Who is Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut? The Hot Dog Contest Champion Wants To Be On Top Again
Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island is a Fourth of July tradition in New York City, and this year, a familiar face is joining the competition. But just who is Joey "Jaws" Chestnut? The competitive eater is looking to make a comeback at the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest this year.
Chestnut is a longtime competitive eater who got his start 11 years ago in 2005. Then a college student, Chestnut consumed a whopping 6.3 pounds of asparagus in 11.5 minutes. From there, his zeal for the competition hasn't wavered. He currently holds several world records in different competitive eating events, packing away 32 pork roll sandwiches in 10 minutes last September in New Jersey, and 70 brats in 10 minutes at Cincinnati's Oktoberfest in 2013. One of his most recent (and most delicious sounding) world records was set on March 19, when he ate 14.5 pounds of boysenberry pie.
But even with the sheer amount of food consumed and world records that he holds, a win at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest this year isn't a sure thing. Last year, anyways, the longtime champion was bested by fellow Californian competitive eater Matt Stonie.
After his loss, Chestnut told ESPN that he was excited that Stonie had been able to bring such a good game to the table. "I've been looking for competition for a long time and I finally have it," he said. "He made me hungry," Chestnut told the sports network.
No word yet on what the competitive eater has been including in his training regimen to get ready for this year's attempt at the title. If previous years are any guide, he'll be stocking up on milk, water, and protein powder supplements to help train his system in advance of the competition.
If Chestnut is able to either consume more than 73.5 (his current personal best, set at the D.C. qualifier for the Hot Dog Eating Contest earlier this month) or more hot dogs with buns, or beat Stonie, last year's winner, he'll likely consider it a win. Until then, it is anyone's guess which of these eaters will reign supreme on Coney Island during this year's Fourth of July festivities.