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http://www.thestar.com/living/article/794648--major-league-eaters-sink-their-teeth-into-toronto

Major league eaters sink their teeth into

TorontoBMO Field is set to score the inaugural competition of international poutine eating

Toronto is poised to host the world’s first sanctioned poutine eating championship.

Professional American eaters like Crazy Legs Conti, Gravy Brown and Patrick “Deep Dish†Bertoletti will take to BMO Field on May 22 and have 10 minutes to eat as much poutine as is humanly possible.

The World Poutine Eating Championship is being brought here by Major League Eating — the body that oversees all professional eating contests — and burgeoning Toronto chain Smoke’s Poutinerie.

It’s a rare opportunity to see competitive eating on Canadian soil. The last sanctioned event involved hot dogs in Vancouver six years ago.

“Foodwise it’s kind of great — it’s a medley of flavours,†Crazy Legs Conti says from New York. “With other competitions, you can get flavour fatigue, but you can do no wrong with potatoes, cheese curds and gravy. As people hit the wall, maybe at the halfway point, they may want to focus on those flavours.â€

Conti, all dreadlocked 210 pounds of him, predicts the champ will down six to seven pounds of poutine. Ranked 15th, he has been eating competitively since 2002 and is considered an icon. He’s up against “The Lovely Juliet Lee†who weighs 100 pounds but has a world record for eating 23 dozen clams in six minutes and is ranked 11th.

They’ll battle Tim “Gravy†Brown (ranked ninth) who thrives in situations that require dipping or any form of gravy. The fan favourite, apparently, is third-ranked Patrick “Deep Dish†Bertoletti from Chicago. And Pete “Pretty Boy†Davekos (ranked 16th) is renowned as the world spinach eating champion.

Major League Eating sanctions about 80 contests each year, involving everything from Nathan’s hot dogs to deep-fried asparagus and Slurpees. It reached out to Ryan Smolkin when it heard about the innovative poutine meals he serves at Smoke’s Poutinerie.

Smolkin, whose mobile poutine truck will, starting this week, serve at all Toronto FC games at BMO Field, considers the deal to host the competition “more of a Canadian thing than a Toronto thing†— so doesn’t think Quebec should feel miffed.

“It would just be ridiculous if some place south of the border hosted this,†he says.

This event is slated for May 22 (the May long weekend) just before the Toronto FC/New England Revolution soccer game at BMO Field. Major League Eating’s Michael Antolini says poutine presents interesting challenges. Smoke’s will serve its hand-cut Yukon Gold fries, Quebec cheese curds and chicken-based signature gravy.

“For a technical standpoint, they’ll have to use a fork,†he says. “The curd, gravy and fries will challenge both the hand speed and the technique of the competitors because of the skill needed.â€

A full field of eaters is 15. Twelve spots go to professionals, who’ve already signed up through the International Federation of Competitive Eating website. The final three spots are reserved for Canadian amateurs, who must win their way in through a contest run by Smoke’s Poutinerie.

Through www.smokespoutienerie.com, they must tell their best “I once ate†or “I love poutine so much that. ..†story. Smolkin will chose the winners.

The top four in the World Poutine Eating Championship will divide $1,500, but with first place only paying out $750, the competition is about more than money.

“They really do compete for the titles, for the experience and really, for the glory that comes with being an eating champion,†explains Antolini.

One thing you won’t see is what’s gently termed “reversal buckets.†Professional eaters who vomit are disqualified.

“This is not a sideshow and the pros are certainly not going to have any instances of that,†stresses Antolini.

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It's too bad the poutine they'll be eating is an abomination. I've been to the place 3 times now ( to give it's fair chance, hey, taste buds can have an off day I'm sure) and it's just terrible. I've struggled through many sub-par poutines, but this has to be one of the worst. Its the gravy - when you get that wrong, the whole thing is fucked. I can eat one with mediocre fries but if the curd is good and gravy is tasty, well things are going to be allllright. I've also endured poutines with great fries, good gravy and shredded cheese - don't get me wrong, this is almost an inexcusable offense as well, but at the very least you still have a serving of fries and gravy with a little cheese, which is a good thing. But when you fuck up the warm, smothering, liquid brown deliciousness that is gravy, well I'll tell you you've got a bullshit fucking product, with nobody to blame but yourself. Get it right for fucks sake you're embarrassing yourself and forcing the standards of one of our uniquely Canadian dishes down the goddamn tube.

Jesus titty fucking keeee-rist, don't get me started.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I really like Pountini's. Had a great Duck confit pountine there on Valentines day. Like the gravy much better then Smoke's. So, how do I get tickets to the poutine eating contest, I'm so there!

BRUNCH POUTINE!!! GENIUS!

http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/restaurants/guides/brunch/2010/venue.cfm?v=5630

Poutini’s House of Poutine

1112 Queen W, at Beaconsfield. poutini.com.

Rating: NNNN

The best poutinerie in town – take that, Smoke’s! – ups the stakes with the addition of Sunday-only brunch poutine to its cholesterol-lovin’ card. Best: Poutine Florentine, hand-cut russet fries twice-cooked in trans-fat-free vegetable oil and lightly dusted in sea salt, layered with sautéed spinach, shallots and garlic, crumbled bacon, two poached eggs, super-squeaky cheese curds and creamy béchamel sauce; Maple Poutigly, your regular poutine with additional bacon and maple syrup.

Sunday 11 am to 9 pm. Unlicensed. Cash only. $ One step at door, no washrooms.

Edited by Guest
Brunch poutine is genius.
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Poutini’s House of Poutine

1112 Queen W, at Beaconsfield. poutini.com.

Rating: NNNN

The best poutinerie in town – take that, Smoke’s! – ups the stakes with the addition of Sunday-only brunch poutine to its cholesterol-lovin’ card. Best: Poutine Florentine, hand-cut russet fries twice-cooked in trans-fat-free vegetable oil and lightly dusted in sea salt, layered with sautéed spinach, shallots and garlic, crumbled bacon, two poached eggs, super-squeaky cheese curds and creamy béchamel sauce; Maple Poutigly, your regular poutine with additional bacon and maple syrup.

Sunday 11 am to 9 pm. Unlicensed. Cash only. $ One step at door, no washrooms.

Ughhhhh where's the market research - don't they know how their clientele feels about steps?

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  • 2 months later...

'Former hot dog speed-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi has been arrested at this year's event in New York. The six-time champion, who did not compete in this year's event, was arrested as he tried to get on the stage after the competition. Mr Kobayashi had refused to sign a contract with the speed-eating body Major League Eating and was barred from the event at Coney Island. Joey "Jaws" Chestnut won the contest for the fourth year running. Mr Kobayashi, the thin Japanese contender who smashed all previous US records in 2001, jumped a barrier and tried to get up on the stage while the crowd chanted: "Let him eat!" He briefly resisted police attempts to eject him from the stage, grabbing a barrier as they pulled him away. The 32-year-old has been charged with resisting arrest, trespass and obstructing governmental administration' - BBC

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