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Eat & Drink

World Poutine Eating Championship coming to Toronto

Posted by Tim / April 12, 2010

World Poutine Eating ChampionshipMove over Coney Island. Your hot dogs got nothing on this. On May 22nd BMO Field will host the first ever World Poutine Eating Championship. Burgeoning poutine chain Smokes Poutinerie is behind the event that will see about a dozen professional eaters descend on Toronto.

It's a spectator only event (meaning us regular everyday poutine eaters can't participate) but Smokes will be hosting a contest on their web site to allow up to 3 non-professionals to join the competition. For everyone else, we can watch the 10 minute poutine extravaganza go down near the north bleachers before the TFC soccer game.

Tickets for the game are mostly sold out but Ryan Smolkin (founder of Smokes) told me he plans to give away a bunch of tickets between now and May 22nd so others have a chance to see how many pounds of fries, gravy and curds must be consumed to crown a world champion.

Photo by Geoff Teehan

Discussion

32 Comments

fat bastard / April 12, 2010 at 09:21 pm
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That skinny japanese guy is gonna win.
Eric26 / April 12, 2010 at 09:36 pm
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Instead of buying a ticket you could donate a bit of money to help feed someone who is starving.
So boring, I know!
John / April 12, 2010 at 09:44 pm
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Eric is right. For all you people using your money on frivolous items like event tickets, computers, or Internet service be ashamed of yourself. Truely there are the Erics of the world and then there are truely horrible people.
S. Pell. Ingbee / April 12, 2010 at 09:51 pm
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And then there are the people that can't spell truly.
S. Pell Ingbee / April 12, 2010 at 09:53 pm
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And then there are the people that can't spell truly.
YOOu / April 12, 2010 at 09:57 pm
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Its funny that you never see eating contests with healthy food. Like bananas or oatmeal. Mmmm .. steel-cut oatmeal. Its always junk food thats tied to some corporate sponsor.
gravyandcheeseman / April 12, 2010 at 10:44 pm
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I am but a humble man who, at 32, has yet to achieve anything significant in his life. This, this will be my greatest moment, the pinnacle of my meek and singular existence. I will, I shall, consume a grotesque amount of potato, oil, gravy, cheese curd, and salt in an incredible vortex of questionable, championship eating behaviour. And I shall reign.

Too bad Smokes has terrible poutine.
Jenny / April 12, 2010 at 11:17 pm
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It's my only reason to live.

I failed at watermelon. This is my redemption.

If it were pie, I would ask you: Would you stand, stand by me?
hendrix / April 13, 2010 at 12:09 am
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TFC changed the game time to 1pm, so if they have this at 3pm the game will likely still be on (just finishing up.).

Gotta change the time to noon I think.
Darcy McGee / April 13, 2010 at 12:43 am
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I hope they have all of those defibrillators on separate electrical circuits so they can get them recharged quickly. They're probably going to have to be used more than once.
ian / April 13, 2010 at 12:47 am
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They would be able to eat more if it was good poutine! smokes sucks.

http://www.poutini.com/
prince of ronces / April 13, 2010 at 02:58 am
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RANT:
Seriously, the "comments section negativity" is starting to really bug me on this site.. This happens almost daily now. I read/skim an article, smile, then scroll down the comments and frown.

Stop downing on things 'cause they're not perfect.

My first impression: "heh, that's kind of funny, when's the last time I heard of a county fair style eating contest? it's very canadian, and at the end of the day, it's just a weird little event.. something Toronto could use a lot more of."

Who cares that it's not healthy. Loosen up. It's fun.

I wish we could stop downing on local independant businesses. Yes, Poutinis makes GREAT poutine, but Smokes makes very GOOD poutine, (c'mon, "sucks"? give me a break. Go to any of the restos that don't even use cheese curds.. THAT sucks.)

Anyway, the fact that they're sponsoring a neat little event like this gives them BIG points in my book. I wish more local businesses added to our city culture instead of just opening and closing their doors.
gravyandcheeseman replying to a comment from prince of ronces / April 13, 2010 at 08:20 am
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Can't speak for others, but I wasn't being negative. I love the idea of a poutine eating contest. But sorry, Smokes sucks. Am I being too harsh? I've been there twice (both times very excited to go to a restaurant that specializes in our national dish). After a ten minute wait: luke warm fries, cold gravy (that didn't taste housemade to me) and cold, un-melted cheese curds. Sorry, it's not GOOD poutine. Maybe it's good sometimes (like when you've been there), but clearly not the 2 random times I've been there. So at best they're inconsistent, which is something I do not personally like in a restaurant.

But the idea of a poutine eating contest is rad and I'd still go check it out.
gravyandcheeseman replying to a comment from Jenny / April 13, 2010 at 08:21 am
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Yes, I would stand by you. Until you started projectile vomitting pie LOL.
Eric26 replying to a comment from John / April 13, 2010 at 08:43 am
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I don't know if this deserves to be called an 'event'. I prefer 'a thing that is going to happen'.
Go buy a ticket to a play or something. I obviously know what's best for you.
CC / April 13, 2010 at 09:28 am
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Smoke's is heaven after the bar.

Smoke's is heaven during the day.

My conclusions:

1. Y'all are pretentious poutine people (PPPs).

2. Smoke's is delicious.
Maria replying to a comment from gravyandcheeseman / April 13, 2010 at 11:16 am
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LOL I love your comment!
kstop replying to a comment from ian / April 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm
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I've eaten poutine from vans, diners, and posh restaurants doing "interpretations" across this great country, and Poutini's is the only one I've thrown in the trash rather than finish. Smokes' menu may be gimmicky, but it almost always tastes good.
Jo / April 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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I'll have to second the motion on Poutini's...

Bu even playing second fiddle, Smoke's is still putting on the show, and I for one applaud them for getting behind this supporting event for the TFC, and for planting Toronto's stake in this growing culinary-subcategory of gourmandie, and thus the growing notoriety of Poutine itself!
...Can 'noteriety' become a cultural institution?!?

BTW:
This decadent dish might actually show some healthy benefits!

http://thumbshift.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/poutine/

w/ A clear bias (for now) when it comes to Poutini's !


Jo
Jo replying to a comment from ian / April 13, 2010 at 01:21 pm
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I'll have to second the motion on Poutini's...

Bu even playing second fiddle, Smoke's is still putting on the show, and I for one applaud them for getting behind this supporting event for the TFC, and for planting Toronto's stake in this growing culinary-subcategory of gourmandie, and thus the growing notoriety of Poutine itself!
...Can 'noteriety' become a cultural institution?!?

BTW:
This decadent dish might actually show some healthy benefits!

http://thumbshift.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/poutine/

w/ A clear bias (for now) when it comes to Poutini's !


Jo
Mel / April 13, 2010 at 03:02 pm
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Never mind the brand of poutine, the real question here is: why would they hold a "first ever World Poutine Eating Championship" in Ontario? Corporate preference over cultural appropriateness?
Richard S replying to a comment from Mel / April 13, 2010 at 05:17 pm
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Cultural appropriateness? Its a food that countless Ontarians have eaten, not a bunch of people in blackface playing basketball.

You make it sound as if it is some cataclysmic event. Go attend a drop fees rally or something.
PolyMan replying to a comment from gravyandcheeseman / April 13, 2010 at 06:19 pm
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"Singular existense"?? I'm pretty sure I have dual existense ...and that's not counting my alter ego's nor my evil twins. Sometimes I awake from what I thought was a afternoon nap only to find myself in the wierdest situations. Once I awoke to find my self in a poutine eating contest. Being in such a compitition is inexplicable, not winning is inexcusable.

Good luck to the eaters, make a mess, and have fun.
Poutinoisseur / April 13, 2010 at 06:54 pm
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Smoke's bases their business on the add-ons... while the idea of trying out a nacho poutine is interesting, they have yet to master the core basics. I wouldn't say their poutine sucks, it's ok, but I also had lukewarm fries, and the gravy didn't even come close to melting the curds. It's not supposed to melt them entirely, but the outer edge should be a bit stringy.

I've only had poutini's once, but was horribly disappointed. Maybe I hit it on a bad day, but I really don't understand why everybody raves about it. I thought the (beef) gravy was rather bland and also not warm enough to do what it's supposed to.

I've yet to find a truly great poutine in the city (though they're all pretty great when you're really craving one, as I often do).

Take an extended road trip through southern Quebec and New Brunswick. Then you'll know what amazing poutine tastes like. Toronto just hasn't figured it out yet.

I hope they do soon because obviously, I loves me some poutine.


* (Although Stampede Grill makes a good one, works well as a side to their awesome burgers.)
Eroll Leroux / April 13, 2010 at 07:12 pm
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Why is a poutine-eating contest being held in TORONTO - shouldn't it be Quebec?
Brad / April 13, 2010 at 11:30 pm
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The best poutine EVER is at Chez Nous, in Timmins, Ontario.
mona replying to a comment from prince of ronces / April 14, 2010 at 01:35 am
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Absolutely agree. Seems like there's always a competition going on for rude or snarky comments.
KJ replying to a comment from Poutinoisseur / April 14, 2010 at 06:15 pm
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Bullshit! Cafe du Lac was voted the best poutine in the city by Toronto life and it's made by a Montrealer who KNOWS his poutine.
Emmtee / April 15, 2010 at 12:25 am
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I just think it's hilarious how these Toronto trendy restos are trying to make poutine into something "culinary", like all these add-ons, I've even seen some on a menu with duck? Please, everyone, sit down! Poutine is a greasy diner dish sold in Quebec or New Brunswick eateries that cater to the working-class clientele, it's not meant to be "dressed up to go out".
I also find it pretty funny that it's so popular, given the usual defensive bashing of all things Quebecois that goes on in this city.
Having said that, I suppose this contest could be a campy kind of amusing event, like an event at a samkk-town fair. It could be...except it's not open like that, you have to be a chosen one to participate.
ken / April 15, 2010 at 01:01 pm
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ありがとう arigato domo, yumma yumma - fb
Mik / April 16, 2010 at 07:27 pm
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Smoke's is NOT good poutine; It's too salty and their gravy tastes cheap.
They use some kinda half chicken/beef stock mix in their gravy that just doesn't taste right.
Sorry but my bet is still on Labelle in Lachute, Quebec.

http://web3.userinstinct.com/52832054-restaurant-labelle.htm


Dylan / April 17, 2010 at 02:04 am
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Whereas poutine is delicious, I have to say that you can't tell coneys to move over. Let's eat both. In this spirit I must ask, does anyone know a good place in Windsor to get poutine?

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