The Guts & Glory Of Katz’s Pastrami Eating Contest [PHOTOS]

Sandwich closeup top photo
Credit: RG Daniels

Katz’s Deli, a legendary joint in New York City, celebrated 125 years of shilling smoked meats and brown mustard yesterday. And is there any better way to celebrate than by hosting a Major League Eating competition? We think not. Katz’s invited 10 contestants to wolf down pastrami sandwiches, and we were there to cover the action, while shielding our eyes from stray bits of flesh that might’ve hit us.

So, who shows up to watch a pastrami eating contest? Guys like this:

wannabe contestant

The opening act was a Bobbing for Pickles contest. This guy was really into it. Not sure if chicks dig a head that smells like brine, though.

pickle dude

Here’s the Michael Buffer of eating contests. Instead of “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble,” he just wears a silly hat.

Announcer and deli guy

Here comes one of the contestants. This is Matt Stonie. He’s 21, but looks like he’s 14. Oh, he’s also RIDICULOUSLY good at these things. He’s a serious challenger to take over the throne — er, the crown.

Kid contestant Matt Stonie

And that crown is currently held by Joey Chestnut, the world’s No. 1 ranked eater, who shockingly does not weigh 700 pounds.

Joey Chestnutt makes his way

This is contestant “Eater X” preparing for battle. We didn’t ask what that neon green drink is, but we have a feeling X might get tested for juicing if he wins this challenge.

Eater X prepares

Can pastrami sandwiches hold up in 90-plus degree heat? Who cares? We ain’t scientists over here. BRING ON THE SANDWICHES, SON!!!!!

Sandwiches, son!!



Chestnut’s in the lead, but Stonie is catching up. Check out this nasty plate of slop. That’s how you clean a plate.


Stonie’s startin’ to look dazed. Don’t puke, young fella!

Matt Stonie looks dazed

The crowd waits for the winner…

The crowd waits

Jake, owner of Kat’s Deli, shows off the Golden Sandwich. Who will win???

Whow ill win the gold sandwich???

And the winner is…JOEY CHESTNUT!

Joey wins!

The winner, and still the champion. See ya on the Fourth of July for the Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey…NOW GET LOST, LOSERS!!!

Get lost, losers

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RG Daniels (@RGDaniels) is a comedian and writer in Brooklyn, NY.