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The top-ranked Major League Eater is competing at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Mike Pomranz
August 09, 2018

Though the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest may be the crown jewel of the professional eating circuit, it’s only one of many events that Major League Eaters (yes, that’s a real thing) endure throughout the year. For instance, this Sunday, a sanctioned MLE event is taking place at the Wisconsin State Fair—the World Cheese Curd Eating Championship—and just as he did at Coney Island, the number one ranked eater, Joey Chestnut, is hoping that he can score the top prize.

Though Matt Stonie may be the darling pro eater with the YouTube crowd, Joey Chestnut is still the king of eating, not just because of his top ranking, but because of his unprecedented success at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. This past Fourth of July, Chestnut broke his own record of 72 hot dogs in ten minutes, capturing the 2018 crown by chomping down 74 hot dogs, which also secured his record 11th hot dog title, and third straight win.

At noon on Saturday, the famed eater will be stopping in West Allis for the Wisconsin State Fair where he will take on around a dozen challengers to see who can eat more cheese curds in a period of six minutes. “It's going to be way more cheese than I've ever had,” Chestnut told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Apparently, though he’s eaten cheese curds as a part of a record-breaking poutine eating session, he’s never had the Wisconsin specialty in a competition on their own. He said that he’s been chowing down on chopped up mozzarella to practice.

Though the Major League Eating site has a laundry list of official eating records—including things like cheesecake, chili cheese fries, and Philly cheesesteaks—apparently little precedent for cheese curds exists. Still, Chestnut has his goal set: at least a pound of curds per minute. “If I could do eight pounds, I’d be happy,” he was quoted as saying. “Ten pounds would be really tough.”

At stake is a $4,000 prize purse, including $2,000 for the winner. Sounds like a decent amount of cheddar for six minutes’ worth of work…pun intended.