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Competitive Eating Q&A

We were today approached by a young budding journalist to answer a few questions about competitive eating. We thought we’d share with you the questions and our responses!

What do you think are the main motivations for competitive eating?
For most eaters, it’s the desire for them to compete and succeed in something that they enjoy doing.

What do the competitors get out of it?
In some cases, prize money might be the motivation, or perhaps a free meal. But at a very basic level, I believe it’s the knowledge that they’ve competed and achieved something that their competitors couldn’t. It’s a natural instinct to be the best at whatever it is you’re attempting. This is just another avenue for that.

What do you think prompted the massive surge in competitive eating competitions? Is it to do with value? People more hungry? Popularity of the show Man v Food ?
Each of these have contributed somewhat to the rise in both media attention and interest in the sport. Food is life. Most people enjoy eating, and for most people being a “fast eater” was probably something their mothers told them not to do. “Slow down, it’s not a race!”, well, not any more! And as the media pays more attention to this fast growing sport, I believe more people will be drawn to it.

The associated health risks of eating enormous portions of fried food (eg Essen’s 3.5kg schnitzel challenge) can be quite dangerous. Do you think the competitors care or consider the risks?
I think this, as with anything in life needs to be balanced and done in moderation. A large number of US competitive eaters are extremely fit, and take their health very seriously. Just because they can eat these types and volumes of foods quickly, doesn’t mean they would do so at every meal opportunity. Each individual is in charge of their own destiny. Some choose to live a healthy lifestyle, some do not, regardless of whether they’re a competitive eater or not.

What kind of people usually compete in eating contests? Is it usually quite large people?
Not at all. Successful competitive eaters come in all shapes and sizes. I always say, never underestimate a skinny competitive eater!

Are eating contests more popular to participate in for men or women and why do you think this is?
Men seem to be drawn to the sport more than women. Perhaps it’s their desire to compete against fellow man. Maybe there’s some sort of animal instinct drawn from prehistoric times to feast. Or it could just be the beer talking.

Why do you think people like to watch and read about competitive eaters?
Because it’s a unique sport that everyone can relate to. Not everyone can run a marathon, or throw a discus, but everyone can eat. I often hear spectators say things like “oh I could have beaten them easy!”. It’s not until they actually try to do it themselves that they then realise it’s actually quite difficult to eat large amounts of food very quickly.

What do you think about the food wastage and how would you respond to people who say “There are people starving in Africa and these people are just stuffing their faces for the sake of it”
I have yet to see a competition where food is “wasted”. Food is energy. Competitors may not eat in the lead up to a competition, and not eat again for some time afterwards. It’s merely a change in someone’s consumption schedule. The competitive eating community frowns on those who might “reverse” food after a competition. It’s not what the sport is about, and not the image the sport wishes to portray.

April 7, 2013 / by / in
Daniel Mercer USA bound

901595-dan-mercerWell known Australian competitive eater Daniel Mercer has set his sights on the USA, and aims to compete in May.

Via: The Courier Mail

WITH every eating challenge he has entered under his belt, Capalaba’s Dan Mercer plans to take his scoffing skills to the international circuit and take on eating professionals in the home of the world’s elite – America.

Having won $7000 in prizes, the 24-year-old plans to hit the USA in May and have a crack at the big leagues, where eating competitions are televised and prize money is lucrative enough to make a living, if your stomach is strong enough.

Mr Mercer’s fast rise in the national amateur rankings began just a few years ago when he entered the Pancake Manor’s pancake eating competition on a whim.

“I saw a little poster saying ‘Annual Pancaking Eating Competition.’ I thought, ‘Oh, I like pancakes and if I eat eight pancakes that’s the same price as one plate.”

Handily besting the rest – “I thought ‘OK that’s kind of weird I ate 14 pancakes and I was by no means full” – he realised he had a talent, of sorts. He has since claimed more than a dozen other titles from pies to ramen noodles, schnitzel and pizza.

“I used to be quite overweight – 120kgs in fact. (I) went through a weight loss regime, eventually reached 62kg, and now, well, I don’t really care much any more – I believe I’m somewhere around 76, and I basically eat whatever I want.”

Read more of the article here

March 20, 2013 / by / in
Pancake Manor Shrove Tuesday Pancake Eating Competition, Brisbane – 4pm Sunday 17 February 2013 Results

Mesrati Kahsay (2nd) and Daniel Mercer (3rd)Results

One of the largest turnouts in Pancake Manor history graced this year’s Shrove Tuesday Pancake Eating Competition, with roughly 25 people taking part in what would be an epic battle between a select few.

Starting a little later than planned, at 4:25 the battle began, with eaters stuffing down their first plate of 2 pancakes in no time. Not soon after did most of the table have their hands raised asking for more pancakes. While it did take a while, this competition was going to be one that required a solid pace rather than initial speed.

Eaters consistently put aside empty plates, stacks growing at an even rate for the first 15 minutes of the competition. Cameron Jukes (known for his Yardbird challenges) was setting a cracking pace, constantly raising his hands and becoming frustrated at the speed of which more pancakes were being brought out. Daniel Mercer kept pace, and didn’t let Cameron get too far ahead.

20 minutes into the competition and eaters started fading quickly, with some eaters looking to take a nap on their soft, fluffy treats.

While the pace had stopped for some, the first official disqualification came 30 minutes into the competition, where one eater lifted himself from the table, retiring most likely to the bathroom for some sort of relief.

By this stage, Daniel Mercer had cut quite a lead ahead of Cameron, who looked to be struggling from a combination of pancakes, syrup and butter. And all the while, Ratti YK was quietly continuing to smash pancakes at the end of the table, quickly catching up to Cameron at an aggressive, but constant pace.

48 minutes saw another disqualification, this time at the hands of the first and only reversal of the competition. A well aimed mini-chuck thankfully, but a disqualification nonetheless.

At 50 minutes, everyone other than Daniel had pretty much called it quits. Ratti YK knew he was a comfortable second place, Cameron had stopped eating. All that was left now was the question, how many MORE pancakes can Daniel eat?!?!

With only a few minutes to go, Daniel put away one last plate of food. With a total of 28 pancakes, Daniel took home not only the win, but the crown of undisputed record holder!

First Place: Daniel Mercer – 28 Pancakes

Second Place: Ratti YK – 15 Pancakes

Third place: Cameron Jukes – 13 Pancakes




It’s on again! The Pancake Manor in Brisbane is again hosting their annual Pancake Eating Competition. Cost of entry is $15, and they’re taking signups now.


The Pancake Manor
18 Charlotte St
Brisbane QLD 4000

Date and Time

Sunday 17 February 2013
Competition starts 4pm sharp


  • 1st Prize is a $50 gift voucher


  • Contestants have 1 hour to eat as many pancakes as possible. The record is 19 (20? to be confirmed!), held by Daniel Mercer’s win in 2012
  • No bathroom breaks (If you leave the table you’re disqualified)
  • Only whole pancakes count (If there is a crumb left it doesn’t count)
  • If you throw up, you’re disqualified

It’s been noted that you have to “go hard” to beat the record, and also says “know your limits”

How to enter

Contestants simply need to front up to The Pancake Manor with $15 prior to the event and put their name down. Early reservations are recommended as spaces are limited

January 24, 2013 / by / in ,
New Ice Cream Comp an Aussie Day highlight


caribbeandreams1Coolum’s Caribbean Dreams is hosting their very first Ice-Cream eating competition as part of the Australia Day spectacular, to be held in Tickle Park on 26 January.

The exciting competition is already creating a buzz among residents, who are lining up for their chance to win an incredible 12 months’ supply of delicious Caribbean Dreams ice cream.

Registration in the inaugural 2013 Coolum Australia Day Ice Cream Eating Competition is via a simple gold coin donation and prospective contestants can enter either the ‘Little People’ category for 10-16 year olds, or the ‘Big People’ category – for 17yrs plus.

All proceeds of the competition will be donated to the Coolum Lions, with 20 final contestants to be decided by random ballot from all the nominations received.

The winner of the ‘Little people’ category will be the contestant that can devour a 500ml tub of Caribbean Dreams ice-cream the fastest, while the ‘Big People’ will face off in front of a delicious 1L tub of ice cream.

While the big winners in each category will enjoy free ice cream every week for the next year, runners up in both divisions will take home a large, deliciously refreshing Ice Cream Cake.

As an added bonus, all contestants who finish their entire tub of ice cream will receive a small take home pack of Caribbean Dreams ice cream of their choice.

“Emma and I are thrilled to be hosting Coolum’s first ever Ice Cream Eating Competition,” said Caribbean Dreams owner, Duncan Jones.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re hoping to make it an annual highlight of Coolum’s Australia Day celebrations.

“There’s already been a lot of interest from locals, so we encourage anyone who thinks they’re up to the challenge to sign on at the store as soon as possible.”

The deliciously fun Caribbean Dreams Ice Cream Eating Competition adds a lip-licking new flavour to the town’s unique Australia Day program, which already holds the record as the coast’s longest running celebrations.

Caribbean Dreams will also line up alongside other entrants in the highly anticipated return of Coolum’s Australia Day Grand Parade and organisers are calling for volunteers to march in the parade and carry one of the many Lions District Flags to help celebrate Australia’s multiculturalism.

Additionally, nominations for Coolum’s Citizen of the Year Australia Day awards are open until 4pm on Wednesday 23 January, and locals are encouraged to nominate people who have selflessly devoted their time and energy to the community.

There’s also plenty of Aussie Day action happening down the road at Marcoola Surf Lifesaving Club’s third annual ‘Marcoola Rocks’ event, running from 10am to 7pm.

Featuring free live entertainment all day, free rides for the kids, a huge variety of food stalls, a surf helicopter rescue and fire engine display and plenty of beach game fun, patrons are invited to enjoy the music from the comfort of the surf club’s outdoor beach bar or be part of the free, patriotic action on the beach.

Head to for more ‘Marcoola Rocks’ info, or for detailed information on Coolum’s Australia Day spectacular, including a full program and details on the Caribbean Dreams Ice Cream Eating Comp, visit

Challengers for the inaugural ice cream eating championship title will line up in Tickle Park from 4pm on 26 January. Nomination forms are available at Caribbean Dreams, David Low Way Coolum and competition is expected to be fierce!


January 21, 2013 / by / in ,