Legendary eater wins Chronic Tacos prize
Takeru Kobayashi claimed the Chronic Tacos prize, $5,000 cash plus a flowered skull trophy.
The taco-eating challenge at The Palms in Las Vegas this year was chronic, if not pretty. The legendary eater and reigning champ Takeru Kobayashi gobbled down 137 chicken soft tacos in 10 minutes to claim the $5,000 cash prize and the flowered skull trophy of the 6th Annual Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge. Fans of competitive eating may remember Kobayashi as the winner of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July in Coney Island. Now sporting fluorescent pink hair, but still weighing in at around 131 pounds, Kobayashi won the Nathan’s contest five straight years, starting in 2001, when the amateur eater first came to the U.S. from Japan. Competitive eaters are a strange breed. “Every one of them has (his or her) own technique and none of them are pretty,” says Chronic Tacos CEO Michael Mohammed. For Kobayashi that involves ensuring his glasses of water on stage are at a specific temperature at all times. Water consumption not only helps the tacos go down easier, it stretches out the stomach, Mohammed says, although quickly admitting he’s not an expert on this. How many tacos could he consume in 10 minutes? “Three,” he answers tentatively.