On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a Sam’s Club in Plano is hosting Dallas’ first ever qualifier for the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest held each year in Coney Island, New York. Broadcast on ESPN and sanctioned by Major League Eating, the Nathan’s Contest is a Super Bowl-like event in the world of competitive eating.
In anticipation of the contest, Unfair Park will work our buns off -- so, so sorry -- to bring you a Q&A with some of the local competitive eaters vying for the title of Texas Hot Dog Eating Champion. Today’s contender: competitive-eating rookie Bryan Lipchitz, a 29-year-old who was born and raised in North Dallas and currently lives in Uptown.
How long have you been a competitive eater?
Well, actually, this is my first contest.
How did you get introduced to the world of competitive eating?
They have a competitive eating Nintendo game for the Wii, and a friend of mine and I wanted to go watch some of the events. I found out about the Nathan’s event here, and went to their Web site, and I signed up to find out more information, and now I’m in it the contest.
How do you train before competition? What’s your strategy?
I’m just a big guy. I haven’t practiced at all yet. I don’t want to eat a bunch of hot dogs, get sick and ruin the enjoyment of eating a hot dog forever, like at a family cookout or July 4th, so I just want to go there and go all out. My strategy is not to throw up. I’m not going to use the bun-soaking method -- soggy bread makes me sick. Someone suggested the squeeze method, and I am going to squish the buns as flat as I can.
How well do think you’ll do this Saturday?
I understand that there is a number that I have to reach, I don’t think I can get there. But I think it will be fun to try, and to say that I participated.
What’s your personal record? How many hot dogs have you eaten in one sitting?
In a normal situation, I maybe eat three or four hot dogs. So Saturday, I’m hoping to eat at least 10. I think I can do it. I can stuff my face pretty good.
Most competitive eaters have a nickname. Do you have one, and what’s your nickname’s significance?
Yeah, I’m going with “The Chazzer.” It’s a Yiddish word. It means someone who’s a pig or eats like a pig. They’ll eat anything, even awful junk.
And lastly, we have to ask, how many wieners can you fit in your mouth at once?
Um, that’s a loaded question … none. I don’t put wieners in my mouth, only hot dogs. --Daniel Rodrigue
Tomorrow's contender: "Meat Sweat."