"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Saturday, December 02, 2006


In the end, one taco was all that separated first from third. I’ll dispense with the drama and get right down to the totals. Each of us started with 19 tacos (more on why it wasn’t 20 later) and the contest went the full 30 minutes. We’d all hoped to break the 15 taco mark, but fell just short. Here are the finishers:

1. Beau "La Beauheme" Faulkner – 14 tacos
2. Jeremy “Franken” Steen – 13.5 tacos
3. Dave “Quote Unquote Mega Munch” Shoffner – 13 tacos
4. Mike “Wow, This Sucks” Wilt – 11 tacos
5. Adam “Down the Hatch” Downing – 8 tacos
6. Jeremy “I’m This Many” Steen Jr. – 2 tacos

Because he was only three years old, Jeremy Junior wasn’t eligible to be an official participant, but he ate one of our extra tacos at the beginning of the contest and another at the end, giving him 25 percent of Adam’s total. Not a bad showing for a rookie his age. We can expect to see great things from this kid in the near future.

TACOS - Competitive Eater In Training
Here's Jeremy Junior plowing into his first taco during minute one of the contest. I watched him intently, taking precise mental notes of his technique and style. Later, I tried to incorporate what I'd learned into my own game; looking for any edge I could find. Unfortunately, Jeremy Junior's mother was unwilling to feed me my tacos so I had to use my own hands. I can't say it cost me the contest, but it certainly didn't help.

TACOS - More set up
The Taco Bell folks stiffed us by four hard tacos (seriously, don’t act surprised), so three of us gave a hard taco to Beau and we gave one taco to Jeremy Junior, leaving each of us with 10 soft tacos and 9 hard tacos. Different strategies were employed by all. Ian, an almost participant-turned-taco-eating-strategist suggested stacking two hard tacos inside each other and wrapping that with two more soft tacos, thus creating one giant taco. According to Ian, “That way, you’ll only have to eat 5 tacos.” No one took his advice. Maybe we should have.

TACOS - The Five Amigos
Here we are getting ready for something that will probably haunt our bodies through the weekend and well into Monday. From left to right: Jeremy, Adam, Beau, me and Mike. Halfway through his first taco, Mike would set the tone for the next 29 and a half minutes by exclaiming with a full mouth, "Wow, this sucks!" He would also throw off my meticulous taco counting method and cause me to lapse into a late contest panic by slipping an extra hard taco onto my plate. His trickery might have actually helped me eat faster.

TACOS - The Champ
Our champ, Beau, rests peacefully after the contest. At about the 25 minute mark, Jeremy and I took note of Beau’s one taco lead and knew that it would come down to a few last minute bites at the buzzer. But Beau pulled through, thanks partly to some inspirational coaching by Scott and his smart use of hot sauce throughout the contest.

Congratulations to all (we're already planning our next event) and thanks to Megan for serving as the contest emcee/timekeeper, Jan the photographer, Joel the videographer and Heather the taco runner. A video of contest highlights will be posted sometime in the near future. Check out a full set of the photos here, including Adam "The Red" Downing, Brian getting spooked, my meat sweats and a nice money shot.


Anonymous Anonymous Coward said...

Not bad, not bad. Better than I did. Going for 19 is tough, but possibly doable (at least I thought). Do you think the hard tacos broke up the monotony of the soft tacos? We'll see what this does for your cold. You know, feed a cold and all...

10:29 AM

Blogger Skinnyboy said...

I am eating breakfast as I read this. Ouch.

12:20 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

Yeah, it was a little dissappointing, but fun. In the beginning, when appetites were at their peak, the soft tacos were easy to eat so some of us saved those for last thinking they'd be equally easy during the "naseous minutes."

But like Jeremy said about the soft shells, "it's like eating a taco coated in paste." Referring to the consistency and taste. Turns out, late in the contest you're eating so slowly that "ease" and "speed" aren't nearly as important as taste and mouthfeel. Basically, hard tacos were better in the late minutes.

Anyhow, hats off to all who competed and to those who watched us compete and still had enough appetite to eat our cold leftovers!

2:15 PM

Anonymous liz said...


I think you should consider the vending machine challenge next...

2:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, if I wasn't on self imposed hiatus, I would've told you how soft shells (moe's burritos contest) become more like human skin than you think is possible. Especially when cold.

I thought about jumping on 81 North as I was driving to see my girlfriend yesterday. Would've been a convenient "layover" in my 4 hour drive.

So, when's the next UEPa Meeting?

5:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous Coward said...

Tut, why are you so familiar with the texture of human skin? That comment disturbs me. Also, why the hiatus? Training? Regrouping from EYFO? Losing some weight?

6:07 PM

Blogger Dan said...

So many questions, indeed! Human skin? Eek.

Your paste comment reminds me of the "chili" on the hamburgers at Original Tommy's in LA. They were tough to eat...

9:19 AM

Blogger BedArrest said...

This is what I miss about you guys! It looks like a lot of fun. And now I'm craving tacos at 930AM.

Have you seen Rob and Big on MTV yet? Hilarious show --- they just participated in a wing eating contest and I thought of you.

9:28 AM

Blogger la beauheme said...

My first eating title brings great glory. But I have to say the secret is in the sauce. No really it is...as I bit into my 7th hard taco I realized my mouth was having a tough time as those salivary glands were working overtime. The sauces brought on the necessary waterworks to help me keep a steady pace and my first gastro belt. Burps to all my supporters!

Bedarrest- I love Rob & Big! Did you see the one with Meaty gassing them out? Remind you of anyone at the office?

10:02 AM

Blogger Carey said...

I think I am going to wait till the whole E. Coli thing settles down before attempting this challenge.

12:50 PM

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