Perspectives: Competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut

Perspectives is a short-form Q&A with culinary and hospitality professionals navigating the new landscape. Each week we’ll hear from different members of various communities about their experiences in the COVID era and how they are helping their business, guests and community move forward. If you work in hospitality and would like to be featured in Perspectives, please email

Perspectives veered off course just a bit this week.

Typically, we’re talking with folks in the culinary and hospitality industries whose job it is to either prepare or serve food. But this week, we’re chatting with someone who eats … and eats … and eats …

We were fortunate enough to be joined by Joey Chestnut, the No. 1 competitive eater in the world, 13-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion and all-around food fan.

For those who don’t know, the hot dog eating championship at New York’s Coney Island is an annual Fourth of July event that dates back more than 100 years. And while COVID was sidelining live sports during the summer, this year’s hot dog eating contest was one of the first “live” sporting events to happen while the majority of the country was still in quarantine.

Chestnut explained that he felt a sense of responsibility that comes with that.

“It was one of the first events to happen in quarantine,” Chestnut explains in the above video. “We were separated from each other. Everyone was being tested. I thought it was going to fall apart before the contest happened. There was a chance it was going to get scrubbed.”

Clearly it wasn’t, and Chestnut went on to break his own record, putting down 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

It’s just one of many world eating records he holds – ranging from hot dogs, to Bib Macs to pounds of poutine.

He also goes on to chat about the impact COVID is having on restaurants that sponsor many of these competitive eating events.

For more of our interview with Chestnut, click the YouTube link above. Be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel for lots of original content, including “Perspectives” “Art of the Ingredient” and “SoundBites.”

While we’re on the subject of hot dogs, don’t forget to check out our Chef’s Debate on whether a hot dog is actually a sandwich.

You can follow Joey Chestnut on Twitter here.

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