Friday, July 27, 2012
It's not just hot dogs that Joey Chestnut can stuff into his mouth quickly. He's also a wing eating pro, evidenced by his win at Hooters's World Wing Eating Competition in Clearwater, Fla. Chestnut scarfed down 144 wings in a mere 10 minutes.
His competitors were close behind -- Adrian "The Rabbit" Morgan ate 140 wings and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas managed 131 wings.
Chestnut gets to take home $7,500 as his prize. Not bad for 10 minutes of work -- though that probably depends on how bad his indigestion was. He also got a shout-out on Hooters' Facebook page. Now there's some serious glory.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Forbes' new list of top-earning chefs for the last 12 months features plenty of names you'd expect. Loudmouthed UK toque Gordon Ramsay stands head and shoulders above the rest with a whopping $38 million a year. Rachael Ray and Wolfgang Puck round out the top three with $25 million and $20 million respectively.
We have to say, though -- Guy Fieri cracked the top ten? The Food Network star pulled in a $8 million last year, ahead of list no-shows Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern and Giada Delaurentis. That figure might have something to do with the fact he's Food Network's biggest star at the moment, according to Forbes. His show "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" is shown up to eight times a day on the network, plus he stars in "Guy’s Big Bite," "Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off" and "Food Network Star." Not bad for a guy who won the second season of "Food Network Star" in 2006.
Forbes notes one thing all these chefs have in common:
One common thread among the ten chefs on our list is that it is no longer enough for a chef to just own restaurants. Restaurant margins, especially at the fanciest locations, are notoriously thin. In order to make real money, chefs need TV shows, merchandise and even magazines.
The numbers were figured after speaking with food consultants, restaurant owners and industry analysts who helped estimate how much each chef earned between June 2011 and June 2012. Forbes also looked at restaurant revenues, TV pay, merchandise royalties and cookbook payments. Taxes or the cost of being a celebrity chef weren't considered, however.
Here's the full top ten:
1: Gordon Ramsay, $38 million
2: Rachael Ray, $25 million
3: Wolfgang Puck, $20 million
4: Paula Deen, $17 million
5: Mario Batali, $13 million
6: Alain Ducasse, $12 million
7: Todd English, $11 million
8: Nobu Matsuhisa, $10 million
9: Bobby Flay, $9 million
10: Guy Fieri, $8 million
UPDATE: Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern took to his blog today to express displeasure in the rankings, which he calls "way off base." Zimmern wrote that he believed some chefs on the list make much more than the numbers reported by Forbes:
I can think of several chefs off the top of my head who aren’t on the list at all who have better months than the number 10 chef (Guy Fieri at 8 million) has years. Mario at number 5? Ever seen the checkout line at Eataly? Correct answer to that question is which location? Their math is way off base. Keller, Boulud, Colicchio . . . I could go on and on . . . lots of chefs who keep these matters private are doing very well, and I imagine some of the bozos on the list love to see their name up there. It’s nauseating.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
2) Tim “Eater X” Janus 52.25
3) Pat Bertoletti 51 -Chicago
4) Matt Stonie 46
5) “Notorious” Bob Shoudt 45
6) Adrian Morgan 35
7T) Sean Gordon 32
7T) Erik Denmark 32
9) Micah “Wing Kong” Collins 31
10) Tim “Gravy” Brown 30.5 -Chicago
11) Pete Davekos 28
12) Eric “Badlands” Booker 25.5
13) Yasir Salem 25
14) Crazy Legs Conti 20
15) Lee Vilinsky 15
NEW YORK — Joey Chestnut won his sixth straight Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island, downing 68 dogs and buns on Wednesday to tie his personal best in a sweaty, gag-inducing spectacle.
Last year, the 28-year-old San Jose, Calif., man nicknamed "Jaws" won with 62 hot dogs. He bested his main rival this year by 16 dogs, scarfing down all 68 in 10 minutes in the sweltering summer heat to take home $10,000 and the mustard yellow belt.
"I feel good, it was a great win," Chestnut said after the contest, adding he wished he could have eaten a record number of hot dogs for the audience. "I tried my best. I'm looking forward to next year already."
Second place went to Tim Janus of New York with 52 hot dogs, who received $5,000. Third place went to Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago with 51, who won $2,500.
Chestnut was neck-and-neck with competitors during the first half of the contest, but he pulled ahead in the remaining minutes, choking down dog after dog, while other competitors slowed as the clock wound down.
"I'm happy to come out with the win," he said.
Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., downed 45 hot dogs to win the women's competition. She reached her goal of eating 45 in the time limit – her age – and took home her own pink champion's belt and $10,000.
Thomas, known as the "Black Widow" of competitive eating, won last year as well, the first time a separate contest was held for women. Juliet Lee, of Germantown, Md., took second place with 33 and won $5,000. Lee also won second place last year. Third place went to Michelle Lesco, of Tuscon, Ariz., who received $2,500 for downing 25 1/2.
Thomas said she started to feel sick while eating but kept pushing so she could win the title.
"There is a limit so I have to fight," she said.
Thomas said next year she's going to beat her record again and eat 46.
"Because I'm going to be 46 next year," she said.
The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has been a city tradition for 97 years. Tens of thousands of spectators gather to gawk as contestants shimmy, slither and bounce as they dip hot dogs in water and cram them down their throats.
For some, it's a painful reminder of excess – especially as the U.S. battles a growing obesity problem. The American Medical Association opposes competitive eating, saying it's harmful to the human body. But the competitive eaters are quite trim. Chestnut is more than 6 feet tall and a muscly 210 pounds, and Thomas, who is 5-foot-5, weighed in at barely 100 pounds.
Hot dogs, though, aren't the healthiest of choices. In addition to beef, they include salt and various food additives. Chestnut's total dog count was equal to more than 20,000 calories. This year, the animal rights group Mercy For Animals staged a protest against eating meat, with signs that read "Choose Vegetarian."
Chestnut is now tied with his former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, for consecutive wins. The slim Japanese champ held the record for hot dog eating from 2001 to 2007, when he was unseated by Chestnut.
But two years ago, after refusing to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating, the food equivalent of the NFL, he was banned from competition. He showed up anyway, wearing a T-shirt that said "Free Kobi," rushed the stage and was arrested, but charges were later dropped.
Last year, the Japanese native nicknamed the "Tsunami" held an unofficial contest from a rooftop on ritzy Fifth Avenue, eating near a giant plasma TV airing the official competition live.
Kobayashi competed in a different eating contest on Wednesday.