Joey Chestnut

Joey Chestnut

Born (1983-11-25) November 25, 1983
Vallejo, California, U.S.
Alma mater San Jose State University
Occupation Professional Competitive Eater with Major League Eating/ Construction Engineer

Joseph "Jaws" Christian Chestnut (born November 25, 1983) is an American competitive eater. The 6.1-foot-tall (1.9 m), 230-pound (100 kg) competitive eater is currently ranked first[1] in the world by the Major League Eating. He is a Vallejo, California native who currently resides in San Jose, California.

On July 4, 2007, Chestnut won the 92nd Annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, beating six-time defending champion Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi by consuming 66 hot dogs and buns (HDB) in 12 minutes, which set a new world record. The following year, he successfully defended his title by winning a 5 hot dog eat-off after tying Kobayashi in consuming 59 HDB in 10 minutes. On July 4, 2009, Chestnut outlasted Kobayashi again, by consuming a new world record of 68 HDB and winning his third consecutive title. On July 4, 2010, Chestnut took home his 4th consecutive Mustard Belt eating 54 HDB. The 2010 contest was a runaway victory, as Kobayashi did not compete due to a contract dispute with Major League Eating.[2] On July 4, 2011, he won his fifth-consecutive championship with 62 HDB. 2012 marked his sixth consecutive win, when Chestnut tied his own world record from 2009 by devouring 68 HDB. In 2013, Chestnut captured his seventh straight title, eating a total of 69 HDB, breaking his previous world record. In 2014, Chestnut captured his eighth straight title eating a total of 61 HDB.

Joey Chestnut proposed to his longtime girlfriend Neslie Ricasa just before defending his title in the 2014 Nathan's competition.[3] The couple split up in early 2015, prior to their scheduled wedding date.[4] Chestnut lost the 2015 Hot Dog eating contest to Matt Stonie.[5] On July 4, 2016, Chestnut regained the championship belt from Matt Stonie by eating 70 hot dogs; 3.5 hot dogs short of his record setting qualifying round.



Chestnut, a San Jose State University student, entered the competitive eating scene in 2005 with a break-out performance in the deep-fried asparagus eating championship, in which he beat high-ranked eater Rich LeFevre by eating 6.3 pounds of asparagus in 11.5 minutes. That same year, during Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, he downed 32 dogs, placing third behind Takeru Kobayashi and Sonya Thomas.

On October 22, 2005, Chestnut set a new world record for downing 32.5 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes at the Arizona State Fair, as part of the World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship circuit.[6]

Chestnut defeated Sonya Thomas in the Waffle House World Waffle Eating Championship and placed second to her in a Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship qualifier, downing 56 Krystal Burgers in eight minutes to her 57. He later beat her by eating 91 hamburgers in the finals, finishing second to the 97 hamburgers consumed by Takeru Kobayashi.


Chestnut qualified for the 2006 Nathan's Contest by eating 50 hot dogs with buns (HDB). As July 4 approached, there was speculation that 2006 might be the year when Kobayashi would be beaten.[7] It was not to be, however. Although Chestnut turned in a great performance, leading Takeru Kobayashi through most of the contest, the final tally put Chestnut at 52 and Kobayashi at 53 34 (a new world record). Chestnut lost to Kobayashi in the Johnsonville World Bratwurst Eating Championship in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He ate 41 bratwurst sausages in 10 minutes. Kobayashi ate 58.


In 2007, Chestnut won the Wing Bowl XV, an annual Philadelphia event at the Wachovia Center. In this competition, he ate 182 chicken wings in 30 minutes, becoming a Wing Bowl champion and record holder.

Chestnut was seen on a YouTube video drinking a gallon of milk in 41 seconds.[8]

On July 4, 2007, Chestnut and Kobayashi battled the field in a record-setting hot dog eating battle in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, at Nathan's Contest. Chestnut knocked off Kobayashi 66–63, leading to the latter's first defeat in the contest in six years.

On October 28, 2007, between 2:33 and 2:41, Chestnut ate 103 Krystal burgers in the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was Chestnut's personal best, and is the new world record.


Chestnut started off 2008 very well by setting two new world records: (1) he devoured 241 wings in 30 minutes at the Wing Bowl XVI in Philadelphia on February 1(The record was broken by Takeru Kobayashi at the Wing Bowl XX in 2011. Kobayashi ate 337 wings), and (2) he ate 78 matzo balls during Kenny & Ziggy's World Matzoh Ball Eating Championship in Houston, Texas on March 2.

On 24 March 2008, Chestnut set a new record at The Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant in Amarillo, Texas by eating a meal of 72-ounce ribeye steak, salad, baked potato, shrimp cocktail, and roll in just 8 minutes 52 seconds. Shortly after, on his show on KKLA, Frank Pastore, the previous record holder, congratulated Chestnut. (The overall human record is 4 minutes 18 seconds, done by Molly Schuyler on 19 April 2015, on her first of three meals. She subsequently had two more meals, and completed them all after 20 minutes elapsed.)

On 21 June 2008, Chestnut lost to Takeru Kobayashi in a Pizza Hut P'Zone competition at Sony Studios in Culver City, California. The competition aired on Spike TV on June 21.

On 4 July 2008, Chestnut tied Takeru Kobayashi in the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Contest after eating 59 HDB in 10 minutes. The tie resulted in a 5-hotdog eat-off, which Chestnut won by consuming all 5 hot dogs before Kobayashi. The 59 is a new record in the competition based on the reduction from 12 minutes to 10 minutes. Chestnut weighed in at 102 kilograms (225 pounds).[9]

On 28 July 2008, Chestnut lost to Takeru Kobayashi in Chicken Satay eating in the MLE Asia inaugural event. He consumed just over 4 kilograms to Kobayashi's almost 5.5.

On 23 August 2008, Chestnut defeated #2 IFOCE ranked competitive eater Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti in the 2nd Gyoza Eating Championship in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California. He devoured 231 gyoza, setting a new world record; he beat his previous record of 212, set in the inaugural event in 2006 when he narrowly defeated Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas (210). Thomas did not attend the 2008 event due to budgetary and travel costs.

On 12 October 2008, he consumed 45 slices of pizza, winning the "Famous Famiglia World Pizza Eating Championship", which was held in New York's Times Square. This would be a brief record until Bertoletti would consume 47 slices a few weeks later.[10]


On February 21, 2009, he consumed 10 and a half pounds of macaroni and cheese in seven minutes during halftime at the San Jose Stealth lacrosse game, beating out his contestants and adding another world record to his name.[11]

On July 4, 2009, Chestnut topped his previous record of 59 hot dogs and buns by consuming 68 HDB in the 2009 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

On September 27, 2009, Chestnut lost to Takeru Kobayashi in Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship. He ate 81 hamburgers. Kobayashi ate 93.[12]

On Man v. Food, San Jose, Chestnut ate Iguana's Burritozilla: a 5-pound, 17-inch burrito in 3 minutes, 10 seconds.


On May 9, 2010 Chestnut won Shrimp Wontons eating in Singapore. Chestnut ate 380 wontons in 8 minutes to set a new world record.

On July 4, 2010, Chestnut secured his fourth straight Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest, by consuming 54 HDB in what he himself describes as a disappointing performance.

On September 18, 2010, Chestnut ate his way to a First-Ever Pepto Bismol Bratwurst Eating Championship at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Chestnut devoured 42 Queen City Sausage brats in 12 minutes.

On September 25, 2010, at the Phantom Gourmet Food Fest in Boston, Massachusetts, Chestnut won the Upper Crust Pizza Eating competition by taking down 37 slices in 10 minutes. He beat the Notorious BOB Shoudt by 1 slice.


On July 4, 2011, Chestnut secured his fifth straight Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest, by consuming 62 HDB. Kobayashi, who could not participate in the contest because of his refusal to sign the required contract, ate 69 HDB at an off-site event with independent judges to establish a new world record.[13][14][15]


Joe graduated from San Jose State in 2012.

Joey Chestnut lifts the trophy at the 2012 World Poutine Eating Championship in Toronto, Ontario

On March 17, 2012 (St. Patrick's Day) Chestnut set a new world record by eating 20 half pound Corned Beef sandwiches in 10 minutes at the annual Toojay's Corned Beef eating competition in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti finished in second place.

On July 4, 2012, Chestnut successfully defended his title at Nathan's 97th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. He tied his own world record by swallowing 68 HDB in 10 minutes, which earned him his 6th "mustard belt" for this competition.[16]

On August 27, 2012, Chestnut cursed at Hofmann Hot dog and Kobayashi, stating in a Twitter post, "Congrats to @FReeKobio704 for eating a bunch of nasty Hoffman crap dogs. He needed an ego boost after 3 years of dodging competition."[17][18]

On September 2, 2012, Chestnut consumed 191 wings (7.61 pounds) in 12 minutes to win the 1st place competitive-eating trophy at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York. He defeated the previous five-year champion Sonya Thomas.[19]

On October 13, 2012, Chestnut won the Third Annual Smoke's Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championships in Toronto, Ontario by consuming 19 boxes (9.5 pounds) of poutine in 10 minutes.[20]


On July 4, 2013, Chestnut successfully defended his title at Nathan's 98th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. He beat his own world record of 68 by consuming 69 HDB in 10 minutes, which earned him his 7th Mustard Belt for this competition.[21]

On July 25, 2013, Chestnut ate 179 wings in 10 minutes taking the title for the second year in a row at the Hooters World Wing-Eating Championship held in Clearwater, Florida.[22]

On September 22, 2013, Chestnut ate 70 bratwursts to set the world record and take his fourth straight title, at the Hillshire Farm Bratwurst Eating World Championship held at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, OH.[23]

Chestnut has said upon many occasions that his favorite food is prime rib, not hot dogs.[24]


On July 4, 2014, Chestnut ate more hot dogs than any of his opponents, narrowly defeating competitor Matt Stonie. He successfully ate 61 hot dogs to Stonie's 56, making this his 8th consecutive win. Prior to the event, Chestnut proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Neslie Ricasa.[25]


On July 4, 2015, Chestnut was defeated by Stonie. He successfully ate 60 hot dogs, but Stonie improved since 2014 and consumed 62 hot dogs, ending Chestnut's eight-year run as champion.[26]


On July 4, 2016, Chestnut redeemed himself with 70 hot dogs and buns with Stonie behind with 53 hot dogs and buns starting up his streak again. On September 4, 2016, he won his third consecutive title at the United States Chicken Wing Eating Championships in Buffalo, New York by eating 188 wings in 12 minutes.


Chestnut trains by fasting and by stretching his stomach with milk, water and protein supplements.[27] Since the start of his competitive eating career, his competition weight has varied from 225–240 pounds (102–109 kg). After winning his sixth consecutive hot dog eating contest in 2012 by eating 68 hot dogs, he stated, ″I will not stop until I reach 70. This 'sport' isn't about eating. It's about drive and dedication, and at the end of the day hot dog eating challenges both my body and my mind.″ [28]

World records held

See also


  1. "Current IFOCE world rankings". Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  2. From Cassie Spodak, CNN (August 5, 2010). "Hot dog eating champ put on probation". Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  3. NBC 4 Digital Media Staff (July 4, 2014). "Joey Chestnut Wins Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Again, Proposes to Girlfriend". NBC 4 New York. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  4. Beckie Strum (July 2, 2015). "Joey Chestnut is focused on gobbling wieners after splitting from fiancee". NY Post. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  5. Rogers, Katie (2015-07-04). "Joey Chestnut, Hot Dog Eating Champ, Is Dethroned in Coney Island". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  6. "Major League Eating & International Federation of Competitive Eating". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  7. U.S. Pins Wiener-Eating Hopes on Chestnut. 2006-07-03.
  8. "guy drinks gallon of milk 41 secs!!!". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  9. Steve Penhollow. "3RF contest could be a wiener". The Journal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  10. "Eating champ delivers top pizza performance in NY". Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  11. "Are You Gonna Eat That? Joey Chestnut to Set Record Feb. 21 at the HP Pavilion". Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  12. "Krystal Square Off VI".
  13. TMZ (2011-07-05). "Kobayashi INHALES 69 Hot Dogs - The VIDEO! - Hot Dog Eating Contest Record!". TMZ. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  14. TMZ (2011-07-05), Kobayashi Crushes Hot Dog Record, retrieved 2016-06-02
  15. Leigh Remizowski, CNN. "Chestnut retains hot dog title despite rival's unofficial record". Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  16. Douglas, Stephen. "Joey Chestnut Ate 69 Hot Dogs to Win the 2012 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest". Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  17. "Hot Dog Wars: Whose side are you on? – Sports Hernia Blog". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  18. Chandler, Rick (August 28, 2012). "Uh oh, it's weenie war! Joey Chestnut engages in Twitter battle with rival eating event owner". Archived from the original on 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  19. Baldwin, Richard (September 5, 2012). "He ate 191 wings, but who's counting?". The Buffalo News. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  20. Davidson, Terry (October 13, 2012). "Poutine draws a crowd". The Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  21. "Joey Chestnut eats 69 hot dogs". ESPN. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  22. "Hooters' cooks put in the hard work before Joey Chestnut scarfs his way to world wing eating championship". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  23. FOX19 Digital Media Staff (September 22, 2013). "Professional eater tastes another victory at Oktoberfest". Fox 19. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  24. Litman, Laken (2013-07-24). "15 stomach-churning things to know about competitive eater Joey Chestnut". For The Win. USA Today. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  25. NBC 4 Digital Media Staff (July 4, 2014). "Joey Chestnut Wins Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Again, Proposes to Girlfriend". NBC 4 New York. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  26. news services (July 4, 2014). "Matt Stonie beats Joey Chestnut to win Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest". ESPN. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  27. Ben Dorries, Late mail, The Courier Mail (Australia), pg. 103, July 6, 2007
  28. Nichols, Boston Globe, pg. B4, November 13, 2005
  29. "Competitive eater Joey Chestnut sets world record in rib eating contest".
  30. "Two 72-oz Steaks Devoured Ridiculously Fast By Mother Of Four". Retrieved 2014-05-30.
  31. "Big Texan Free 72oz Steak Facts". Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  32. "Joey Chestnut wins on July 4". 2009-07-04.
  33. Hedlund, Patrick (2011-07-04). "Takeru Kobayashi Downs 69 Hot Dogs at Unofficial July 4 Contest". Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  34. Leigh Remizowski, CNN. "Chestnut retains hot dog title despite rival's unofficial record". Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  35. TMZ (2011-07-05). "Kobayashi INHALES 69 Hot Dogs - The VIDEO! - Hot Dog Eating Contest Record!". TMZ. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  36. Douglas, Stephen. "Joey Chestnut Ate 68 Hot Dogs to Win the 2012 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest". Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  37. "Joey Stays on Top". 2008-03-02.
  38. Steigerwald, Shauna (September 23, 2013). "Joey "Jaws" Chestnut sets brat-eating record". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  39. "Joey Chestnut wins World Egg-Eating Championship in Radcliff". WDRB News. October 5, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  40. "Chestnut Wins Trenton Thunder World Famous Case's Pork Roll Eating Championship". Trenton Thunder. September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.

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