mmmm buffalo wild wings


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LAS VEGAS - Two hot dog eating champs faced an upset — not of the stomach variety — when a Chicago culinary arts student trounced them in eating chicken wings.


Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti skinned champion Joey Chestnut and staved off a comeback by Takeru Kobayashi to win the chicken wing "Chowdown" for Spike TV.

Wriggling his body and gnashing his teeth, the 22-year-old downed 4.1 pounds of chicken meat in eight minutes flat in front of a cheering crowd in downtown Las Vegas Tuesday to win the $25,000 top prize.

Chestnut wolfed 4.05 pounds for second while Kobayashi came in third, inhaling 3.12 pounds.

Bertoletti, who came into the event ranked 3rd by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, said he used his thumb to squish meat off the bone for speedy ingestion, using the "umbrella technique." He credited the Buffalo Wild Wings staff for preparing a tasty meal.

"They were warm enough and they were soft enough. They had the perfect amount of sauce on them," he said. "It was perfect."

Top-ranked Chestnut, 23, was in his first cheek-to-jowl matchup against No. 2 Kobayashi since wresting Nathan's Fourth of July hot dog eating crown from the Japanese eating machine three months ago. He said Tuesday's loss left a bad taste in his mouth.

"It's bittersweet," said Chestnut, of San Jose, Calif. "I beat Kobayashi, but I didn't win."

Kobayashi was the six-time Nathan's champ from 2001 to 2006 and came into the contest nursing a sore jaw. While he downed wings like a cartoon character eating corn on the cob, the 29-year-old from Nagano, Japan, said he was more tentative than usual.

"At first, I was a little worried about my jaw, so I ate scared," he said. "Halfway through I got more excited and ate faster, but there wasn't much time."