From right: Miki Sudo (fifth place), Matt Stonie (third place) and Joey Chestnut (first place) at last year’s gyoza competition. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
The 2018 Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship, a regular feature of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, will take place Saturday, Aug. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo.
Major League Eating’s top competitive eaters will once more devour as many Day-Lee Pride gyoza as possible in 10 minutes. Hosted by the Nisei Week Foundation, the event is sanctioned by MLE and the International Federation of Competitive Eating. (IFOCE).
In 2017, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut of San Jose reclaimed his title as the gyoza world champion, consuming 377 gyoza in competition. Geoffrey Esper took second with 317 while Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie, a past champion, settled for third with 291. Rounding out 2017’s top five were Darron Breeden with 250 and Miki Sudo with 200.
Chestnut still holds the current world record in the discipline, which he set in 2014 by eating 384 gyoza in 10 minutes. Will this be the year that the world record will be broken? Come to Little Tokyo to find out. Competitors will be vying for a $6,000 cash purse.
For more information on the competitors and other eating competitions, visit www.majorleagueeating.com.
The main event will commence at 3 p.m. following the Little Tokyo Eating Championship amateur contest at 2 p.m., the Crazy Cuizine Ninin Baori contest at 2:15 p.m., and the LAPD vs. LAFD Gyoza Showdown at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free; limited seating and ample standing room will be available.
Also in JACCC Plaza, the Nisei Week Rubik’s Cube Open starts at 8 a.m., the Beer Garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Shorinji Kempo will give a demonstration from 4 to 5 p.m. For more information on Nisei Week events at JACCC, visit www.jaccc.org/nisei-week.