The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Epic Food Battles: Joey Chestnut Most Memorable Showdowns on the Eating Circuit

Chestnut's Record-Breaking Triumph, Joey Chestnut, The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Every year on the Fourth of July, Coney Island, New York, becomes the epicenter of an extraordinary display of competitive eating prowess. The renowned Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest brings together the world’s top eaters to battle it out for glory and the coveted Mustard Belt. In 2023, the event witnessed astonishing achievements by the legendary Joey Chestnut and the unstoppable Miki Sudo. Let’s delve into the thrilling details of this epic gastronomic spectacle.

 Joey Chestnut Record-Breaking Triumph

Joey Chestnut, a name synonymous with competitive eating excellence, delivered another awe-inspiring performance. With his insatiable appetite, Chestnut devoured a mind-boggling 62 hot dogs in a mere 10 minutes, securing his 16th victory in the men’s division. This remarkable feat not only solidified his dominance in the contest but also set a new record for the most hot dogs consumed in the history of the competition. Chestnut’s relentless pursuit of glory and his unmatched capacity to consume copious amounts of food have made him a true legend in the world of competitive eating.

 Sudo’s Unstoppable Reign

In the women’s division, Miki Sudo proved once again why she is considered the queen of competitive eating. With her incredible determination and exceptional eating skills, Sudo emerged triumphant for the 9th consecutive time. Devouring an impressive 39.5 hot dogs, she showcased her unwavering dominance in the competition. Despite expressing a slight disappointment with her final tally, Sudo’s remarkable performance captivated the audience and solidified her position as the top-ranked female competitive eater.

 Overcoming Challenges: A Roller Coaster Ride

The path to glory for Chestnut, Sudo, and all the contestants was not without its hurdles. Inclement weather conditions threatened to derail the event, leaving organizers contemplating the possibility of cancellation. However, fortune smiled upon the brave, and the contest proceeded as planned. A severe weather delay caused a roller coaster of emotions, adding to the intensity of the day. But the competitors, driven by their unyielding spirit, remained determined to showcase their gastronomic prowess.

A Spectacular Display of Capacity

As thousands of spectators gathered at Nathan’s Famous flagship restaurant in Coney Island, they marveled at the astonishing capacity of the contestants’ stomachs. Within the tight timeframe of just 10 minutes, these remarkable eaters devoured as many hot dogs as humanly possible. Geoffrey Esper secured second place with an impressive consumption of 49 hot dogs, closely followed by Australia’s James Webb, who claimed the third spot with 47 dogs. The awe-inspiring display of talent and dedication left the audience in awe.

 Weathering the Storm

The contest faced a significant hurdle in the form of a torrential rain and lightning storm. Suddenly, Coney Island was engulfed in severe weather, forcing the crowds to seek shelter. The National Weather Service had issued a special weather statement, warning of “strong thunderstorms” and “frequent cloud-to-ground lightning” in the Brooklyn area, including Coney Island. Tragically, there were reports of a possible lightning-related injury, highlighting the challenges faced by both the organizers and the participants. However, despite the temporary disruption, the event resumed after a two-hour delay, allowing the eaters to continue their pursuit of victory.

 The Spirit of Competition and Determination

In an interview with CNN,

 Joey Chestnut revealed the mindset that drives him to push his limits in the contest. He acknowledged the toll it takes on his body, understanding that he won’t feel great afterward. Nevertheless, Chestnut embraces the temporary discomfort, driven by his love for the competition and the spirit of the Fourth of July. His determination and resilience are a testament to the passion that fuels the world of competitive eating.

 The Women’s Battle and Emerging Talent

While all eyes were on Miki Sudo, a rookie named Mayoi Ebihara made a strong impression in the women’s division. Engaging in a close battle, Ebihara showcased her eating skills and managed to secure the second position with a consumption of 33.5 hot dogs. Michelle Lesco finished third, impressing the crowd with her performance of 24.5 hot dogs. The women’s competition added another layer of excitement to the event, highlighting the emerging talent and the competitive spirit among the female eaters.

A Celebration of Food and Festivities

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is more than just a competition. It is a celebration of food, camaraderie, and the Fourth of July spirit. The event kicks off with vibrant pre-show festivities, featuring captivating music and dance performances. The Professional League of Eating Contests, the official sanctioning body, ensures that all contestants meet the requirements, participating in qualifying events held in May or June. Nathan’s hosts four qualifying events, inviting the top male and female finishers to compete in the grand July 4 showdown.

 The Rules and Rewards

During the contest, each participant is accompanied by a dedicated scorekeeper who meticulously tracks their consumption. Contestants are allowed to hydrate themselves with water and other beverages, and condiments are permitted as well. However, penalties can be imposed for “messy eating and regurgitation,” ensuring a fair and clean competition. The top eater in each category claims a generous reward of $10,000, with second, third, fourth, and fifth places receiving $5,000, $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000, respectively. Additionally, the champions are bestowed with the prestigious Mustard Belt, symbolizing their remarkable eating prowess and triumph in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.


The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is a true testament to the extraordinary capabilities of the human body and the competitive spirit that drives individuals to push their limits. Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo’s remarkable performances have solidified their places in competitive eating history. Despite facing challenges, both weather-related and within the competition itself, these eaters showcased their determination, resilience, and love for the sport. As the Mustard Belt is passed from one champion to another, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest continues to captivate audiences and leave them in awe of the incredible feats achieved by these gastronomic athletes.

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