Amaebi and large Asahi at Rokuan in Chino Hills, CA.
As I sat at a sushi bar, enjoying a modest but flavorful portion of amaebi and the $2.50 large Asahi they had on special, I thought about the big plans I had for the coming months. This year has been uneventful as far as eating competitions go. I've only participated in a few, low-profile events, devoid of any real motivation to actually try and give it my best.
With a third of the year already passed, I am pleased to finally have some eating competitions worth training for again. This coming weekend I'll be doing hamburgers in San Diego. The hamburger eating contest hosted by Dash Burger is a repeat of a competition I had with Tom Gilbert and Stephanie Torres over a year ago. I have good memories about that event, it was one of my first contests, and only the second time I competed against Stephanie and Tom. I'm not sure if it will be as intense as last time, but with Tom's record of 18.5 burgers in 10 minutes to shoot for and a few hundred bucks on the line, I probably won't be showing up to this one hung over.
Though the event I'm really excited about is the inaugural Crif Dog Classic in Brooklyn, New York on the Fourth of July. It's not everyday you get to be at the beginning of a burgeoning eating competition. Takeru Kobayashi invited me to compete against him again and other top independent competitive eaters including Tom and Stephanie in another 10 minute eating contest. I feel fortunate in having the opportunity to develop my eating skills against some of the same people that I competed against from the start. The line up also includes Dave Goldstein and Brad Sciullo, two very strong eaters that I competed against in tacos at Huntington Beach last year.
With this kind of competition, I truly have the incentive to practice and improve my performance metrics. Despite the disgusting feeling I'll surely have from salt laden hot dog practice runs, I feel deeply invigorated to perform well and push my limits as an eater. And regardless of how the contest turns out, I'm looking forward to the trip to New York and spending time with some of my favorite eaters.