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Eat & Drink

World Poutine Eating Championship sees surprise win

Posted by Maggie Vourakes / October 15, 2012

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012This past weekend, two extreme, endurance-testing sports descended upon Toronto: a 42-km marathon and the Smoke's Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship. 

Personally, an evening of all-you-can-eat sushi already tests my own gastric limits, so I had to observe this perplexing sport first-hand.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012The amateur competitor kicked off the event at Dundas Square, eating 7 and ¼ pounds in just six minutes, for a lifetime supply of gravy, cheese curds and fries. But Dundas Square really began to fill up as the pros were ready to take their shot at the $5,000 grand prize.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012The big event was delayed as competitors were slow to arrive, and so that more food could be prepared--yes, this was the kind of game we were playing. An hour passed, and I contemplated throwing my name into the ring, just to dunk my cold, numb fingers into some steaming hot gravy.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012Despite the wait, the crowd stuck around to see Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti defend his world record (13 pounds of poutine in 10 minutes). The reigning champ injured his knee and was on the verge of dropping out of the competition. But his good friend (and fellow competitor), Joey Chestnut, convinced him to take up the challenge, rented a car, and drove him in from Chicago.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012Bertoletti's return was bittersweet. Within 10 minutes, the poutine eating world was a different place. Bertoletti finished a surprising fourth with 8.4 lbs. Bob Shoudt and Tim Janus tied for second place after eating 8.5lbs each.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012But it was Joey Chestnut who walked away the winner of the event--yes, the five-time Nathan's Hot Dog champ is tackling new territory. He won the event after polishing off 19 boxes (or 9.5 lbs) in 10 minutes.


I have to admit, I was surprised at how intense the world of competitive eating can get. If you're game to try your stomach at the sport, here's are some strategic moves I was able to suss out:

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012Psyching Yourself Up
It's all about getting into the right headspace. While the speakers at the event pound out adrenalin boosting tunes like Eminem and AC/DC, the pros stay in the zone by bringing their own set of noise-canceling headphones. But it doesn't end there. When the stakes are high, you'll want to psych out your opponent with coloured contact lenses, face paint, and a good pair of low-visibility sunglasses.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012Hydration
The stage will be prepped with bottles of spring water, but any athlete worth their sodium intake will tell you that you have to keep your electrolytes in check. So while the amateurs slurp back water, the pros bring their own Gatorade and Vitamin Water. They come loaded with bottles of sugary drinks to keep their energy levels high and presumably large chunks of food down.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012Eating Tools Are For Amateurs
Each competitor is provided with a set of gloves, but when you're up to your elbows in gravy, what's the point? A couple of amateurs and even a pro chose to use a fork to eat their poutine. Rookie mistake. This is not a time to savour. From what I saw, you need all the dexterity you have. Winners take their gloves off.

Chewing, Also, is For Amateurs
Remember, this is a sprint, not a marathon.

toronto world poutine eating championship 2012toronto world poutine eating championship 2012Photos by Jimmy Lu

Discussion

44 Comments

Steve / October 15, 2012 at 09:42 am
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A disgusting display of gluttony. Meters away people are starving. The very people that attend and participate in this show of greed are the ones who will look right through and pretend not see those asking for help. Saying they are lazy and just need a job.
Disgust is what I feel when I saw this!
Jer / October 15, 2012 at 09:49 am
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Steve: They were actually giving away poutine to anyone that showed up as well for free.... It is all about promotion for "Smoke's" and I am sure they got a lot out of it.
Benedict / October 15, 2012 at 10:00 am
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Another tick in the "AWFUL" column for Dundas Square
Rick / October 15, 2012 at 10:01 am
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Steve = Asshat.
cathie / October 15, 2012 at 10:07 am
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While its great they were giving away free food to anyone that asked for it, these promotions, of people shoving food into their mouths, is disgusting, gross and wasteful. Its high time this activity fell out of public favour, its of no benefit to anyone.
Steve replying to a comment from Rick / October 15, 2012 at 10:12 am
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@rick what do you do when someone asks you for change? Fault me for having a social conscience. Call me names it will not change how I feel. Nor my opinion of you.


@Jer The fact they were giving it away makes little difference, it is still a show of gluttony and greed.
ChefAldea / October 15, 2012 at 10:20 am
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Food eating competitions while millions starve across the globe makes absolutely no sense. This is disgusting on so many levels. Every time an event like this is held in Toronto, I'm ashamed for me city.
arnold / October 15, 2012 at 10:33 am
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i find complaining without providing a solution disgusting.
BM / October 15, 2012 at 10:35 am
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@ Steve Food eating people should all go to hell.
CS / October 15, 2012 at 10:48 am
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@steve no one is forcing you to attend. stop being a troll.
SW / October 15, 2012 at 10:51 am
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Where can I see 'Doggy's video
Big Fuckin Mega Boat / October 15, 2012 at 10:53 am
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Why not just use the homeless people as the participants? It's a win-win scenario - the homeless get fed, and the masses are amused by the spectacle of witnessing hobos scarfing down poutine as rapidly as possible.
Howie / October 15, 2012 at 11:24 am
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Stop with these 'promotions' and open the damn location at College and Ossington already! How long do we have to suffer the taunting store front and no poutine?
Rob / October 15, 2012 at 11:44 am
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Looks fun and like one of those activities I'd rather watch than get involved in. ;)
Rick replying to a comment from Steve / October 15, 2012 at 11:50 am
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Social Conscience??? It's a friggin poutine eating contest, you boring kumbya POS. It's amazing that little people with a small world mentality have to be negative about something as stupid as a poutine eating contest. Were you sheltered as a child? Were your parents hippies? Did you have your "fun" gene removed when you were in the womb? Get a life loser.

Rick replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / October 15, 2012 at 11:56 am
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Reasons not to use homeless people;

1. They stink
2. Probably drunk which will lead to more vomiting than usual
3. Footage could be used for a "Bumfights" video
4. They probably would take their sweet ass time savoring the poutine and who wants to see that?
5. People in the audience would probably vomit with the sight of raggedy drunken/drugged up stinkholes covered with gravey and cheese curds.

Not a good scene at all.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from Rick / October 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm
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Valid points. Hadn't really thought that one through.

Back to your boxes homeless people, no poutine for you.
JD replying to a comment from ChefAldea / October 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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Are ya Popeye? Are ya "ashamed for me city?" The restaurant gave free food to anyone that showed up. I am sure they do a lot of other charitable food donation too. What you describe is a problem for your socialist government to fix, not a f*cking retaurant just promoting themselves with a contest. Actually, if the restaurant successfully gains new business, they would be in a better position to help less fortunate with the handouts you speak of, OR, here's a thought: possibly some local jobs, additional tax revenue to the city, some press that might attract more tourism (that means more $$ too for "me city") I understand how capitalism and free market is a concept hard to grasp in your cradle to grave spoon fed listless teet of a socialist governemnt system you are brain washed into thinking should take care of you. But, for others, who actuallyw ant to run a business (and then give back maybe, eh?) this is called a good idea. Don't cast stones at an entrepreneur trying to do something, cast stones at your government for failing to handout to every single person like they trained you to believe they should do.
JD replying to a comment from ChefAldea / October 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm
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btw... I am Replying to a comment from ChefAldea

you can stick it.
Ralph Nader / October 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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Competitive eating: a sure sign of societal decay.
Mr. Ford / October 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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The first Nathan's hot dog eating contest was in 1916. Society sure has steadily decayed, especially with those computers and this interweb thing...
Mr Sparks / October 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm
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Did they give drug-tests to the contestants? I could see some 420 providing a rather unfair advantage.
Steve replying to a comment from Rick / October 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm
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Well rick this says much about you, what a creep of a human being.
Yes I have a social conscience I am able to climb off my perch of privilege and help were and when and with what I can. You call me a loser, listen to yourself. Just pathetic.
Ford4ever / October 15, 2012 at 01:20 pm
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Wasteful & disgusting? Yes.

But where are you going to draw the line? Will you oppose the use of grains/potatoes/fruit for production of booze?
Miss Curd / October 15, 2012 at 01:36 pm
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seriously. you guys realize that you are:
a - debating/arguing about "poutine"
and
b - on blogto

brad pitt replying to a comment from Steve / October 15, 2012 at 01:36 pm
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What's in the box, Steve? What's in the box?
Ryan replying to a comment from Steve / October 15, 2012 at 03:27 pm
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Steve, I don't think you're going far enough. In fact, it's unfair that you're using the internet. You need to be out there helping the homeless, poor, and downtrodden. Why are you posting online? Stop being part of the problem and be part of the solution! Go out there and give a homeless person a place to live (I'm assuming you're not homeless). Even if you are homless, snuggle up to other homeless people so you can share body heat.

Me? I believe in not complaining unless I have a solution, because that just makes me a whiner. I don't like homelessness, but I also don't have solution. I however, do have a solution to people who annonymously complain about homelessness on the internet, which is outlined above.
Cameron replying to a comment from Miss Curd / October 15, 2012 at 03:42 pm
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actually, no one is arguing about poutine they are arguing about the contrast between public eating competitions and starving homeless people. Please read the comments before trying to be witty you dumb dumb.
the way to win is not to play / October 15, 2012 at 04:09 pm
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hey folks.. dont feed the trolls, thats how they win. Just ignore 'em,
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from the way to win is not to play / October 15, 2012 at 07:18 pm
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Yeah, we're working on feeding the homeless delicious and nourishing poutine here, not feeding the trolls.
Kids Are Overrated / October 15, 2012 at 07:49 pm
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Eat the homeless, Rick!
anthony replying to a comment from JD / October 15, 2012 at 08:17 pm
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Well put JD. Also please keep up the banter this is one of the more hilarious threads ive read in a while. "back to your boxes" classic!
Sarah / October 15, 2012 at 09:09 pm
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mmmm poutine
Jamaal / October 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm
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Not sure why everyone's getting on Steve's case - he simply made a truthful observation.

It's a disgusting display of gluttony and greed, Full Stop.

How could you look at those last few pics and not want to barf?
Jose replying to a comment from Jamaal / October 16, 2012 at 12:48 am
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Aside from the gluttony, Steve made an assumption that the very people that attended the event also look through the homeless -- that is a bold statement to make, considering Steven doesn't know any of those people personally.

I think he tried to make a valid point, but offended just as many people with his assumptions of those who participated in the event.

I don't see Steve making a revolution or lobbying for the homeless.
Gul Jassad replying to a comment from Benedict / October 16, 2012 at 06:43 am
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Which makes me wonder why people consider it to be a great place anyway;it should be replaced with a streetcar depot/mall similar to what's across the street, with people getting on the streetcars and off them in a better place than just on the street.

Sonia replying to a comment from Steve / October 16, 2012 at 08:29 am
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Agree @Steve. A disgusting display of gluttony...
Welshgrrl / October 16, 2012 at 10:34 am
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I also think Steve makes a valid if somewhat melodramatic point. I work downtown and regularly see people digging through garbage for KFC/food court remnants ... I also live near a food bank and see how many people legitimately need that service now.

Looking at pictures of people shoving handfuls of poutine into their mouths is gross, sorry.
Homer Simpson / October 16, 2012 at 02:46 pm
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Steve, you remind me of Frank Grimes. :-)
Jeorge Michael / October 16, 2012 at 05:34 pm
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That looks absolutely grossss!!
Skazzy B / October 18, 2012 at 08:57 am
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Hey Steve, instead of ranting and crying out on the internet, why don't you go and create your own charity and fight for your cause?

Spatula / October 18, 2012 at 11:04 am
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WOW- to all those people saying this is "disgusting" and a "waste of time"...

Keep in mind it is organized to raise money for the Daily Bread Food Bank...
Gul Jassad replying to a comment from Spatula / October 21, 2012 at 12:43 am
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That in itself, like military intelligence, is a contradiction in terms.
Cristian / October 23, 2012 at 06:36 pm
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The only think I know is that it has to take years of practice to get there, I can´t even finish a small order without feeling sick hahahaha

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