Joey Chestnut Dethroned

Until this week, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut was the International Federation of Competitive Eating’s No. 1 eater. But he’s suffered two big recent losses—by Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti of Chicago and “Humble” Bob Shoudt of Philadelphia. Bertoletti, who is ranked No. 2 by the federation, beat Chestnut by one-tenth of a pound of ribs in the fourth-annual West Nugget World Rib Eating Championship, consuming 5.8 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes. And days later, Chestnut was beaten again, this time in Cincinnati at the Skyline Chili Spaghetti Eating Championship. Shoudt, who also won the spaghetti-eating contest last year, is ranked fifth by the federation and won the contest this year by eating 13 pounds, 9 ounces of chili-slopped spaghetti. Chestnut explained his defeat in Cincinnati by saying, “I like to stand up when I eat, and here, I had to bend over. I feel like a lot of the food settled too high.” George Shea, president of Major League Eating, had a different take on Chestnut’s loss: “Eating is a test of inner truth and character,” he said. Shoudt, he added, is “just an intuitive chili spaghetti eater.”