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05/18/04 Pat Bruno lecture
05/22/04 Summer Breeze: Pie-eating Contest




Pat Bruno Lecture 05/18

After the great Pat Bruno lecture last week, some people expressed interest in getting a list of Pat's recommendations. Here's what I've compiled:

Sugar (Dessert)
La Spiaggia (Italian)
Gibson's Steak House (Steak)
Damoto's Bakery
Sheek (the culinary institute's restaurant)
North Pond (American)
Spring (American)
Chicago Chop House (Steak)
Gene and Georgetti (Steak)

Best Pizza:
Home Run Inn Pizza
O Fame
Piece
Pizza DOC
Pizzaria Uno/Due (good for thick crust)

You can also check out his website:
http://www.searchchicago.com/dining/

All in all it was a great lecture with a great turnout. Thanks for coming and asking so many good questions! I think he really enjoyed being here.
(Compiled by Rachel)



Summer Breeze 05/22
Pie Eating Extravaganza
Snippets

:What did you think overall?

I thought it was a good idea. Then I started eating the pie. -Kellen Alexander (6 slices)
By the last couple of slices I was in great pain. Nevertheless the thought of losing to girls, a vegan, and a guy with a fork was enough motivation to force down every last slice. -Mark Vazquez (1st Place, 15 slices)
Good lord I dont' know how the winner ate 15 pie slices. -Walter Theseira (6 slices)
Indeed, by the sixth slice, my body realized what was going on. I do believe that is when I informed my friend Yujuan that this was the "Worst idea ever." -Megan Tormey (8 slices)

:Food for Thought
if you guys ran a HOT DOG eating contest I'd take part again. but not pies again... argh... -Walter Theseira (6 slices)
I think we should have an Intercollegiate Varsity Pie Eating team. -Kellen Alexander (6 slices)

:Best pie/ Worst Pie:
I definitely had to request some more pumpkin pie at one point because I just could not do four slices of peach in a row. (The pumpkin is the best kind to eat because it is already mushed, so it doesn't need much chewing). -Emily Kay (2nd Place, 12 slices)
Then I got to pumpkin, and this is about where I got destroyed. The first two slices of pumpkin I ate were fine. In fact, they even seemed easier to eat than the first two kinds of fruit pie, in that it was solid and easy to get good-sized bites out of. For me, the problem was that after a slice or two, it was just too dry for me, and I couldn’t eat quickly anymore.- Russell Stadler (Third Place, 10 slices)
The apple was good, until I got to my 4th piece. Then it was hella nasty. -Megan Tormey (8 slices)
While I thought that apple would give me no trouble, apple was by far the worst pie, for its rich, buttery crust and thick filling made it difficult to swallow. -Mark Vazquez (1st Place, 15 slices)



Full (hilarious) text from the champ, Mark Vazquez:
Overall, I rather enjoyed the contest, having consumed 15 slices of pie and emerging victorious. I believe the spectacle of watching participants gorge on more pie than one should ever consume in one sitting was fun for all. I hope to see this event or ones like it in the future at Summer Breeze and look forward to possibly defending my title next year.

This being my first attempt at competitive eating I knew I would have to train for this event. While many people's first inclination is to starve themselves, in order to prepare for the contest I did the opposite and expanded my stomach by eating larger meals than usual and drinking lots of water. I knew it was best to not go into the contest hungry for this is a sure sign that your stomach has been shrinking. During the contest, the majority of the pie I ate was apple. While I thought that apple would give me no trouble, apple was by far the worst pie, for its rich, buttery crust and thick filling made it difficult to swallow. Knowing I only had one cup of water, I sporadically used it to aid in the swallowing, but never used too much. The berry pies were easier to swallow than the apple, but my one slice of pumpkin was a nice break, being much less dense.

By the last couple of slices I was in great pain. It felt as if my body was stuffed with pie all the up to my mouth, and that swallowing would be impossible. Nevertheless the thought of losing to girls, a vegan, and a guy with a fork was enough motivation to force down every last slice. Surpisingly, however, I was in good shape after the contest despite the fact that I had just consumed roughly two whole pies. Even after my 6,000 calorie lunch, I felt no more stuffed than after Thanksgiving dinner and was hungry again by 8pm.

I would like to thank the Culinary Club for giving me the opportunity to compete in this contest and win enough money to pay off my gambling debts.


A note from the webmasta, spectator, and server of pies, Annie:
There's something so disgustingly brilliant about consumption contests. You watch them eat and you're like, "oh god, ew, oh god, how could they?" and you find yourself unable to turn away from watching those maniacs chew effortly with dribblings and crumbs aflyin'. The repulsion is so fun! It must be a fear factor type of vicarious living-- so deliciously embodied in food.

My side (as I was serving the pies, or more like undecorously plopping them onto the paper plates)-- was definitely better. We had that machine to my right.. who ate himself to championship. We had two friends competing against each other.. one being Meg, who kept voicing her regrets of doing this in the first place and jumped up and down and bent down and gave pleading looks of puke-up-throat, while their friends encouraged her cruelly.

I especially liked the dramatic entrance of rain as a factor in the last couple of minutes. It was like a WB prime time teen drama, with appley hands getting drenched in raindrops, reaching for apple-y mouths in slow-mo. And the pies consequently getting soggy and gross.

Thanks all for participating! And for those who participated and like to have their comment included, be sure to email me (Annie) at
asheng@uchicago.edu. Happy digesting!