Thursday, October 17, 2013

One Man, 5 Pounds of Chocolate

That's right... 5 lbs of chocolate.

There's not much else to be said. The attempt to eat 5 lbs of chocolate is maniacal. But then, there's probably no better way to herald a new age in challenges than by attempting the near impossible. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Back (2013)

Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I've been remiss in my posts but the blog still exists. The urge to write endures and so I shall return.

As usual, the subject will probably be eating challenges - things look bright in 2013, and already I have plans to take on several large challenges all the way from Los Angeles to Orange County to San Diego. There may even be a detour to Las Vegas for a 120 oz steak and a few burgers.

This Sunday, I team with Jamie McDonald, Damon Wells, and Kevin Ross to take on an old nemesis: the huge 54"x54" pizza at Big Mama and Papa's Pizzeria in Burbank. We will be joined by two fellow Wreckless Eaters seeking revenge. Wish us well! Happy times and full stomachs await.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tacos With Kobayashi

The upcoming taco eating championship this Saturday is drawing a lot of controversy. The second annual Kobayashi Taco Challenge in Huntington Beach (Chronic Tacos) is criticized for being a lop-sided contest. It's hard to dispute that point.
Takeru Kobayashi, as defending champion, faces little threat from the field joining him in competition. His most famed and arguably accomplished rival will be "Furious" Pete Czerwinski. Despite their several clashes in recent years, Pete hasn't come close to besting Koby yet.

The rest of the field is rounded out by Southern California regulars and one eater traveling a medium distance. Damon Wells, Shawn Kirby, Jimmy Lin, Frank Paulin, Aaron Ybarra, Matt Cohen, John Rivera, and I form a collegial group of locals who routinety participate in contests. None of us is expected to touch Koby's numbers.

Even Stephanie Torres, the lone female eater, All Pro Eating's top-ranked woman, and winner of a recent string of contests, isn't expected to threaten "The Tsunami." Among the rest of us it is a race for second, third, and fourth. The press release didn't mention prizes or other eaters because those details probably hadn't been finalized at the time (I've been in contact with promoters).

Some criticize the rest of the table as punching bags for Kobayashi, a skilled man who simply can't find legitimate competition outside of Major League Eating. I'd respond that only one man in the world offers Koby decent competition, and there's no way for them to compete.

I'd also respond that most of MLE's roster serves as punching bags for Joey Chestnut, a man who dominates the sport and rarely loses. Only Pat Bertoletti routinely threatens Chestnut and even then rarely beats him. In the world of All Pro, Eric Dahl typically the contests he's in. And of course, in WLOCE Dale Boone is the big impact player who trounces the opposition.

So, why do the rest of us share the table with such dominant speed eaters? There's the thrill of competition, the adrenaline rush of the stage, the specter that these events are helping develop the sport of competitive eating, and that participating in these events gives them public legitimacy. You need a dominator like Kobayashi to help bring massive attention to an event.

We could always boycott the event. But if I had to pick between eating lunch at home, and eating lunch on a stage with Kobayashi in front of a crowd, the choice isn't hard. I certainly won't gain anything by staying at home. The event is happening anyway. Kobayashi is entertaining a waiting, captive audience and he will get paid. The rest of us may as well get what we can from it.

Veterans and critics within the competitive eating bubble may condemn what Koby does, but the general public will always remember him as the face of the game - the man who doubled the Nathans hot dog total in 2001 and had the bravado to battle a bear.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Oregon Trail: Part 4

Here lies the final day of the first installment of "Oregon Mania" 2012. Four days, four challenges in the state of Oregon.

The main event, fittingly, was reserved for the last day. I would be visiting Church St Pizza with Aaron Wakamatsu and taking on a brand new pizza challenge. Aaron knew the owner of the shop and they had been discussing ideas for a challenge for some time. What they agreed upon was a true monster: a 28" pie with quadrants representing the four most popular pizza options they sold.

The total product weighed at least 12 lbs. There was a lot of meat on the pizza. One section was vegetarian, but even that one was stacked high with mushrooms and spinach.

The challenge rules were straightforward. I'd have 90 minutes to eat the whole pizza, crumbs and all, or I'd owe the shop $100. That was a bit costlier than most similar challenges. I thought there was definitely a bit of the wager element going on here.

But before I could fight my way across 12 lbs of pizza, Aaron had to contend with an incredibly spicy pizza. It was spicy as it was, but not enough for the "Spicochist." He added a number of hot sauces and pepper extracts, even complementing his beverages with them. Aaron won but it was a painful and pyrrhic victory.

It was a struggle all right. Things were okay in the beginning, as they usually are. I started strong and finished half in about 14 minutes. Then I became increasingly sluggish. The fuller you get, the slower you go, and I finally eked out the completion mark at 73 minutes. Sweet relief. No need to shell out $100.

Oregon Mania I was a complete success. All four challenges done, and a lot of other good food sampled. Aaron and I already began talking about a second Oregon Mania challenge adventure, which materialized late July. I'll be blogging about that soon.

Aaron also produced two videos commemorating the challenges/stunts we participated in over Oregon Mania and they're linked here.

The first trip was incredible. The second trip would be even bigger and bolder than the first!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Special Announcement: New YouTube Channel

The announcement was already made on social media outlets, but I'll include it here too. I have a new YouTube channel entitled "Freak Eating." This channel will feature greater organization than my last one. The focus will be upon series of challenges, typically ones I do with or against other eating channels.

Material from my old channel will be ported over. Eventually, the old channel will be retired. It became incredibly cluttered with many random videos and not much direction.

Hopefully people who enjoyed my old channel and videos come over and subscribe to the new ones. There's no plan on stopping what I'm doing. I look forward to many hundreds of videos to come. Stay tuned as I eat like a freak.