By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Nov 27, 2006 9:38PM
If you think you overate this Thanksgiving weekend, you might feel a bit better after learning how much Patrick Bertoletti threw down his gullet. The 21-year-old culinary arts student at Kendall College won the annual turkey-eating contest at Artie’s Deli in New York last Wednesday, the Sun-Times reported. Bertoletti took first place after eating 4.8 pounds of turkey – and beating the second-place contestant by a whole pound.
The competition had eight participants, and the objective was to eat as much of a 12-pound turkey in 12 minutes as possible (can anyone swallow a pound a minute to polish off the whole bird?!?).
Last year’s winner Sonya Thomas was disqualified because she had trouble swallowing the turkey toward the end of the contest. Thomas’ competitive-eating track record includes downing 80 chicken nuggets in five minutes and 65 hard-boiled eggs in less than seven minutes.
Bertoletti told the Sun-Times his strategy was to start with the white meat, which is harder to eat than dark (very logical). Weighing 190 pounds, Bertoletti has won several eating contests, but said turkey was one of the harder foods to eat given all the chewing required.
In previous contests, Bertoletti has also consumed (on separate occasions) almost two pounds of chocolate hearts from Chicago Chocolate Co., 1.75 gallons of ice cream and 10.8 pounds of key lime pie. At least he saves room for dessert!