The Rise of Patrick Bertoletti and the Fall of Joey Chestnut

The Rise of Patrick Bertoletti and the Fall of Joey Chestnut

The hot dog eating world was taken by storm when Patrick Bertoletti emerged as the new champion at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, dethroning the 16-time winner, Joey Chestnut. Bertoletti, a 39-year-old from Illinois, devoured an impressive 58 hot dogs in the 10-minute event, claiming the coveted Mustard Yellow Belt in the men’s category. On the women’s side, Miki Sudo also made history by setting a new record with 51 wieners consumed.

The rift between Chestnut and Major League Eating (MLE) became apparent when the event’s organizer announced their split with the competitive eater. The controversy stemmed from a rule prohibiting participants from striking endorsement deals with hot dog maker Nathan’s competitors. MLE accused Chestnut of partnering with a plant-based meat alternative company, ultimately leading to his banishment after 19 years of competing in the contest.

While the relationship between Chestnut and MLE appears strained, the organization still recognizes his significant contributions to the sport. With records in 55 eating categories, Chestnut remains a legend in competitive eating. Nathan’s website continues to laud him as the “king” of the event, despite the recent developments.

In the absence of Chestnut, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest faced a new landscape. ESPN’s coverage of the 2024 competition highlighted the impact of Chestnut’s departure, dubbing him the “Warren Buffett of the buffet.” However, Chestnut’s fans can still catch a glimpse of him in action through a livestreamed hot dog eating contest at Fort Bliss army base in Texas, where he aims to raise funds for charity.

The rise of Patrick Bertoletti as the new champion and the fall of Joey Chestnut mark a significant shift in the world of competitive eating. While controversies and disputes may arise, the spirit of competition and sportsmanship continue to drive the sport forward. As new champions emerge and old records are broken, the legacy of iconic eaters like Chestnut will always hold a special place in the history of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.


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