'the Doggy Bag' Salem (no change);

20) Juan 'More Bite' Rodriguez (up 1);

21) Pablo Martinez (new entry);

22) Steve 'Not the Scottish Snooker Player' Hendry (up 3);

23) Crazy Legs Conti (down 3);

24) Brian 'Dud Light' Dudzinski (no change);

25) Meredith 'Deep-Fried Diva' Boxberger (down 3);

26) Jon 'Bastos' Bello (up 6);

27) Larell Marie 'the Real Deal' Mele (down 1);

28) Marcos 'the Monster' Owens (re-entry);

29) 'Big' Brian Subich (down 2);

30) Neil Sebree (new entry);

31) Corey 'Da Bayou Boy' Fanguy (new entry);

32) Maria Edible (down 4);

33) Matt Bonanno (down 4);

34) Andrew 'the Bear' Kogutkiewicz (down 1);

35) Eric 'Steakbellie' Livingston (down 5);

36) Mike Landrich (down 1);

37) William 'Wild Bill' Myers (down 1);

38) Damien Boykin (up 3);

39) Bryan 'Big Sexy' Beard (down 2);

40) Kobi Bauer (down 2);

41) Ben Do (down 1);

42) Matthew Raible (up 3);

43) Mary 'I Like 'Em Hot!' Bowers (up 4);

44) Nick Bauer (down 2);

45) Dax 'the Ginger' Swanson (down 2);

46) Bam Martinez (up 3);

47) João Paulo (down 3);

48) 'Beautiful' Brian Seiken (down 2);

49) Tracy 'Mmm Mmm' Goode (up 1); and

50) Paul 'Bone Breaker' Barlow (down 2);

And just in case we've dropped a bollock somewhere while compiling that little lot, here's the February 2013 rankings that we swiped off the MLE website shortly after they were first announced but never got round to posting up.

Compare them carefully and if you spot any mistakes, make sure to enter our ongoing find-a-typo competition.

Hey, it could be your lucky day.

Or ours if you read the rules properly.

1) Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut;

2) Patrick 'Deep Dish' Bertoletti;

3) Tim 'Eater X' Janus;

4) Sonya 'the Black Widow' Thomas;

5) Matt 'Megatoad' Stonie;

6) Bob 'Notorious B.O.B.' Shoudt;

7) Adrian 'the Rabbit' Morgan;

8) Aaron 'A-Train' Osthoff;

9) 'the Lovely' Juliet Lee;

10) Tim 'Gravy' Brown;

11) Sean 'Flash' Gordon;

12) Erik 'the Red' Denmark;

13) Eric 'Badlands' Booker;

14) Micah 'Wing Kong' Collins;

15) Pete 'Pretty Boy' Davekos;

16) Kevin 'LA Beast' Strahle;

17) Michelle 'Cardboard Shell' Lesco;

18) 'Buffalo' Jim Reeves;

19) Yasir 'the Doggy Bag' Salem;

20) Crazy Legs Conti;

21) Juan 'More Bite' Rodriguez;

22) Meredith 'Deep-Fried Diva' Boxberger;

23) 'Nasty' Nate Biller;

24) Brian 'Dud Light' Dudzinski;

25) Steve 'Not the Scottish Snooker Player' Hendry;

26) Larell Marie 'the Real Deal' Mele;

27) 'Big' Brian Subich;

28) Maria Edible;

29) Matt Bonanno;

30) Eric 'Steakbellie' Livingston;

31) Benjamin 'the Wolf' Taylor;

32) Jon 'Bastos' Bello;

33) Andrew 'the Bear' Kogutkiewicz;

34) Ron Koch;

35) Mike Landrich;

36) William 'Wild Bill' Myers;

37) Bryan 'Big Sexy' Beard;

38) Kobi Bauer;

39) Jake Larry;

40) Ben Do;

41) Damien Boykin;

42) Nick Bauer;

43) Dax 'the Ginger' Swanson;

44) João Paulo;

45) Matthew Raible;

46) 'Beautiful' Brian Seiken;

47) Mary 'I Like 'Em Hot!' Bowers;

48) Paul 'Bone Breaker' Barlow;

49) Bam Martinez; and

50) Tracy 'Mmm Mmm' Goode.

Right, gotta go.

I'm nearly two weeks late with our asparagus/Foodabluza/sweet corn report and there's still last Saturday's Nathan's qualifier in Naples, Florida to sort out.

But while I give myself a coronary over that little lot, why not chillax in the company of Deep Dish as he chats about a whole host of matters with stand-up comic Collin A Bullock?

Then, once you've done that, be certain to watch the first three episodes of Stuffed that we've embedded for your pleasure below.

But who's that chap who looks just like Rake & Herald competitive eating editor Naader 'Freak8r' Reda?

Answers on a postcard, please.

The above three vids were all embedded from the Tasted YouTube channel. Check it out. It's pretty good, especially the Marmite vid. Heck, I'm off to the shop to buy some right now. Marmite's ace. Especially on staplers.

See also Chestnut still supreme, posted 26/6/12.

Do you like our Sandi's scribblings? If so, why not befriend her on that FaceBook thing? We don't let her out much, see, preferring instead to shackle her to her desk inside an indestructible cage (it's actually a Perspex box with a couple of air holes stabbed into it with a chisel). As such, she's terribly lonely and unloved. Please find it in your heart to help her before her constant whining drives us to kill her with a sharpened curtain rod. Remember, Sandi's life is in YOUR hands so get 'friending', or whatever the trendy modern verb is. Please. She's just started crying again.

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