We’ve followed competitive eater Joey Chestnut for years now. If you’re unfamiliar, Chestnut is the powerful wiener deity who most recently made headlines for eating 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes. In recent years, he’s also tackled a 12-pound taco and eaten roughly one pound of Wisconsin cheese curds in a minute. Now, he’s celebrating his latest victory: downing 17 pounds of cocktail shrimp.
Indianapolis news station WISH reports that Chestnut, a proud Indiana resident, downed the shrimp at the annual St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail Eating Championship. Major League Eating describes the event as “a delicious meeting of peerless seafood and St. Elmo’s signature spicy, horseradish-forward cocktail sauce.” (The “St. Elmo” in question is St. Elmo Steak House, an old-school eatery offering “World Famous Shrimp Cocktail” with a signature cocktail sauce that, per the steakhouse’s website, has “brought tears to the eyes of even the heartiest of eaters.”)
During the contest, which occurred on Saturday, December 4, Chestnut tossed back approximately 17 pounds of shrimp glazed in spicy sauce. This wasn’t Chestnut’s first shot at shrimpy glory: Per WISH, he set the world record in 2018 by eating more than 18 pounds of shrimp cocktail in just eight minutes. He’s also apparently won the St. Elmo contest every year since its inception.
Of all the events on the competitive eating circuit, this one seems the most harrowing. If you ask me, plain cocktail shrimp wouldn’t be an issue; after all, it’s pretty easy to slurp down. But cocktail shrimp doused in spicy, spicy sauce? That seems like a one-way ticket to Heartburn Town, even for a seasoned competitive eater like Chestnut.
Please join me in a moment of silence for Chestnut’s digestive tract.