How to get ahead as a hotdog eater...
July 3, 2011 1:59 PM   Subscribe

From 57 cowbrains in 15 minutes to Ess-a-bagel and hanging out with NYC chefs and models...the 'where is he now' of Takeru Kobayashi.
posted by bquarters (34 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Competitive eating" is trashy, gluttonous and disgusting and we should be ashamed that our culture has spawned it. That is all.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:07 PM on July 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I love Ess-a-Bagel," Mr. Kobayashi says of the bakery on Manhattan's East Side. "I get up early in the morning and get on the train just to go there." That's high praise from a man who holds the record for eating cow brains—57 in 15 minutes.

Wut?
posted by Splunge at 2:27 PM on July 3, 2011


The subject of the post belies your frustrated spittle, nathancaswell. There is clearly nothing trashy, glottonous or disgusting about a well-toned and cultured athlete like Takeru Kobayashi.
posted by koeselitz at 2:28 PM on July 3, 2011


How are cow brains in any way related to bagels, except that you could probably make a sandwich of one with the other?
posted by subbes at 2:28 PM on July 3, 2011


So... where the fuck does the reference to cow brains come in? I see it in the article, but is it an insinuation that Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs are made from cow brain matter? Because I can't find another reference for that ingredient being in their product anywhere.
posted by hippybear at 2:30 PM on July 3, 2011


No, there is apparently a separate cow brain contest. What that has to do with bagels is mysterious; I would guess that the author means to insinuate that anyone who can eat so rapidly (and hence has eaten so much, not that he's tasted much in the process) is someone whose food-related opinions should be heeded, but I suspect that the real reason for mentioning the brain thing is that the author wanted to drop in another detail about Kobayashi's eating contest victories but, being unable to find a way to slip it in that made any sense, decided to slip it in in a way that made no sense.
posted by kenko at 2:35 PM on July 3, 2011


I have never been able to erase the short-lived Glutton Bowl (on Fox!) from my mind. It was the most overwhelming spectacle of pure waste I have ever seen. Guy Debord would have been very proud.

A 55-gallon drum descending majestically from the ceiling and dumping out a load of cow brains would be equally unforgettable, I suppose.
posted by Chichibio at 2:35 PM on July 3, 2011


So... where the fuck does the reference to cow brains come in?

enjoy!
posted by jjoye at 2:36 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks jjoye, that was definitely unforgettable!
posted by Chichibio at 2:38 PM on July 3, 2011


to expand (sorry): the nathan's contest is only one of many eating contests around the world; kobayashi holds several world records.
posted by jjoye at 2:42 PM on July 3, 2011


Okay, well, that explains that. Thanks, kenko and jjoye. There are obviously things happening on this planet which it never occurred to me to imagine. Perhaps my life is poorer for lacking this capacity. I'm not sure it's richer for having watched that clip, but I do feel better informed.
posted by hippybear at 2:45 PM on July 3, 2011


Wow, jjoye, I would never have even imagined that would be locatable on youtube! Nice work! And please, expand like crazy...I was scared to hear 'thin post'...(insert obvious food-related joke here).
posted by bquarters at 2:46 PM on July 3, 2011


I am trying hard to come up with a joke about this guy and that japanese cat which involves the name of that Star Trek test, but so far I'm failing.
posted by hippybear at 2:47 PM on July 3, 2011


kobayashi vs 1,089 lb. kodiak bear
posted by jjoye at 3:12 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Kobayashi is old news. They're discontinuing his t-shirt. (Only L and XL womens sizes left)
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:17 PM on July 3, 2011


"GLUTTON BOWL"!?

WHAT IN THE MOST FUCKED UP OF FUCKS IS THIS SHIT? Ok, I missed this one. This is worse than "Ow, My Balls!"

Gaah, I don't think I can watch the cow brains clip, but the audio would make a terrifying sample for a dark ambient track.

It's not so much that it's brains. Ok, that doesn't help. The texture looks disgusting, they're brainy, etc.

What's disturbing is how many cows that that actually represents. That's like an entire herd of cows. Tons and tons of cows, hundreds of tons of cows. A thousand cows? Two thousand? I know the rest of the cow was used and the brains are mainly by-product, but even the few hundred pounds of brains they just dumped on the stage is so much wasted protein and energy.

It's really like something out of a bad sci-fi novel, like Vogons smashing jeweled crabs just as an idle distraction. It's not even an alpha-predator thing, it's a hyper-consumer thing.

Hey, we're such hyperconsumers that we're going to consume and destroy the nervous systems of about a thousand large mammals just because we're bored and it makes for addictive television.

And suddenly going vegan seems like a rational idea. What. The. Fuck.
posted by loquacious at 3:21 PM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


somehow i'm not surprised all of these clips are from fox..
posted by jjoye at 3:26 PM on July 3, 2011


kobayashi vs 1,089 lb. kodiak bear

Ok, that was funny, just for the "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" doubletake from Kobayashi.

Stupid, but funny.
posted by loquacious at 3:27 PM on July 3, 2011


Isn't eating 17 pounds of cow brains, like, spectacularly dangerous? If the prions don't get you, surely the 66,800% of your daily recommended cholesterol intake will?
posted by CaseyB at 3:35 PM on July 3, 2011


Isn't eating 17 pounds of cow brains, like, spectacularly dangerous? If the prions don't get you, surely the 66,800% of your daily recommended cholesterol intake will?

I don't think the caloric count is a danger that is particular to cow brains in the competitive eating world.
posted by Think_Long at 3:44 PM on July 3, 2011


Isn't eating 17 pounds of cow brains, like, spectacularly dangerous?

sure, assuming the food is actually digested. subsequent vomiting is pretty much the norm in these events, though.

(for the record, i totally agree with nathancaswell)
posted by jjoye at 3:51 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was wondering about that, actually: I would imagine for such a prestigious event as the Glutton Bowl (was it only done the once?) there would be a magnificently tricked-out vomitorium for the contestants to purge themselves in after each round. Little padded knee-benches, troughs, the finest wetnaps.

Certainly the quality of the "green room" must distinguish the truly professional eating contests from the provincial and the dubious.
posted by Chichibio at 4:06 PM on July 3, 2011


As the guy from Dlisted said, “Kobayashi is officially a citizen of the US, because getting arrested at a hot dog eating contest at Coney Island is about as American as it gets.”
posted by theredpen at 4:07 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that I ate one sheep's brain, and no cow brains. It was during my student exchange stay in France during my senior year of high school, and I ate it to be polite. I didn't much care for it. As it turns out, no one in my host family would touch the stuff, except for the host mom, so I could have kindly refused. I should have suspected that something was amiss when the rest of the family started "baaaaa"-ing at me.
posted by .kobayashi. at 4:42 PM on July 3, 2011


jjoye: "So... where the fuck does the reference to cow brains come in?

enjoy !
"

For very small quantities of the value "enjoy".
posted by Splunge at 4:45 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


"And monkey brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, D.C."
posted by hippybear at 4:51 PM on July 3, 2011


Sheep brains are delicious crumbed and deep-fried. They have this creamy consistency unlike anything else I've ever eaten; as the announcer in the Glutton Bowl video says, pate is the best comparison. Everyone should try them at least once (except vegetarians, I guess). Haven't tried cow brains, though.

This article leaves out the backstory behind the contract dispute, which was that Major League Eating refused to let him compete unless he signed an exclusivity deal which would have prevented him entering non-MLE events. The fuckers. More information; previous post.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:13 PM on July 3, 2011


Seems to me that the bear wiped the floor with Kobayashi. Why is the bear being banned from competition at Coney Island?
posted by pashdown at 7:41 PM on July 3, 2011


"And monkey brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, D.C."

Those aren't the only kind of brains in short supply in Washington, D.C.
posted by briank at 8:14 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Competitive eating" is trashy, gluttonous and disgusting and we should be ashamed that our culture has spawned it. That is all.--nathancaswell

Thing is, Kobayashi-san only weighs 165 pounds, and has weighed as little as 128 pounds (and he's pretty muscular).

Even lighter is the woman food eating champion, Sonya the black widow Thomas, who came in 4th in Nathan's 2010 hot dog eating contest despite only weighing only 105 pounds.

She has stated that Kobayashi is her hero and has said flirtatious things about him in public. He hasn't responded, to my great disappointment. Imagine if they got married. What would it be like to go on a picnic with the Kobayashi family?
posted by eye of newt at 9:41 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hah! Sometimes we find the best stuff after we post:
Kobayashi and Thomas together.
posted by eye of newt at 9:46 PM on July 3, 2011


sure, assuming the food is actually digested. subsequent vomiting is pretty much the norm in these events, though.

What they really ought to do is make these tough competitors puke into buckets and then eat their own vomit as well, afterwards.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:21 AM on July 4, 2011


Great profile of Kobayashi by Luke O'Brien of Deadspin
posted by arveale at 9:21 AM on July 4, 2011


Follow-up story.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:00 PM on July 4, 2011


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