Portland’s Big Eaters Tell Secrets on How To Win Contests
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
To qualify as a member you just have to love food… a lot of food. Official membership includes submission of an eating video while wearing the club uniform (a T-shirt that says “Eat Through The Pain”).
Eating its way through Portland for roughly two years, the Big Eaters Club is coming up on its second anniversary and maintains a roster of eight eaters.
Two of those big-time eaters are Honey Badger (Stephanie Collingsworth) and Max Carnage (Ryan Rodacker). GoLocalPDX had a chance between bites to check in with this dynamic digestive duo: Here is what they had to say about their gut-busting obsession.
GoLocalPDX: What kind of person would be a good candidate for the Big Eater Club?
HB and MC: A foodie with eyes bigger than their stomach.
For first timers what is an easy competition to start with?
You first want to pick a food that you love and go from there. It isn't always about completing it, especially the first time. Go big, then keep going bigger.
Is this a hobby or more of a sport? That is, do you consider yourself professionals?
It is both and we would be considered professionals in the field. Competitive eaters have to train their bodies just like any other athlete. You have to practice technique and strategy, and yes, we watch our game tapes.
What is your favorite eating competition?
Pretty much any of our members would say a team pizza challenge. Two people and a massive pizza.
It varies from person to person, anywhere from 6 to 60 in a year.
Do you two compete against each other?
We have on occasion, but it's very rare.
What was the hardest competition either of you faced?
For Max it would be attempting to eat the Mad Greek Deli's Progressive Challenge, a massive 10-pound deli sandwich.
Honey Badger's would be Scrud's Gourmet Grub's 6-pound ice cream sundae in Idaho.
Have you ever thrown up?
Voluntarily or involuntarily?
Can you explain the "Belt of Fat" Theory?
The more fat you have around your stomach area, the less room you have for your stomach to expand. Most of the world's best competitive eaters are incredibly fit.
Once you've won a competition or a title, what do you feel you've accomplished?
Most of us that do this are competitive by nature. Competitive eating is a mentally and physically demanding sport. There is a sense of pride when you set a goal and accomplish it. Whether its conquering the massive burger in front of you, or eating more tacos than everyone else.
Are you starstruck around the big-name celebrity big eaters?
Not really; they're regular people, too, and many we consider to be comrades of the sport.
Once you've won a title do you think about retaining that title or do you move on to the next challenge?
Yes to both! Challenges are usually recognized as simply being completed. But when you are the first one to beat it, or you hold the record time, those are pretty special things.
What is the holy grail of competitive eating, the big one that you would like to win?
It would of course have to be Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island on the 4th of July…it's our SuperBowl.
What other stuff do you like to do? Does Portland’s Big Eaters Club have meeting or potlucks?
We like to travel, find good food in unexpected places…we listen to all kinds of music, and we stay active at the gym or bike riding. Meetings happen when one of us goes to take on a food challenge. Potlucks? No! Can you imagine the bill to feed all of us?
If you two were to get married would you like to have a contest at your wedding?
We are not married, but a hot dog throw down would certainly make for a memorable reception!
Related Slideshow: The 10 Legendary Food Challenges in Portland (Big Eaters Club)
Looking to challenge your appetite? Here are some possible food challenges that may spark your interest.
Casa del Sol
Challenge: It's all free if you eat 2 pounds of carne asada, 10 ten inch tortillas, and a side of beans and rice. If you eat this all in 30 minutes you can also get a $15 gift card or a Casa del Sol t-shirt.
Casa del Sol, 14324 S.E. Division St. and other locations. [link to website], 97236, 503-762-1033
Mad Greek Deli
Challenge: 8 pound massive Mad Greek Sandwich, 1 lb. of Greek fries, and a 32-ounce drink must all be consumed within one hour. If you accomplish that goal (and you must) you will receive all the money in the pot which is at $640 right now. If you fail, at least you have a new pot in your belly to take home.
Mad Greek Deli, 1740 E. Burnside St. [link to website], 97214, 503-645-1650
Photo Credit: Antonio Fajardo i López (Own work) Live look
Challenge: Eat a gigantic glazed doughnut in 80 seconds. Guess what you get if you eat the Texas doughnut... You guessed it! A button thats says, "You Win!"
Voodoo Doughnuts, 22 SW 3rd Ave. [link to website], 97204, 503-241-4704
Sayler’s Old Country Kitc
Food: 72 ounce steak
Challenge: One 72-ounce medium rare top sirloin steak must be consumed with all the trimmings: 2 pieces each of celery, carrots, olives, dill pickles, one regular salad, ten french fries or one baked potato and one slice of bread. To top it off you also must eat a dish of ice cream and drink a regular sized beverage. If you chew this all down in one hour you will get the dish free of charge and the honor of being “that guy/girl.”
Winners so far: 8 women and 571 men. Losers? 39 women and 1,285 unlucky dudes.
Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen, 10519 SE Stark St. [link to website], 97216, 503-252-4171
Photo Credit: Petr K (Own work) Live link
Challenge: It’s all about the 4 1/2 lb. Quadzilla Burger. Scarf that sucker down with a coke and a pound of fries in less than 30 minutes and you don’t have to pay for it.
Skyline Burgers, 2200 NE Broadway St. [link to website], 97232, 503-808-1553
Challenge: Consume 5 lbs. of poutine—cheese curds, potatoes and gravy—within 30 minutes and you not only get your meal free but you also get a free t-shirt. As of right now this competition is discontinued, but in a couple of months you may be able to take on the challenge.
The Original Dinerant, 300 SW 6th Ave. [link to website], 97204, 503-546-2666
Stepping Stone Cafe
Challenge: Complete three “Mancake” pancakes and you will end up on this Northwest breakfast joints “wall of shame.”
Stepping Stone Cafe, 2390 NW Quimby St. [link to website], 97210, 503-222-1132
Food: Habanero Cheese Fritters
Challenge: Complete five habanero cheese fritters with sauce and you will end up with your name on the wall with 40 other people (the wall comes down every year).
Salvador Molly’s, 1523 SW Sunset Blvd. [link to website], 97239, 503-293-1790
Food: Vegan Corn Dogs
Price: $1 on Wednesdays
Challenge: If you eat more than the last guy or gal, you get $1 PBR for 90 days as long as your record holds.
Hungry Tiger, 207 SE 12th Ave. [link to website], 97214, 503- 238-4321
Fire On The Mountain
Food: Hot Wings
Challenge: 15 El Jefe wings in three minutes. One sauce. One drink. One napkin. If you swallow all that down you end up with an organic t-shirt that says “I Survived The El Jefe”… XXX
Fire On The Mountain, 1708 E. Burnside St. and other locations. [link to website], 97215, 503-230-9464