Monday, July 16, 2012

Farrell's 2012 Recap

Farrell's Ice Cream Eating Championship concluded its third annual installment yesterday. The contest was hosted at the Brea location and featured a stage. As an event, it can't yet compete with larger productions but it's certainly getting there.

This was the first year that the contest featured a "Professional Eaters" division. Damon Wells, Kevin Ross, Matt Cohen, Frank Paulin, Ron Koch, Shawn Kirby and I filled the chairs of this brand new division and we represented it well.

Matt "Sweet Tooth" Cohen, last year's Men's Champion
Previous years did not have a "Professional" division. The seperate Men's and Women's championships were decided by whomever could finish a 6-scoop Pig's Trough the fastest. This year, pros qualified for their special section by eating the Pig's Trough. I ate it several times for various promotional events, and my best times were 1:30 and 1:45.

At the championship, each eater would be responsible for tearing through a 5.5+ lb Zoo Sundae. This mammoth dessert comes in a huge bowl and packs in standard scoops of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream along with different types of sherbert and whipped cream.

Things change when you go from eating a 6-scoop sundae to a bowl holding 30 scoops. The contest goes from one favoring short-gamers to people who eat for the long haul. Additionally, ice cream is a difficult contest food. Sweet, dairy, and cold isn't for everyone, but it's one of my best. I knew this would be close.

Damon Wells, your champion. He finished in 6 minutes and 2 seconds
The contest was staged under first-to-finish rules. We were provided with warm water and coffee at our discretion. They gave us short introductions, and before long we were off. Chugging away like madmen starving for dairy.

Damon Wells and I stood next to each other at the center of the contest stage. Matt Cohen really deserved center stage because he was last year's champ, but they decided to give us the spots because we had the fastest qualifer times (1:45 and 1:44 respectively - edge to Damon). The newly independent Wells gave me a run for my money, and I did my part to push the hell out of him.

When the smoke cleared, Damon froze his mouth to a jaw dropping win at 6:02. That's nearly 6 lbs of ice cream in six minutes... the rest of us paused a second, but remembering there were prizes for second and third place, plowed on. I finished my bowl at 7:17, marking my first contest finish ahead of Ron Koch. Ron finished maybe 20-30 seconds later.

No one else finished their bowls at that point, and I can't really blame them. There was nothing else up for grabs. Ouch and ouch. My teeth and mouth were stone cold at the end, and I didn't realize it until we stopped eating. Cohen stopped eating minutes before, and Kevin Ross stopped with about a pound to go. This was my first finish ahead of Kevin in a non-hot dog eating contest. Ice cream's definitely not his food of choice, but it was his birthday and a hell of a way to celebrate. I know he'll slaughter me (not literally) the next time we meet.

Shawn Kirby stood at my left. One enthusiastic soul.

Frank Paulin came hungry and left happy

The view from the stage is incredible

Took second place, finishing in 7 minutes and 17 seconds.

Until next year! Yum!