Gentlemen, start your enzymes! The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is an annual American competitive-eating competition, which is run as a publicity gathering event by Shea Communications. It is held each July 4 at Nathan’s Famous Corporation’s original, and best-known restaurant at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
2001-2006 champ Takeru Kobayashi did not compete in the contest in 2010 or 2011 due to his refusal to sign an exclusive contract with the event’s organizers. In 2010, Kobayashi was arrested after he walked up onto the stage after spectators began chanting “Let him eat.”
On July 4, 2011, Kobayashi competed on the rooftop of a Manhattan bar, 230 Fifth, for the duration of the Coney Island contest. Two judges observed Kobayashi while the live broadcast of the event played next to him on a large television screen. Kobayashi finished 69 hot dogs, one more than the recognized world record and seven more than Joey Chestnut‘s winning total in the 2011 contest.
Gotta love those sponsors! (see pic)