Masters of Mastication – Crazy Legs Conti

In the world of competitive eating, there are winners, there are losers, and there are legends. The legends are individuals who soar on the wings of angels to conquer the culinary cornucopia of eating challenges and emerge victorious.

They are those who at the mere mention of their name, you start to salivate. They are the true heroes of this world, and we are honored this day to profile the definition of the term  Master of Mastication; Crazy Legs Conti!

What’s your favorite food? I am a fan of the mighty mollusk – the oyster. It’s an amazing species that does the world good, but also taste wonderful. Some find it’s texture phlegmy and it’s salinity harsh, but I find it smooth, historic, and delicious.
How did you get started in eating competitions? The documentary “Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating” charts my journey from super fan and casual diner to pro-eater with Major League Eating.
There seem to be many different styles of eating in competition. What is your philosophy on eating? Techniques vary from food to food – I am the four time corn on the cob champion in West Palm Beach (at Yesterday Year Village each April) but I always used the reasonable “Manual Typewriter” Now these upstart whippersnappers use a technique titled, “The Rake” where most of the kernels fly in the air and not in the mouth.
Of all the events you’ve competed in, which is your favorite? I enjoy the ACME Oyster Eating Contest and as the former champ in 2002, some say I have been chasing that moment ever since. They wouldn’t be wrong.
Did you enjoy your time in the Palm Beaches? I didn’t get any speedo time in on the beach – usually I approach a contest as a hired assassin of competitive eating. Get into town, eat a lot, give away the trophy, and head to the airport. It seems like a swell town though.
Can you tell us a little bit about your previous experience in competitive eating? I’ve been a Major League Eating for 17 years, eating everything they have sanctioned and put on the plate. I’ve eaten in the Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest 14 out of 17 years, and I’m struggling this year, but hope to qualify.
What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career? I’m not sure if it’s funny, but I was buried alive under 80 cubic feet of popcorn, in the popcorn sarcophagus and ate my way out to stay alive. That earned me the moniker, The Houdini of Cusini.
What advice would you give to up and coming eaters interested in competition? Check out www.majorleagueeating.com to see when we are coming to your town – and don’t use the rake technique for corn.
What’s your next eating challenge? Breakfast.
Anything else you’d like to add? I can be reached at www.crazylegsconti.com and am currently looking for a good recipe for goulash.

Of course, the corn eating contest is not the only eating challenge in the Palm Beaches. 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, and continuing the profiles for as long as we have food fights in our soul. 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!