On November 6, Philadelphia man Alexander Tominsky successfully ate his 40th entire rotisserie chicken in as many days, marking the end of his arduous journey with grocery-store poultry. We were first made aware of him when a photo of a flyer he’d put up in Philly went viral and lit up the internet. The flyer showed photos of him eating rotisserie chickens in various locations with a caption that read: “NOVEMBER 6TH WILL BE THE 40TH CONSECUTIVE DAY THAT I HAVE EATEN AN ENTIRE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN. 12 O’CLOCK NOON. THE CHICKEN WILL BE CONSUMED ON THAT ABANDONED PIER NEAR WALMART. THIS IS NOT A PARTY.”
I was able to talk with Tominsky to learn more about his rotisserie chicken-eating journey. But that was days before his final bird in this long stretch of chicken consumption.
The turnout on November 6 for his final rotisserie chicken-eating experience was pretty impressive. A large crowd of people joined him on an abandoned pier near Walmart, which was apparently a well-known location to many.
While his motivation for eating 40 chickens in 40 days is still somewhat unclear, his finale couldn’t have come at a better time for his city of residence. Philly’s team in the Major League Soccer Cup lost, and the Phillies had just lost the World Series—the city’s mood needed a little bit of a boost.
Tominsky ate his chicken in front of a group of onlookers, and spectators took photos and shared them to social media. People likened him to Rocky, some of the photos looked like Renaissance paintings, and many outlets covered his achievement, including Defector, local news publication Billy Penn, and even The New York Times jumped in on the fun with yet another interview.
My favorite captures include videos of Tominsky working the crowd after eating the chicken, along with a photo he posted after his last bite, triumphantly raising his empty plate to the sky. If I was there, you can guarantee I would have been shouting my ass off, probably while eating my very own entire rotisserie chicken.
My gut instinct is that Tominsky basically started eating chicken multiple days in a row just for the hell of it. After he posted consistent photos of them to Twitter, he decided to end with a bang, by letting the real world know what he was up to. It sure got everyone’s attention.
But does it really matter why he ate 40 chickens in a row? I don’t think so. What matters is he set a goal for himself, did something really special for the city of Philadelphia, and got the attention of the world, drumstick by drumstick. His chosen meal of post-chicken sushi probably tasted pretty good, and I’m guessing Tominsky won’t be plowing down any grocery store chickens for a while. But that was his chosen sacrifice. All hail Philadelphia, home of abandoned piers behind Walmart, cheesesteaks, and of course, chicken man.