In competitive eating, it can sometimes be a dog eat dog world. Many would say that the pinnacle of the sport is just that, as the best of the best join on the field of combat to devour as many dogs (hot dogs, that is) as possible on July 4th weekend.
Of course, hot dogs are not the only vessel by which to attain fame and fortune in the IFOCE. Here in the Palm beaches, sweet corn reigns supreme. Today in Owensboro, Kentucky, it is the mutton sandwich that rules.
For that reason, we bring you one of the favorites in the World Mutton Sandwich Eating Championship; Matt “Hungry” Hazzard!
What’s your favorite food? Ice cream for the win, pizza is a very close second
How did you get started in eating competitions? I was encouraged by friends to sign-up for a couple of MLE events. I had a blast at each of the contests and keep coming back for more. I love meeting people from different areas and all of the unique venues.
There seem to be many different styles of eating in competition. What is your philosophy on eating? “Whatever it takes.” I used to eat far more cleanly than necessary, and it cost me speed. Now I just attack out of the gates and try to hold the pace for as long as possible.
Of all the events you’ve competed in, which is your favorite? In terms of food, I enjoyed the pints of Prairie Farms vanilla ice cream at the World Ice Cream Eating Championship in Indianapolis, IN. In terms of venue, it’s a tossup between Zinzinnati Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, OH and Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, GA. Hard to decide between German-themed festivities and roller coasters.
Can you tell us a little bit about your previous experience in competitive eating? I started out with food challenges at restaurants back in June 2017. Did fairly well at those and entered my first Major League Eating contests a couple of months later in August. I’ve participated in 5 contests so far (videos on YouTube), and I look forward to many more in 2018!
What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career? Nothing particular, I about tripped coming out onto the stage at the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest Brat Eating Contest though.
What advice would you give to up and coming eaters interested in competition? If you put in the work, you will see results. Be safe. And most of all: simply have fun and enjoy it!
What’s your next eating challenge? I’ll be competing in the World Mutton Sandwich-Eating Championship at the International BBQ Festival in Owensboro, KY on May 12th. Should be a lot of fun!!
Anything else you’d like to add? Check out my YouTube channel for challenge and contest videos: https://www.youtube.com/HungryHazzard
Become a food fighter in your own right by entering the Pizza Ball Challenge at Mizner Pizzeria in Boca Raton. Do you have what it takes to make it onto the Wall of Balls?
Palm Beach Happening will be profiling one professional eater a week in advance of their “Super Bowl,” the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York. We invite the competitors of the IFOCE to contact us if you have the intestinal fortitude to be profiled here, as a true Master of Mastication!