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

Friday, August 31, 2007


I guess I'm just in a video posting mood lately. Here's a clip of a soldier at a backyard party who's challenged by the Sarge to eat one 16 ounce steak in two minutes or less (thanks Super Sized Meals). I won't say whether he succeeds, but I will say his technique is impressive. Cut, chew, swallow, cut, chew, swallow. A lesser eater would have stuffed piece after piece into his face, but this up-and-comer clears his mouth between bites. That's smart.

Speed eating steak is also dangerous. When I first starting watching this video I was hoping someone at that party knew the heimlich manuever. Then I figured they were soldiers, so maybe they learned that in boot camp. Just like I learned how to tie really useless knots in the Navy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


A while back on Eat Feats, OJ posted an entry and poll about which competitive eating themed movie scene should be made into a real life eating contest (this was right before the Stand By Me Blueberry Pie Eating Contest). Somehow the scene below from "Funny Farm" slipped through the cracks. Chevy Chase and sheep testicles...I think that's what they call "comedic gold."

Best line: "Now there's a man who knows when he's got something good in his mouth."

Sunday, August 26, 2007


On Sunday, August 26 a few of us met at a Reading Phillies game to attempt the "9 Inning Challenge" (one dog in the first inning, two in the second, three in the third and so on).

It was Carey and myself officially attempting the challenge. Pete Miernicki was with us but was taking it easy, mixing beers with about a dozen hot dogs and cheering us on. He competed in the Ash Creek Saloon Rib Contest the day before in Connecticut against Joey Chestnut, Pat Bertoletti and the rest of the IFOCE gang (almost beating the great Crazy Legs Conti in the process), so it was understandable that he didn't have the appetite for another eating challenge.

Above a shot of us after finding our seats behind first base (l-to-r: Carey, me, Pete). As soon as we got to the park, we bought 10 dogs each (enough to get us through the first four innings). One key point about the dogs: The buns were potato buns, a slightly thicker, denser bread known for its signature yellowish tint. Not sure how much this affected our eating, but in the long run, these rolls are definitely harder to eat than the lighter, standard "white bread" kind.
Obviously, the first few innings were pretty easy. We ate our first, second and third inning dogs in the top of each inning, before the away team even made their second out. We finished all four of our fourth inning dogs at a leisurely pace (never really eating for speed) by the middle of the fourth for a total 10 dogs.
The fifth inning was a different story, but Carey and I both choked down dog number 15 somewhere in the bottom of the inning. In the sixth, the away team went down quickly and I had only eaten half a dog. Oh yes, I was feeling the pain. I had to eat 5-and-a-half dogs in the bottom of the inning or my attempt was over. Carey ate one dog in the top of the inning. In the bottom of the 6th I'd finish my other half and Carey would eat one more dog before we each threw in the towel. Final tally: Me 16 hot dogs, Carey 17 hot dogs.

The Reading Phillies mascot, Bucky the Beaver walked by in the 8th inning. By then, the disgusting, bloated feeling of having eating two packs of hot dogs and buns had passed a bit so I handed the camera to Pete, pushed aside a few kids and grabbed a pic with the Beav before letting him get on his way. A full set of pics can be seen here.
UPDATE (Monday): Last night I slept like crap as my body processed the overdose of sodium and nitrates I had consumed 12 hours earlier. I tossed and turned and woke up feeling like a very thirsty bucket of shit. I skipped breakfast and my morning coffee (that's when you know it's bad). I skipped lunch today too and have been drinking lots of water to detox my body and flush those evil hot dogs out of my system. Things are looking better. A nice, healthy dinner awaits.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I just read in an article about the UEPa's upcoming hamburger contest. It says the winner will have their name "engraved on a commemorative trophy to be displayed in the town hall."

Yeah, that's right. Engraved on a commemorative trophy. To be displayed in the town hall. We're not talking about your name on a one-by-two inch brass plate and then mounted along with 50 others to a large plaque (like at Denny's). This is a commemorative trophy. That's way better than the 50 dollar prize. Even better than the medal. Too bad it's still not enough to drag Wing Tut out of his pseudo summer retirement.

(Speaking of burgers, happy birthday to the Big Mac. It turned the big four-oh today.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Deena, the organizer of the upcoming hamburger festival said a couple of the local papers wanted a press release about the UEPa and their participation in the eating contest. Since I sort of write press releases for a living, I agreed to throw something together tonight and send it to her tomorrow morning. Below is the release in its entirety.


HAMBURG, Pa. (August 22, 2007) – A collision of appetites will take place in the small town of Hamburg on September 1 when the United Eaters of Pennsylvania (UEPa) pay a visit as participants in the town’s annual hamburger eating contest. The gastrointestinal challenge is part of Hamburg’s one-day ode to the burger known as the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival.

According to UEPa president Dave “Mega Munch” Shoffner, the competitive eating organization is open to “any Pennsylvanian with a love of food and an insatiable appetite.” The group, which meets for eating contests throughout the state, was founded in 2006 and boasts members from all corners of the Commonwealth, including Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

“We operate in a near constant state of readiness and hunger, so when we received the invitation to attend the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival I knew it wouldn’t be difficult to find members willing to participate,” said Shoffner, who describes himself as more of a “desserts and chicken wings man” but predicted a strong showing for himself in the contest.

Joining Shoffner will be fellow UEPa members Carey “The Powerhouse” Poehlmann, a rising star from Willow Grove, Pa., who recently ate 20 pierogies in two minutes to become the Nanticoke, Pa. pierogie eating champion. Also in attendance will be Sterling, Va. resident and honorary UEPa member, Ian “The Invader” Hickman. Hickman’s competitive eating conquests include 137 chicken wings in 30 minutes and 36 whoopie pies in three minutes.

The UEPa will be joined by several local eaters in a race for the title of Hamburger Eating Champion of Hamburg and one "really cool medal." Contestants will have eight minutes to eat as many hamburgers and buns as possible. The showdown will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Third Street stage area in downtown Hamburg. To register, contact Deena Kershner at 610-562-3106.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It appears as though the next meeting of the UEPa mouths will be on Saturday, September 1 in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. On that day the small town will be holding its annual Taste of Hamburg-er Festival and will be hosting its annual hamburger eating contest.

Thanks to Ian for connecting me with Deena, the festival's organizer. He got her excited about having the UEPa in attendance and she even leaked the "rumor" to the local media. The contest parameters are simple. All you can eat in 6 minutes (possibly 8, I'm not sure). Deena and I talked about the need for a nice prize and, since they weren't expecting to host eaters of our caliber, they hadn't budgeted for a prize. But she was able to scrape together $50 and a what I'm assuming is a cool medal. That's better than nothing. She promised next year's prize will be better with more sponsors.

The contest starts at 1:30 pm in the Third Street stage area. That's according to the sign-up sheet she e-mailed me. If anyone wants to enter (I know two of you will already), email me at shoffner1974@yahoo.com and I'll send it to you. She's holding five of the 10 spots at the table for UEPa eaters, but I want to let her know by next Tuesday if we'll be using all of them. I'm also going to reach out that EATORF eating club from the Scranton area and see if they want to show up. This thing could get interesting.

Friday, August 17, 2007


The first annual Chicken Nugget Challenge is in the books. About 10 of us gathered at Wendy's here in Harrisburg for lunch, with five of us attempting to break the SuperSizedMeals.com "record" of 60 nuggets eaten in 36 minutes. Abusing our gastrointestinal systems is pretty much becoming a Friday afternoon ritual for us.

In the end, I would come out on top with a finishing time of 19 minutes, 40 seconds. I won't claim that's an amazing time or anything. I'm sure it'll be broken soon (and I hope it is), but it gets us a little closer to a respectable record. Here's the complete list of finishers:

1. Dave – 60 nuggets eaten in 19 minutes, 40 seconds
2. Jeremy – 54.5 nuggets eaten when I finished
3. Billy – 45.5 nuggets eaten
4. Josh – 40 nuggets eaten
5. Edwin – 38 nuggets eaten

Here we are looking happy. Left to right: Jeremy, Billy, Me, Edwin and Josh. The reason Jeremy looks more bloated than usual is because this photo was actually taken after the contest.

Me trying to scare my nuggets. We each bought six 10-piece boxes. Jeremy called ahead and told them to put 300 nuggets in the deep frier so they'd be ready when the arrived. There are 60 nuggets in front of me, but only four boxes because I dumped two boxes into the pile before hand. By the way, my nuggets were FRESH, which means they were hot as hell. That made for an interesting first few minutes.

Edwin digs in near the end. He and Jeremy made pit stop at McDonalds beforehand to get some sweet & sour and honey mustard sauce because they claimed "McDonalds' sauce is better."

Here's the group during the early, hungry minutes. That hunger would disappear pretty quickly. I ordered a small Frosty (you see it next to my water with no ice). That frosty would come in handy toward the end. After 50 nuggets I was feeling pretty bad, so I cracked open the frosty and used it to dip and wash down the remaining 10 nuggets. The coldness and sugar really seemed to help give me a second wind down the final stretch.

A full set of pictures can be seen here.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I think I've finally recovered from this past weekend's ice cream eating contest. I spent the last half of Monday sitting at my desk tongueing the roof of my mouth as a thin layer of skin peeled off most of the area behind my front teeth.

It was a very thin layer. Sort of like the way your skin peels off your nose after a sunburn, only this shedding was caused by a 12 minutes of constant contact with frozen food. Also like a sunburn it left the exposed area very sensitive to hot and cold food and drink throughout the rest of Monday and into Wednesday. All is well now.

My recovery is well timed. Tomorrow several of us from work are heading to Wendy's to blow this guy's 60 piece chicken nugget record out of the water (that one dude's moustache and goatee toward the bottom of that page is awesome). And before you make the observation that he ate McDonald's nuggets and we're eating Wendy's nuggets (a co-worker insisted on Wendy's), consider this photo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Supposedly this is a Guinness World Record or something. I didn't think the good book was tracking eating records any more (which was always my favorite section of the book as a child), but I guess single food items are somehow okay. The guy in this video set a record by eating one whole onion in one minute, 29 seconds on the set of some Italian TV show in January 2006. This must be harder than it looks, because a minute 29 doesn't sound that fast.

Here's another Guinness video of a guy setting the mark for the most hot sauce drank in 30 seconds. To be fair it's Tabasco sauce, which is more like "ketchup with a kick" than "hot sauce." I'm actually more likely to attempt this one than the onion one.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Not sure how long this has been up there, but the Competitive Eating Network (website 4 of 5 in the IFOCE's "Web o' Many Sites") has announced plans for a Joey Chestnut cologne called simply, Joey the Fragrance.

I wonder what a Joey Chestnut themed cologne would smell like? Britney's signature perfume smells like Bubble Yum and cigarette butts. Paris Hilton's scent carries subtle hints of Jägermeister and Astro Glide. Maybe Joey's would smell like charbroiled beef and buffalo wing sauce. I'd wear that AND spray it on my french fries.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Today we gathered outside Harrisburg for the first annual Brusters Ice Cream Eating Contest. The weather was perfect weather and the crowd was lively. All in all, is was a good contest and a great job by the Brusters staff.

It was a 12 minute event, and each eater was given a quart (two pints) of premium vanilla ice cream. After each eater finished his or her quart, they were given a pint and another pint until time expired. The winner ate 6-and-a-half pints and won a half gallon of ice cream a week for one year. The use of water or any other liquids was NOT ALLOWED.

Beau's girlfriend, Katie (who also helped Beau with his scraps at Denny's) is "totally in love with ice cream" so she entered the contest with me. I told her if she beat me, I'd give her $100. Believe it or not, she almost earned it. She'd go on to finish 9th out of 17 (she ate just over 3 pints), beating one other woman and 7 other men. I'd finish 5th with about 4-and-a-half-pints (just over half a gallon). Obviously I'm not happy with that. Anything less than first place in any amateur contest is a let down, but oh well.

Here we see Katie in the final seconds of the contest. Her empty quart and one empty pint are in front of her. I'm really impressed with how well she did. She talked a lot of smack before the contest about her eating skills and she backed it up. We were given cheap metal spoons, but she used a wooden spoon and I brought a larger metal spoon.

Here I am looking tough for the camera. In other photos (linked below) I look a lot less tough. My tongue, cheeks and the inside of my lips were numb after the first three minutes. Halfway through my fourth pint I spotted swirls of what looked like brown or red in my vanilla. For a few seconds I thought some chocolate ice cream had gotten into the pint until I looked on my spoon and realized it was blood. Seems I'd bit my lip and, because it was numb, I didn't realize it. About five seconds later I bit it again.

A full set of pics can be seen here.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Another sweet food, another win for Pat Bertoletti. The captain of the Hungry Hooligans put away 42 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 10 minutes in Buena Park, CA yesterday. Tim Janus finished right behind him at 37.5.

Pat won $1,500, Tim got $1,000 and I'm assuming Rich Lefevre took home $500 because the IFOCE website (the main one, not the other four) said total prize money was $3,000. Another payout to third place. What a surprise. Would it kill them to start paying out to fifth place? Seriously, would it? A little green backs for a table ender now and then? It worked in shoofly.

Does anyone know why the IFOCE won't do that? I do. (Actually I'm not quite sure, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know.) In the meantime, enjoy this Family Guy clip. Yes, it's peanut butter jelly time.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


A friend at work noticed an announcement about an ice cream eating contest and tipped me off about the event. It takes place this Saturday and I've already phoned in to reserve a spot at the table. Twelve minutes, all you can eat.

Tonight I bought two containers of vanilla for a practice run. My main objective was to force myself to experience a massive ice cream headache and see how it would affect my pace. Would I be able to eat through it? Would it shut me down? Or would it just slow my appetite temporarily?

Normally I eat low-fat ice cream (Turkey Hill is the best kind), but tonight I used fat-free, sugar-free ice cream mainly because I just wanted to experience the quantity and coldness without all the other bad stuff. Interestingly, an entire container of fat-free, sugar free ice cream contains only 840 calories. That's roughly the equivalent of a Whopper with cheese (760 cals), but without all the fat! Not too bad.

Anyhow, I powered through the first container in about 9 minutes. The ice cream was a little hard, so some chewing was required. Maybe the Bruster's stuff will be softer. Sadly (yes, sadly) I didn't experience full blown brain freeze. There was some minor discomfort for 10 seconds or so at various times, but nothing that forced me to slow down. My teeth hurt somewhat from having to chew (chasing the big bites of ice cream with warm water helped, but I knew that method would fill me up fast) and my tongue got numb after about four minutes.

Oh well. We'll see what happens this Saturday. A bunch of free ice cream is on the line. A couple photos of tonight's trial run can be seen here including one of my Boston Terrier trying to sneak a bite.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Beau, Katie, Heather and I just got back from a Reading Phillies game. Say what you will about minor league baseball, but I really enjoy it. If you're a baseball fan, the intimacy of the smaller ballpark can't be beat. If you're not a baseball fan, the other perks of the stadium are great too. I especially like the $1.50 hot dogs. Same as the big league franks, but about $2.50 cheaper.

Which reminds me. I want to do my "Baseball Hot Dog Challenge" sometime this season (and there's only five weeks left on the minor league calendar). The challenge is pretty simple. Eat one dog in the first inning, two in the second, three in the third and so on. Eat through the sixth and you'll have downed 21 dogs. At that point you pray for long innings.

In the interest of getting this thing done, I've chosen the Reading Phillies game on Sunday, August 26 as the day to do the challenge. Strangely enough, Reading is one hour and eight minutes from my house in Harrisburg and exactly one hour and eight minutes from Willow Grove, PA (you listening Carey?). One that day I'll be scarfing down an obscene amount of hot dogs and catching nine innings of baseball at its finest. Who's in?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I was putting Google through its paces and was able to dig up a whole slew of local eating contests coming up during the remainder of the year. I love small town contests. The intimate crowds. The feeling of "invading" someone else's turf. The plucked-from-the-crowd competitors. The chance of winning.

In the interesting of sharing the competitive fire (and hoping others will do the same), here's the contests I found and hope to make it to this year.

Supposedly there's an annual pancake eating contest at Pete's Grill in Baltimore. According to this article it's something of a mid-November tradition. Pay to enter, big prize to the winner, but I can't seem to find any details about it in 2007. I'm also going to lean on our local hot dog joint to sponsor another hot dog eating contest (which my brother won last year) and our local wing joint to do another wing contest (which I won last year).

In the interest of sharing, if anyone knows of any other eating contests in the northern Maryland and Pennsylvania area, let me know. A tiny part of me considered hoarding the information about these contests for myself. Less competition means a better chance of winning, you know. But then I thought (and this may sound cheesy) that I'd rather lose to friends than win against a bunch of strangers. As for winning against friends? That's even better.

UPDATE: Thanks to Ian for passing these contests along: