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Joey Chestnut will defend his hot-dog-eating record on July 4 at Nathan’s (photo courtesy Nathan’s Famous)

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut will defend his hot-dog-eating record on July 4 at Nathan’s (photo courtesy Nathan’s Famous)

Sweikert Alley, Nathan’s Famous
1310 Surf Ave. at Stillwell Ave.
Thursday, July 4, free, women’s competition at 10:45 am, men at noon

San Jose’s Joey “Jaws” Chestnut did it again in 2018, devouring a record seventy-four hot dogs in ten minutes to win the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest for the eleventh time in twelve years; his lone defeat during this streak was in 2015 to Matthew Stonie. Miki Sudo, the number six overall Major League Eater in the world — Chestnut, who fasts for two to three days before the frank showdown, is #1 — took home the women’s belt for the fifth straight year by consuming thirty-seven dogs. Chestnut, the man with a tasty food for a last name, currently holds forty-six eating records and is the defending champion in devouring White Hut cheeseburgs, bratwurst, street-style carnitas tacos, poutine, St. Elmo shrimp cocktail, Catalina croquetas, chopped mutton sliders, pepperoni rolls, and canteen sandwiches, while Sudo rules the roost in Fortune Bay wild rice hotdish and Æbleskivers. On July 4, Chestnut will be up against seventeen competitors, including Juan “More Bite” Rodriguez, Adrian “the Rabbit” Morgan, Pablo Martinez, George Chiger, Max Suzuki, Darron Breeden, #2 Geoffrey Esper, and Stonie; Sudo will be battling such hot-dog downers as “The Lovely” Juliet Lee, Holly Titus, Mary Bowers, Dr. René Rovtar, Katherine Wong, and #2-ranked female chomper Michelle Lesco. For a different perspective on the event, with a special focus on the controversy surrounding 2001-6 mustard belt winner Takeru Kobayashi, check out Jeff Cerulli and Barry Rothbart’s documentary Hungry.

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