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Monster weekend, monster update

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted October 02, 2012
joey jaws chestnut wins tamales with new world record
Record breaker: Jaws, seen here at Hooters, had a pretty good weekend. © MLE

Tamales, pancakes, pies, tacos, falafels and heaps upon heaps of red hot enchilada. The last weekend in September was a monster. Here are some updates.

If you haven't read our last three competitive eating reports, which you can read (preferably in this order) here, here and here, we advise you do so first as this article concerns updates to those reports and may not make full sense otherwise.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm right cream-crackered after sitting up for 36 hours trying to follow this past weekend's (29-30/9/12) gobathons in the States.

No idea how the gurgitators themselves are feeling but if I have to stay up listening to Rake & Herald fashion editor, London cabbie and self-appointed competitive eating pundit Kok Wang jabbering on incessantly after a skinful of Pernod and black again, "I'll take the bastard axe to him", to nick a quote from the top-notch classic Withnail & I.

But it wasn't just a monster weekend at Rake & Herald Towers, oh no siree, Bob.

"It was a big weekend all round for us," Major League Eating (MLE) chairman George Shea exclusively tells the Rake & Herald over the blower.

Moreover, "it was a record-breaking weekend", with Patrick 'Deep Dish' Bertoletti eating 50 3 oz (85 g) pancakes in 10 minutes and Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut "setting a record in just crazy numbers in tamales".

"We're not done for the year but in terms of the quantity of events things slow down in the fall/winter, so this was in some ways the last hurrah."

"It was a fun way to go out," he says, explaining that with the turning of the seasons this past weekend will likely be the last of its kind for a while to see three MLE events.

"It was a fun way to go out."

We here at the Rake & Herald wholeheartedly concur.

First up on our update scoot-around, we head to Boston and the a taco-tastic eating extravaganza that took place at the Phantom Gourmet Food Festival that we were meant to report on earlier but didn't.


Blame Kok, the useless jizzbolt.

Thankfully, the people and posters over at the flippin' ace Eat Feats website were a bit more on the ball and thus we now know that this eight-minute all-you-can-eat belly-busting bonanza saw Pete 'Pretty Boy' Davekos landing top honours and a gift card worth $500 (£310) with a tacos-in-the-tummy tally of 21.

Nice one, Pretty Boy.

Here now are the not quite full results and prizes as far as we can make out from our vantage point a mere 3,000 miles away from where the alimentary action took place.

1) Pete 'Pretty Boy' Davekos (21 tacos; $500 gift card);

2) Joao Paolo (13.5; $200 gift card);

3) 'Beautiful' Brian Seiken (12.5);

4) Chris Kurth (10.5); and

5) Christopher Smith (9).

We also understand that Mia 'MeatBallz' Davekos ate three tacos but we're not sure where she placed.

Likewise, Britney Weinberg-Lynn also took part, but that's about as much detail as we can report right now.

Fortunately, though, at least one person present had a camera so you can now see some pictures here, here and here.

Better still, two of the gurgitators, viz Chris Kurth and 'Beautiful' Brian Seiken have uploaded vids to their respective YouTube channels, viz this one and this one, meaning that you can now savour what we at least were missing.

Here's the Beautiful Brian footage:

Nice one, Chris and Beautiful.

It's thanks to people like you that people like us actually get to see and enjoy what remains largely a North American phenomenon.

You have our eternal gratitude.

We also recommend readers check out Beautiful's ram-packed website.

Not only does he write about and film the greatest sport on Earth but, as the above footage proves, he's also a damn fine gurgitator.

Respect to the Beautiful!

Sticking with the events in the order that we reported them, we now move swiftly south-west to Lewisville, Texas and the MLE-sanctioned Western Days Festival World Tamale-Eating Championship, a 12-minute all-you-can-eat gobathon on the steps of the local town hall, where world belching champion Tim 'Eater X' Janus was defending his crown against a right hungry horde who listed among their number a certain Joseph Christian Chestnut, esquire.

According to a lovely little write-up on the City of Lewisville website, this particular feeding frenzy saw a total of 555 tamales (a quintuple Nelson if you know anything about cricket) passing into the digestive tracts of the assembled alimentary athletes, giving "an average of 46.5 per person".

Jaws, by the way, did 102.

One hundred and two!

Apparently the tamales in question weighed 2 lb (0.9 kg) per dozen, which, if our calculator's correct, means some 92.5 lbs were scoffed in total.

Of this, Jaws alone slugged down a staggering 17 lbs, resulting in a rather impressive tamale take down rate (TTDR) of 1.4 lbs per minute.

Some people might say that's quite good.

We say it's f--king phenomenal.

But it wasn't just Jaws who had a rather hearty lunch that day, with the same report stating that this year's bash turned in "four of the 12 best individual results in the history of the event".

Eater X, for example, while losing his robes of office, nonetheless beat the previous record of 71 that he set in 2007 with a 2012 gob lot of 87.

If some of the comments on Eat Feats are to believed, then it would appear that the 2012 tamales were a wee bit smaller than those of previous years.

This, if correct, could account for some of the above.

Personally, I'm happy to put it down to the world's top gurgitators simply getting better and better, but we'll leave that one to you to decide.

Either way, that's still a bloody lot of tamales and we hacks on this side of the pond are well impressed to say the least.

One thing that doesn't appear to be in any doubt, however, is that the weather was a tad on the minging side.

We know this because somebody by the name of OK Sure has kindly whapped the following footage up on the interweb for all to watch and embed.

Due to the hack pack cramming the stage, you can't really clock too much until 6 minutes 50 seconds in, but once they bugger offski you get to fully enjoy Jaws' trademark (and very, very effective) jiggly-chompy-dancey style of gullet gymnastics in all its glory.

Interesting selection of music too.


Well I never.

You can also see more eating vids at OK Sure's channel here, including an interview with the said record-breaking tamale chobbler.

One hundred and two tamales and he can still talk?

Now that is impressive.

deep dish does pancake record
Not just jalapeños: Deep Dish does pancakes too. © MLE

Zipping back in a north-easterly fashion, we arrive at the deceptively similar-sounding city of Louisville, the largest urban mass in Kentucky but not the state capital (that's Frankfort apparently).

But hold the geography lesson for now because it's rapid-fire professional face stuffing that's on our agenda and in particular the MLE-sanctioned Wild Eggs National Pancake Eating Championship.

And what a contest it clearly was, with Shea, who compèred the pancake pummelling proceedings, reporting over the dog and bone that the young pretender, Matt 'Megatoad' Stonie, put in a thumping effort to come second with 47.

Throughout the 10-minute chowdown, Megatoad kept pace with Deep Dish "cheek to jowl, pancake for pancake, and only slowed down a tiny bit that last minute, which allowed Pat to edge out ahead of him."

"Pancakes," Shea notes, "are an extreme capacity discipline because if you drink a lot of water they swell."

"It was really about capacity and I think Pat only beat Matt at that event because of his greater stature."

"It was an absolutely dramatic event."

Indeed, right from the outset this always promised to be something of a tense tooth-off given that, in the words of the MLE website, "their previous two meetings on the MLE stage" saw the sixth-ranked Megatoad prevailing, "edging Bertoletti in both ribs and gyoza".

"Bertoletti, the second-ranked eater in the world, vowed not to let the man from San Jose defeat him a third time in sanctioned competition," it continues.

"Self-respect is a powerful motivator."

"So too is money – Bertoletti claimed the first prize of $2,000 from the event's $4,000 prize purse."

Regarding the full results, it would appear that things are still a little sketchy, with the full table yet to be announced at time of writing.

However, looking at Eat Feats and the Twitter feed of Rake and Herald reader Tracy 'Mmm Mmm' Goode, we gather that the final food tallies probably went something like this:

1) Patrick 'Deep Dish' Bertoletti (50 pancakes; $2,000);

2) Matt 'Megatoad' Stonie (47; $1,000);

3) Tim 'Gravy' Brown (28.5; $600);

4) Meredith 'Deep Fried Diva' Boxberger (23.5; $250);

5) Eric 'Badlands' Booker (23; $150);

6) Kevin 'LA Beast' Strahle (22.5);

Placement unknown (PU)) Andrew 'the Bear but not to be confused with Jamie 'the Bear' McDonald' Kogutkiewicz (14); and

PU) Tracy 'Mmm Mmm' Goode (13).

In yet another Rake & Herald exclusive, Mmm Mmm tells us by Twitter that the Kentucky mastication match was "the most fun I've had eating pancakes".

"Can't wait to do it again next year."

"I will defiantly have bigger numbers!!" he tweets, adding, ahem, "absolutely love Rake and Herald!"

Thanks, Tracy, and all the best for next year!

Where next up on our whistle-stop tour of the States?

Why, back to Texas of course, where another Rake & Herald reader with a monster appetite, Jamie 'the Bear' McDonald, moved up the indie rankings to the number two spot behind Takeru 'Kobi' Kobayashi following a stunning display of pie chomping at the Original Fried Pie Shop National Peach Fried Pie Eating Championship in Dallas.

As far as updates or anything-to-adds go, we aren't aware of any at the mo.

However, thanks to the Bear uploading the following footage to his YouTube channel, you can now have a pie-eating spy of this unflappable Connecticut munching machine in action.

Snap! once sang that "rhythm is a dancer".

We disagree.

Rhythm is an eater by the name of the Bear.

Watch him.

The Bear means business.

Respect too to Stephanie 'Xanadu' Torres, who, looking pretty darn cool in that hat of hers, also guzzled back the pies in a style best described as relentless.

With all the pies gone the way of Jonah, it's time to wind the clock forward to Sunday and set the hyperdrive to La Cruces, New Mexico for the Second Annual Fire in the Whole Enchilada Eating Contest.

Just don't crash your spaceship in nearby Roswell, though, because the residents there have probably had a right bellyful of such silver-disc-mishap shenanigans over the past 65 years.

But while it's still a moot point among some whether extraterrestrials exist, we can confirm that in the world of competitive eating the word 'bellyful' most certainly does not.

From a top but not secret report in the Las Cruces Sun-News, we gather that this particular intergalactic gobathon involved a total of nine gurgitators taking part in two heats to see who could stuff the most well-flippin'-burn-yer-tongue-to-a-cinder hot enchilada down their crops in four minutes.

As previously reported in a scoop so sizzling it singed my chip shovels just typing it up, the Bear finished with a tremendous total of 5.9 lbs to win his second victory of the weekend and his 20th out of the 25 contests he's entered so far since taking up the sport in May this year.

Or maybe it was his 21st out of 26, something that kinda depends on whether the Las Cruces Sun-News piece was being inclusive or exclusive of the enchilada engorgement.

Whatever the case, that's some bloody form, innit?

In terms of updates, we understand from the same article that Antonio Quesada came third with a total of 2.6 lbs, although we're still not sure who all the other eaters were.

However, from watching this vid here we gather that one of them was a reporter working for ABC-7 or KVIA or KVIA ABC-7 or something.

Sorry, but as a Brit I can never work out what all these US TV channels and affiliates are about.

All I know is that KY69 if it exists probably doesn't show children's entertainment.

But I digress.

The geezer from whatever that local TV station is really called was referred to as Matt, but that's about all we learnt because the people in the studio never mentioned his surname nor more importantly how much grub he rammed down his cakehole.

Fortunately, the Las Cruces Sun-News was slightly more forthcoming with details, reporting, for instance, that the top three enchilada eaters all received "a gift basket... complete with antacids and extra-strength gas relief medication".

Based on all that, we think the results table should look something like the following, albeit with an extra five names listed in order of the amounts they gannetised:

1) Jamie 'the Bear' McDonald (5.9 lbs of enchilada; $1,000 and a gift basket);

2) Stephanie 'Xanadu' Torres (3.9 lbs; gift basket);

3) Antonio Quesada (2.6 lbs; gift basket); and

PU) Matt (no idea; probably a rather hot gob for a bit).

The Las Cruces Sun-News article also has some rather tasty snaps for you to check out, but personally my favourite is this one here.

It's a flippin' classic and all concerned should get an award.

Seriously, what an excellent action shot.

One contest we, I mean Kok, forgot to mention was Saturday's falafel eating bash at Alladin's Eatery in Mishikawa, Indiana, which is a pity because the event apparently marked Tom 'Tommy Boy' Cortina's first out-of-state victory and saw him racking up 12 falafels in three minutes to pocket the $500 top prize.

Also hard done-by by Kok's bloody balls-up was Craig 'the Black Mallard' Reed, who, as well as having what has to be one of the best eater nicknames ever, took silver after slavering down 11 of these Middle Eastern chick-pea-and-bean jobbies.

"I'm still not crazy about falafel," the Black Mallard exclusively tweets the Rake & Herald, "but I wish it was longer than three minutes."

"I was still hungry after."

"The entry fee went to charity and Tom's a good guy so I really can't be disappointed with second place," he adds.

Sounds like a dude to me.

Due to Kok's ineptitude, we're not too flush with details on this one, so our results table for falafels looks like this:

1) Tom 'Tommy Boy' Cortina (12 falafels; $500); and

2) Craig 'the Black Mallard' Reed (11).

Again, blame Kok, the turd-brained toilet humper.

Well, that's about it for this round-up of the past weekend's gurgitatory glory updates.

But don't get too comfortable because even though things look set to wind down a bit in the weeks ahead, there's still a fair share of scoffing against the clock to be had, whether in terms of chilli, poutine or burnt ends.

As such, expect a full preview in a day or two when Kok's finally compost mentis, changed his trousers and recovered from the major bollocking I'm gonna give him for screwing up on tacos and falafels.

Until then, a big thank you to all the gurgitators, fans and organisers who make this sport the best on Earth and certainly the most enjoyable to follow and write about.

Big pats on the back also to OJ Rifkin and the superlatively-good-beyond-words Eat Feats website, all the people who post comments and results there and, of course, all the total dudes, such as Eric 'Badlands' Booker, Jamie 'the Bear' McDonald and the world's greatest MC and ringmaster extraordinaire MLE's George Shea, who have all very kindly given us permission to use their photos on the Rake & Herald.

Nice one, sirs!

Lastly, but not leastly, a big hats-off salute to YOU, our cherished and beloved readers, for actually bothering to read this.

Big yourselves up big time.

This article was a bit long, I know, but then there was a fair old bit to cover and we hope you found it vaguely worthwhile to wade through.

Remember, we don't just write about competitive eating, so why not have a mooch round our other sections, where you can read about everything from booze, music and ghosts to fashion, food and travel, not to mention such major international crime stories as that Aussie bloke who shoved a firecracker up his dill hole.

Go on.

You know you want to.

PS. If you see any typos, errors or other mistakes anywhere on this website, please feel free to enter our Fantastic find-a-typo competition, where you could well win up to THREE HUNDRED POUNDS!!!

See also (and preferably in this order) Jaws sets new tamale record, A Deep Dish full of pancakes and Rookie Bear now indie number two, all of which were posted 30/9/12, even though in North America it was largely still 29/9/12, hence all the ensuing confusion about whether it was today or yesterday. Time, eh? Who came up with that one? That bollock-head Kok probably.

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