It’s Mardi Gras time once again and that can mean only one thing. . . the Fat Tuesday King Cake Eating Contest at Showboat! Last year’s champion, who won by eating 10.5 king cakes in eight minutes, Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, will be back to defend his title. Pat recently took time out of his busy schedule to speak to Examiner.com.
Pat Bertoletti is 27, from Chicago, 6’2” tall and hangs around 195 at his fighting weight. He doesn't look like a guy who could put down 10.5 king cakes (he's done 14 at his best), but Pat Bertoletti is the #2 ranked eater in the world by Major League Eating. And he doesn't just inhale king cakes. Take a look at some of his other records.
- World Cheesesteak Eating Champion, 20 cheesesteaks in 10 minutes
- World Boneless Buffalo Wing Eating Champion, 6.75 pounds of wings in 10 minutes
- World Pepperoni Roll Eating Champion, 33 pepperoni rolls in 10 minutes
- World Gyro Eating Champion, 18 gyros in 10 minutes
- World Moon Pie Eating Champion, 60 moon pies in 10 minutes
- World Cupcake Eating Champion, 72 cupcakes in six minutes
- World Jalapeno Eating Champion, 275 La Costena Jalapenos in eight minutes
- World Ice Cream Eating Champion, 1.75 gallons of vanilla ice cream in eight minutes
In fact, Pat Bertoletti holds 39 world records in total, more than any competitive eater in history. Pat loves food. . . he loves it a lot.
Surprisingly enough, Pat has a culinary degree and is also a chef. He loves to eat, but he loves to cook even more. Pat told me he was an introverted child and he finds peace in the kitchen. So he cooks during the week and eats competitively on the weekends. So far, Pat has competed in 35 states and five countries.
Most of the contestants wear ear phones, so I asked Pat what music was playing. He told me he likes to listen to party rock, that it helps him to focus, especially when you get to the point when the contest isn't quite over, but you don’t really want to eat more. It works for him.
Does Pat ever get sick after a competition? He said in the beginning he had a little bit of trouble with that, but it doesn’t happen now. In fact, Pat told me he’s usually not even full after a competition. So how does he come down from the excitement of an eating competition? Well, in this case, as the adrenaline wears off from the king cakes, the sugar high takes over and you crash.
Pat Bertoletti has to get back to Chicago right after the competition as he’s due at work on Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. But you can bet he’s planning on going back to Chicago as the King Cake Eating Contest Champion once again. He’s got some fierce competition this year. Look at this lineup!
- Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, 5’5”, 100 lbs.
- Bob “Notorious B.O.B.” Shoudt, 6’2”, 265 lbs.
- Sean “Flash” Gordon, 6’2”, 245 lbs.
- Eric “Badlands” Booker, 6’5”, 245 lbs.
- Micah “Wing Kong” Collins, 6’1”, 270 lbs.
- Crazy Legs Conti, 6’2”, 215 lbs.
The Fat Tesday King Cake Eating Contest is always a lot of fun so, if you’re in the neighborhood, come on down to Showboat, your Mardi Gras casino, 801 Boardwalk, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 2:30 p.m. for the King Cake Eating Contest. There’s lots of great Mardi Gras food for you, too, at Showboat and, unlike Pat Bertoletti and the rest of the contestants, you can take your time and savor every bite.