Bragging rights and a $4,000 cash purse hang in the balance.
ATLANTIC CITY — With $4,000 prize money on the line, and thousands of calories destined for their waistlines, more than a dozen competitive eaters will vie for the title of Fat Tuesday King Cake Eating Champion at Showboat’s House of Blues Restaurant on Feb. 12, starting 2:30pm.
Sanctioned by Major League Eating, the governing body that oversees professional competitive eating events, the contest will see Chicago’s Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti attempt to claim his fourth straight King Cake Eating world title, but standing in his way will be many other formidable fellow professional gluttons with impressive eating résumés.
“Showboat Atlantic City has proudly hosted Major League Eating for five straight years, with each Fat Tuesday King Cake Eating Championship growing exponentially bigger and bigger,” says Kevin Ortzman, senior vice president and general manager of Showboat, Caesars and Bally’s Atlantic City. “Watching some of the world’s most tenacious and ravenous eaters excel at their craft is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed … This open-to-the-public event is sure to be a 2013 Mardi Gras that you won’t soon forget.”
Bertoletti (pictured right), the three-time defending King Cake Eating champion, will be seeking to break his 2010 record of 10.5 pounds of King Cake in eight minutes. A mohawked chef from Chicago, Bertoletti is the second-ranked eater in the world and holds 38 eating records, including 275 jalapeno peppers in eight minutes and 72 cupcakes in six minutes.
Challenging Bertoletti will be the top female eater in the world, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas (below left) ranked #4 in the world), of Alexandria, Virginia, and Philadelphia favorite Bob “Notorious B.O.B.” Shoudt (bottom right) ranked #5) of Royersford, Pa. (suburban Philly). At just 105 pounds, Thomas once again made headlines in 2012 when she set a new female July 4 hot dog-eating record by downing 45 dogs and buns in 10 minutes, and claimed her second Women’s Hot Dog Eating Championship.
The Philadelphia region will also send to the table Sean “Flash” Gordon of Downingtown, and Micah Collins and Eric “Steakbellie” Livingston, both of Drexel Hill. New York City’s Crazy Legs Conti, a dreadlocked competitive-eating veteran who launched his career in New Orleans, hopes to harness the magic of the Big Easy at this year’s King Cake Eating Championship.
The eight-minute contest will take place at 2:30pm from the House of Blues Party Pit at Showboat. Showboat will award $2,000 to the top finisher, with the second- through fifth-place finishers earning $1,000, $500, $300 and $200 respectively. Prior to the contest an audience member will be selected from the crowd to compete alongside the pros through a “last chance” raffle drawing.
Fat Tuesday King Cake Eating World Championship
Where: House of Blues Restaurant at Showboat
When: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2:30pm
See bios of the professional contestants below.
Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti
6’2”, 190 lbs
•#2 Ranked Eater in the World by Major League Eating
•World Cheesesteak Eating Champion, 20 cheesesteaks in 10 min
•World Boneless Buffalo Wing Eating Champion, 6.75 lbs in 10 min
•World Pepperoni Roll Eating Champion, 33 pepperoni rolls in 10 min
•World Gyro Eating Champion, 18 gyros in 10 min
•World Moon Pie Eating Champion, 60 moon pies in 10 min
•World Cupcake Eating Champion, 72 cupcakes in 6 min
•World Jalapeno Eating Champion, 275 La Costena Jalapenos in 8 min
•World Ice Cream-Eating Champion, 1.75 gallons Vanilla Ice Cream in 8 min
•Hold 39 World Records; more than any eater in history
•Culinary school graduate and chef in Chicago
•Runs a food truck in Chicago called GluttonForce Five
Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas
5’5”, 100 lbs
•#4-Ranked Eater in the World by Major League Eating
•5-Time U.S. Chicken Wing Eating Champion, 6.43 lbs in 12 min.; defeated Joey Chestnut in 2011
•Acme World Oyster Eating Champion, 47 dozen Louisiana oysters in 8 min
•Wild Turkey 81 Eating Champion, 5.25 lbs of turkey in 10 min
•World Crawfish Eating Champion, 3.25 lbs Louisiana crawfish in 10 min
•Won Hooters World Wing Eating Championship Qualifier (Augusta, GA), 140 wings in 10 min
•World Clam Eating Champion, 26 dozen cherrystone clams in 6 min
•Has eaten 274 Jalapenos in 10 min; 2009 Jalapeno Eating Champ
•World Cheesecake Eating Champion, 11 lbs. in 9 min
•Also eating champion in lobster, baked beans and fried okra
•Holds 25 World Records; hobbies include bowling
•Favorite Food: hard boiled eggs; has eaten 65 hard boiled eggs in 6 min, 40 seconds
With a long table lined with countless drinks, epic introduction music and the scent of sugary sweetness creeping throughout the casino floor, Fat Tuesday truly lived up to its name at the Big Easy on the Boardwalk.
A lot was at stake at the annual Trump Plaza Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on May 28 at 2pm, namely the title of New Jersey Hot Dog Eating Champion and the right to compete in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, NY.
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