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HomeFoodProfessional eaters “dispose” of pizza food challenge | News

Professional eaters “dispose” of pizza food challenge | News

Brandon Clark knew he was a fast eater. But little did he know that he ate faster than most people on this planet.

While his colleagues were getting McDonald’s for lunch, he had already finished his lunch when they returned to the site.

“Newcomers” to construction who didn’t know him would usually ask: Why isn’t this guy eating lunch? Others referred to him as a human “garbage collector”.

In 2016, some friends decided to sign him up for a food challenge at the Righteous Pig BBQ in Belleville, Illinois. The challenge was to eat a four-pound Cuban sandwich with pork belly pastrami, pulled pork, mustard, BBQ and picks – PLUS two sides in 45 minutes.

Not only did Clark finish everything, he beat 10 other contestants and captured the sandwich in record time.

“I did it in about seven minutes,” Clark said. “Plus a pound of potato salad and a pound of baked beans. I was the first to finish.”

A week later, he completed another food challenge across the street from Righteous Pig. This time it was a wing contest at 618 Big Daddy’s.

“I actually punched a professional eater,” Clark said. “A big guy walked in that was as tall as Paul Bunyan, but he didn’t even eat half the food. It’s not how big you are physically, it’s how big your stomach is.”

After overcoming many more food challenges, Clark decided to go “pro” and today makes a living as a professional eater. Since then, he’s taken on — and beaten — over 400 food challenges nationwide.

He ate 26 cookies at Grandma’s Cookies Eating Contest in St. Charles, Missouri; 19.5 ears in Caseyville, Illinois; 15 hot dogs and buns in four minutes in Poplar Bluff, Missouri; 7 Ribeye Sandwiches in Four Minutes at the State Fair in Springfield, Illinois; ate a 54-inch, 50-pound pizza in Los Angeles, a 100-pound hamburger in New Jersey, a 72-ounce steak and sides at Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas, and became the Mo’s Taco Champion and Baconfest Bacon Champion appointed to name a few.

The 46-year-old native of New Madrid, Missouri, brought his stomach to Southaven’s Italia Pizza Cafe last week to tackle the 18-pound stuffed pizza challenge. Finish it in an hour and you’ll take home $400. If you fail, the pizza will cost you $80 plus tax.

“It’s like two pizzas on top of each other,” Clark said. “The top and bottom is dough and stuffed with meat.”

Clark has conquered other pizza challenges, but for this challenge he brought some help, another professional eater, Bob Shoudt, or Notorious BOB as he is known in the professional eater world.

Shoudt, who lives in the Philadelphia area, holds a number of food records, including 23.4 pounds of salmon soup in six minutes, 59.6 pounds of food in four hours and 409 wings that netted him $50,000 — the biggest prize, ever awarded to a pro eater.

Shoudt admitted he was intimidated by the 18-pound pizza, which actually weighs over 22 pounds when cooked.

“It’s a really tough challenge,” Shoudt said. “There’s tons of pepperoni and tons of dough. It’s got a lot of meat – which I love – but it’s high in salt. You’ll get thirsty and you’ll want to drink. And the more you drink, the fuller your stomach becomes.”

To make it even more challenging, the two ordered an appetizer.

“We call it a warm-up,” Shoudt said.

Shoudt, who has been an ambitious eater for more than 20 years, said he actually failed at a challenge similar to this one at Champ’s Pizza in Maryland.

“I actually failed twice,” Shoudt said. “There were five toppings and just the sausage alone weighed 7.5 pounds and four more meat toppings. I could not do it.”

Clark used to train for nutritional challenges by drinking lots of fluids, which stretches the stomach, but he hasn’t trained in about four years. Though he loves a good buffet, Clark said he only eats about one meal a day and doesn’t eat 12 to 14 hours before a food challenge. After a challenge, he goes back to his usual – a freeze and three or four gallons of water.

While he doesn’t want to share too many secrets, Clark did share a tip for any potential Food Challenge entrants.

“If you say if you chew, you lose,” Clark said. “You should chew just enough so you don’t choke.”

Clark said he’s had a few famous failures over the years. When he first tried it, he couldn’t finish four pounds of pasta with a three-pound meatball at Mama’s on the Hill in St. Louis. However, he went back six months later and ended it.

“My daughter was with me,” Clark said. “That was just before she died. I didn’t want to look like a failure in front of her. I did it but my side stung.”

Clark also failed the first time to finish a 32-inch pizza with 40 ounces of tomato sauce and 2.5 pounds of cheese that weighed nine pounds at Johnny G’s in Toms River, New Jersey.

“I went there and lost that, but I went back a year later and quit,” Clark said.

Clark said the ones with a lot of dough are always the hardest. When he’s not eating competitively, Clark says he loves eating at buffets. He’s never been kicked out of one, but he did get a few dirty looks when he returned seven plates to his table.

“They’re irritated because they think I’m going to waste food,” Clark said. “But I eat everything but the bones, the plate and the cutlery.”

Clark shares his eating challenges on his YouTube channel and tries to post about two challenges a week.

“I juggle food challenges,” Clark said. “I’m not going to make pizza for at least two weeks. I make sure they aren’t all food challenges too. I will also try a speed eating challenge.”

While you don’t get rich as a professional eater, Clark said he makes enough to pay the bills and buy the video equipment needed to film and edit the food challenges.

“Some people make $100,000 a month from videos,” Clark said. “But you must have millions of subscribers to your channel. I haven’t. I make enough to pay the bills and have some money here and there, but nothing crazy. You need to plan your trips in advance so you can complete many challenges or you will lose money.”

Watching as they made and cooked the pizza, Clark said he was “pretty confident” he could complete the £18 stuffed pizza challenge.

“It’s got a lot of cheese on it,” Clark said. “And it has salami, ham, pepperoni and lots of sausage. Did I mention there is a lot of sausage?”

As the clock ticked, “Da Garbage Disposal” and “Notorious BOB” kicked off and were immediately impressed.

“That’s a really good pizza,” said BOB. “This is fantastic.”

“Typically, big challenges are just lumps on a plate,” Clark added. “But that’s actually good.”

Not only did the two eaters finish 19 of the 22-pound pizza, they came back and tried the other pizza challenge, the “Big Mama” 10-pound team challenge, in which they beat the previous 25-minute Beat the record by finishing in 11 minutes and 2 seconds.

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