He downed 62 frandfurters and buns, besting the second place finisher Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti by 6.
So, Chestnut, takes home the $10,000 first prize and the Yellow Mustard Belt that comes with the title. “I’ll be hitting the Pepto Bismol later,” offered the champ after the contest, cradling a bottle of the sponsor’s pink elixir, as if he were the Indy 500 winner with a quart of milk.
The win however is not without controversy.
Chestnut’s main rival, Takeru Kobayashi was banned from participation for the second year in a row by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, i.e. Major League Eating. But the rebel TK, competed simultaneously with the actual contest at a nearby location in Manhattan. It’s reported he downed 69 hot dogs, which would not only have beaten Chestnut today, but, if recognized (which it is not), would be a world record.
Diminutive Sonia Thomas won the first ever Woman’s Division crown, eating 40 hot dogs, one short of her record.
Isn’t it time competitive eating fans around the globe get what they fervently desire, their very own Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral? The mano a mano Chestnut vs. Kobayashi Loser Leaves Town Texas Chainsaw Death Match we pray for?
Even though Chestnut has won 5 straight Nathan’s titles, the first three over former champ Kobayashi, I’m going with TK myself. If Jack Nicklaus can win at Augusta at age 46, Kobayashi, still in his competitive eating prime at 33, is ready to regain his spot as #1.
– Seedy K