The Astonishing World of Competitive Eater Patrick Bertoletti

Patrick Bertoletti is a competitive eater who holds more than two dozen records with the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Since 2006 he has consumed hundreds of pounds of food in these competitions with treats ranging from oysters to shoo-fly pie. So what is this guy like? Well, there are some surprising things to learn about him:

·      Patrick Bertoletti is only in his mid-twenties. The picture that comes to mind when it comes to competitive eating is usually of slightly older men. Bertoletti has only been in the scene since 2006 he was about twenty years old. The International Federation of Competitive Eating websites says that he honors and respects the older members of the contests even as he beats them at nearly every turn.

·      Patrick Bertoletti is average weight. This Chicago resident weight in at about 190 pounds. Sometimes you picture competitive eaters and think that they must all be obese because of the huge amounts of food that they consume but Bertoletti defies that stereotype with his very average frame.

·      Patrick Bertoletti has a degree in the culinary arts. I don’t know about you but I don’t think of a culinary arts degree and competitive eating going hand-in-hand. The art of cooking is all about precision, tasting and sampling each little bite of your food in a savory manner. Competitive eating is just about shoveling in as much food as possible in a short amount of time. I’m not sure that you can even taste it. But apparently these two things can go hand-in-hand because Bertoletti graduated from culinary school the year after he began serious competitive eating. He was part of the culinary school degree program at Kendall College in downtown Chicago.

·      Patrick Bertoletti works with food. He is able to put those culinary skills to use. He currently works as a chef at Chef Freddy's Catering according to Wikipedia.

·      Patrick Bertoletti can eat more than one pound of food per minute. Many of the competitive eating records that Bertoletti has broken required him to eat at least one pound of food per minute for multiple minutes to beat the record. He’s done this with everything from blueberry pie to corned beef and cabbage.

·      Patrick Bertoletti can eat huge quantities of intense foods. It’s not just the fact that this guy can eat a lot or that he can eat quickly that gain him attention in the circle of competitive eating. It’s the fact that he can eat large quantities of foods that are too sweet or too hot or too cold for the rest of us. Pounds of pie and dozens of pickled peppers are examples of the kind of intense foods that he can consume in a competitive manner.

Bertoletti’s history of competitive eating

Patrick Bertoletti has consumed a lot of food. Looking only at his first-place wins in contests approved by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, let’s take a look at his year-by-year food consumption:

·      2006. In his first year of competitive eating, Bertoletti set a record for eating nearly 2 pounds of Chicago chocolate hearts in 7 minutes, nearly 30 Date Nut Bread and cream cheese sandwiches in 8 minutes, 1.75 gallons of ice cream in eight minutes, almost ten pounds of key lime pie in eight minutes, 44 cherry kolaches in eight minutes, 9+ pounds of posole in 10 minutes, nearly eight pounds of strawberry rhubarb pie in eight minutes, and a nearly five pound turkey in twelve minutes.

·      2007. Bertoletti really started earning a name for himself in competitive eating in the same year that he graduated from culinary school. In this year his wins included 9+ pounds of blueberry pie in eight minutes, 10+ pounds of corned beef and cabbage in 10 minutes, 47 glazed and cream-filled doughnuts in only 5 minutes, 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes, 191 picked jalapeno peppers, 42 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in ten minutes, 11+ pounds of shoo-fly pie in 8 minutes, 15+ pounds of strawberry shortcake in eight minutes, 29 Waffle House waffles in ten minutes and a nearly seven pound turkey in eight minutes.

·      2008. Bertoletti kept on eating in 2008. He didn’t have nearly as many wins but the records he broke were impressive. They were for eating 47 slices of pizza in ten minutes and 400+ oysters in 8 minutes.

·      2009. The records for 2009 included eating 16+ 6-oz corned beef sandwiches in ten minutes, 6+ pounds of deep-fried calamari in 10 minutes,and 21 8-0z gyros in 10 minutes.

·      2010.  Bertoletti seems back on track to set multiple big records in 2010. So far this year, Bertoletti has set the record for eating a 22oz sports Slurpee in just nine seconds (can we say brain freeze?!), 275 pickled jalapeno peppers in ten minutes (Hot! Hot! Hot!), 14 King Cakes in 8 minutes, and 13 pounds of poutine in 10 minutes.

Not all of the contests and challenges that he’s known for are part of the official world of competitive eating. Many of them are for smaller local contests. Some of these other big accomplishments in his field include:

·      He was the very first winner of the Sasquatch Burger Contest at Bigfoot Lodge Café. This is the kind of competition you might see on Man vs. Food where a ridiculous amount of food is brought out (starting with a four pound burger) and you have to eat it rapidly (he did it under twelve minutes).

·      He often participates in the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest where he has consumed between 28 and 54 hot dogs at one sitting.

·      In 2009, he won the Nugget Rib Eating Championship by eating nearly six pounds of pork in 12 minutes.

Do you know anyone who would be up to the challenge of competing against him?!

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