Last summer, the world’s top two Major League Eating competitors, Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie (ranked #1 by MLE) and Joey “Jaws” Chestnut (#2), made history.
They shoved handfuls of Japanese potstickers into their mouths at the annual Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship and both shattered Stonie’s standing world record of 268 gyoza in 10 minutes – by more than 100 gyoza.
Chestnut consumed a mind-blowing 384 gyoza – which adds up to about 15 pounds of dumplings (that’s 1.5 pounds every 60 seconds) – and Stonie came in second with 377.
Nisei Week Queen Tori Nishinaka-Leon looks on in disbelief as Joey Chestnut devours handfuls of gyoza at last year’s gyoza eating championship in Little Tokyo. Chestnut ate a record 384 of the dumplings in 10 minutes. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
This year, Chestnut will be vying to defend his title against Stonie, who very recently shocked the competitive eating world when he robbed Chestnut of what would have been his ninth consecutive win at the Nathan’s Famous July 4 hot dog eating competition in Coney Island.
On Saturday, the annual Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship (the premier competitive eating event on the West Coast) will host the world’s top competitive eaters, as they devour as many Day-Lee Pride gyoza as possible in 10 minutes.
Chestnut and Stonie will be competing for a $6,000 cash purse among a field of fellow MLE stars, including Miki Sudo (#4), Erik Denmark (#6), Adrian Morgan (#7), Michelle Lesco (#8), Juliet Lee (#9), Juan “More Bite” Rodriguez (#10), Eric “Badlands” Booker (#12), Pablo Martinez (#13), and Steve Hendry (#14).
Husband and wife Rich “The Locust” LeFevre (#16) and Carlene LeFevre (#34), competitive eating pioneers who are still at it in their golden years, will also be putting down gyoza.
Part of the 75th annual Los Angeles Nisei Week Japanese Festival, the eating championship is hosted by the Nisei Week Foundation and sanctioned by MLE and the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
The day will also see a slate of activities as part of Little Tokyo Vibes, a day-long event at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center Plaza in Little Tokyo from noon to 7 p.m.
In addition to the gyoza contest, the day will feature live music, a beer and sake garden, Asian-inspired food from Far Bar, vendor booths, an origami workshop, mobile mural lab, and more.
More info on the event is available at www.LittleTokyoVibes.com.
The main gyoza event will begin at 1 p.m. on Aug. 22 at the JACCC Plaza, located at 244 S. San Pedro St. Admission is free; limited seating and ample standing room will be available.
“The Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship has always been a marquee event on our calendar,” said Sam Barclay from Major League Eating and the IFOCE. “But I expect this year’s event to be the most exciting yet. With 16 ranked eaters participating, we simply have orchestrated the best field in the history of the event.”
Additional information for the championship can be found online at Facebook and Twitter (@EatMoreGyoza).