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Eat & Drink

World Poutine Eating champ defends crown in Toronto

Posted by Bryan Smith / September 25, 2011

World Poutine Eating Championship TorontoThe World Poutine Eating Championship returned to Toronto on Saturday for its second year, taking place just outside Gate 11 at the Rogers Centre. Hosted by Smoke's Poutinerie, the event was officially sanctioned by Major League Eating (yes, such a thing exists), with two levels of competition: the Canadian amateur and professional championships.

World Poutine Eating ChampionshipIf you've never seen an MLE event before (and I hadn't), you don't really know what to expect. In this case, the contestants sat at a long table with two boxes of poutine in front of them. They're given a set amount of time in which they try to eat as much poutine as they can — the amateurs get six minutes, the pros get 10 minutes. When the clock starts, the "athletes" use their bare hands to stuff the food in their mouths, washing it down with water, as judges closely watch the action.

World Poutine Eating ChampionshipThe amateur championship went first, and it didn't disappoint — the grand prize was free poutine from Smoke's for a year, and each of the 11 contestants ate like they really wanted it. It was borderline revolting to see half-chewed cheese curds and gravy smeared on faces and stuck in beards, but you really had to admire the enthusiasm that was on display.

20110924-Poutine04.jpgIn the end, 24-year-old Aabid Patel was victorious. Asked what he planned to do with his prize, Patel revealed an altruistic idea. "My plan for this prize is to feed the homeless," said Patel. "To be perfectly honest, I don't really eat poutine that often, but there's a lot of homeless guys around King and Bathurst, and my plan is to give a poutine to a different one every day," he said.

Pat Deep Dish BertolettiThe pros were up next, and many in attendance were wondering if last year's champion, Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, could match his previous total of a whopping 13 pounds of poutine in 10 minutes. The lineup was loaded with stars of the world of professional eating, with Bertoletti, "Buffalo" Jim Reeves, and William "Wild Bill" Myers vying for the title. And make no mistake, these pros know how to eat. Watching them stuff poutine down their throats at just shy of the speed of light is an visual experience that I'll never forget, for better or worse.

World Poutine Eating Championships TorontoIn the end, Bertoletti devoured the poutine and the competition — putting away just shy of 10 pounds for the victory. For his efforts, he earned $4000 and the enormous World Poutine Eating Championship trophy, which is essentially a stack of various electronics from the 80s, including an original NES controller (it looks a lot cooler than it sounds).

Local boy Ben Do, who made a name for himself in last year's competition, finished in 3rd place, a very impressive showing amongst the pros. As pleased as he was with his finish, he felt that he could have done better.

"My total was a little less than I had hoped for, but everyone else's totals were a little low today too, so I'll take it," he said.

It may be nauseating to watch, and its status as a sport is worthy of debate, but professional eating is undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser, which should ensure the success of the World Poutine Eating Championship for years to come.

Additional Photos

World Poutine Eating Championship Toronto

World Poutine Eating Championship Toronto

World Poutine Eating Championship Toronto

World Poutine Eating Championship Toronto

World Poutine Eating Championship Toronto

World Poutine Eating Championship TorontoPhotos by Tony Chen

Discussion

27 Comments

wtf / September 25, 2011 at 10:26 am
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Friggin disgusting!
wtf / September 25, 2011 at 10:27 am
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Friggin disgusting!
FB / September 25, 2011 at 11:08 am
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The red Kool-Aid adds a nice touch to the regurgitated mixture running down their arms...
Sam Smith / September 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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White people are so silly sometimes.
Sam Smith / September 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm
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Only white people wold eat something as pathetic as this fattening crap.
Randy / September 25, 2011 at 04:40 pm
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what a joke event. can't believe people actually fund things like this.
tboner / September 25, 2011 at 05:11 pm
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What are you talking about? You should be deported if you can't eat a minimum of 5lb of poutine. rock on poutine soldiers.
charalique / September 25, 2011 at 05:59 pm
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if i'm not mistaken smokes poutinerie hosted this event...makes sense to me---a poutine joint hosting a poutine eating contest. and i don't know how anyone can NOT like poutine!!! crispy golden fries, cheese curds, and gravy?????? DROOOOL authentically canadian and awesomely delicious at that :)
dan replying to a comment from Sam Smith / September 25, 2011 at 06:40 pm
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There is an Asian girl in the first photo.
electric / September 25, 2011 at 09:03 pm
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lol Sam... epic fail. World hot dog eating champ isn't white either (in case you were wondering)

Why on earth did they give them Red koolaid, to simulate stomach rupture? Looks like they bit off their tongue!
Sarah replying to a comment from dan / September 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm
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yepp!! thanks me :) AND i beat the big guy next to me!
Gail at Large / September 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm
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This event should really be in Montreal!
Randy / September 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm
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There's more tasteful ways to promote your product. A Canadian classic like Poutine deserves more respect than a photo of some guy practically vomiting french fries.
Randy / September 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm
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There's more tasteful ways to promote a respected Canadian classic like Poutine.
D. Zgusted / September 26, 2011 at 02:06 am
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The foodstuffs and resources that went into this event could have saved thousands of people in the Horn of Africa from starvation. Instead, it ended up in the toilets of these pigs.

Shameful!
dan replying to a comment from Sarah / September 26, 2011 at 06:32 am
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Now that's a woman! Are you taken by chance? hehe
ajay replying to a comment from D. Zgusted / September 26, 2011 at 09:54 am
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everytime there's a food contest, trolls come out and ruin the party. yes theres starvation in the horn of Africa, but Al Shabaab isnt letting anyone feed anyone. Maybe you could try?
Arrend / September 26, 2011 at 09:57 am
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The World Poutine Eating Championship should be renamed The Toronto Poutine Eating Championship, because thats really what it is.
model trains / September 26, 2011 at 10:04 am
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oh my? seriously? this looks eeky.
JF / September 26, 2011 at 10:44 am
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This is disgusting.
Awesome / September 26, 2011 at 11:24 am
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sarah is awesome!
mat replying to a comment from D. Zgusted / September 26, 2011 at 11:25 am
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D. Zgusted,

You obviously don't realize that this entire event was put on to support the daily bread foodbank and raised thousands of dollars & probably thousands of lbs of food - they gave out free poutine all day to people @ the rogers center in exchange for a donation to the food bank.

The actual amount consumer in the 2 contests was probably under 100lbs (2 50lb bags of potatoes... what is that, $50?)

(for full disclosure, I ate in it, and donated).
Awesome / September 26, 2011 at 11:25 am
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sarah is awesome!
D. Zgusted replying to a comment from mat / September 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm
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You're right, I didn't do my research. Upon viewing the pictures, I commented based on the impression I had. I didn't realize it was a fundraiser.

That said, what is the purpose of having this contest? As you pointed out, the funds raised were generated from selling poutine, not from the actual contest.

Maybe it's just me, but these types of competitions always seem like the worst examples of Western consumption. I fail to see how encouraging people to eat as much as they can actually helps people who have nothing.

But, I guess in this case, it does?
rek / September 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm
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Food eating contests are revolting.
Sarah replying to a comment from Awesome / September 26, 2011 at 05:06 pm
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THANK YOU! you are awesome for thinking that im awesome! <3
Sarah replying to a comment from dan / September 26, 2011 at 05:07 pm
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No im not taken; that's why i decided to go on this competition spontaneously! :)

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