Joey Chestnut Can Eat Over 17 Pounds of Spicy Shrimp Cocktail in Under Ten Minutes

It was the competitive eater's eighth consecutive win in the annual event (and not even his record best).

Joey Chestnut; Shrimp cocktail in a martini glass
Photo: Bobby Bank / Getty Images; Sarah Bossert / Getty Images

Joey Chestnut is best known for his unparalleled success at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, having taken the title in 14 out of the last 15 years and claiming the all-time record: 76 dogs in 10 minutes. But the 38-year-old isn't a one-trick pony. He's currently first in Major League Eating's world rankings with over 50 records under his belt and a profile that simple states, "Joey Chestnut is the greatest eater in history."

Anyone in need of a reminder of that success doesn't need to look back very far: On Saturday, Chestnut claimed his latest title in true Chestnut fashion, once again winning the World Famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail Eating Championship. It was the eighth annual installment of the Indianapolis event and Chestnut has won every single time.

For 2021, the world's top eater failed to beat his previous record — 18 pounds, 9.6-ounces of cocktail shrimp in just eight minutes, a benchmark he set in 2018. But Chestnut did manage to scarf down 17 pounds, 1.6 ounces of shrimp and sauce, leaving him nearly three pounds clear of his nearest competitor, Geoff Esper (who only gobbled down a measly 14 pounds, 4.8 ounces).

"I'm excited. I love this contest. St. Elmo's shrimp cocktail is a special, unique food," Chestnut told FOX59 News in the lead-up to the event, hinting at the intense spice of St. Elmo's signature cocktail sauce. "It makes you cry."

Indeed, in an impromptu competition with members of the news team, Chestnut effortlessly eviscerated his entire bowl while everyone else struggled just to deal with the spice. "[The horseradish] gets to me," Chestnut admitted. "But it's one of those things in life: You gotta deal with it… I'll drink warm water during the contest."

It just goes to show you that competitive eating is about so much more than shoving food in your face — you have to be prepared to deal with all the different elements each food can throw at you. And that's probably why Chestnut is the best there is.

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