Make me a Sammich: Jimmy John’s Sandwich Eating Contest
Jimmy John's Freaky Fast Sandwich Eating and Making Contest
I’ve flown to New York two years in a row for the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. I’ve driven the ten hour drive to Chattanooga two years in a row for the Krystal Square Off…so sometimes it is really nice when an eating contest just happens to be just two miles down the block from your apartment! Like the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Sandwich Making and Eating contest!
Saturday was the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Sandwich Making and Eating contest! This eating contest was a little different than most, it’s a series of exhibition-style contests that pits professional sandwich makers against professional Major League Eaters! The premise is that the eaters have to try to eat the sandwiches as fast as the makers can make them. So it was as much a sandwich making contest as it was a sandwich eating contest.
For this contest the eaters were Hall Hunt, Pat Bertoletti, Tim Brown, and Steve Dokho (who had won a qualifying competition to compete). Before the contest I said hi to Pat and he gave me a T-Shirt…he’s probably sick of me rooting for Tim. 🙂 Then Tim complained that I was wearing a Pat t-shirt. 🙂 For the record, I love them both equally.
The contest started a little late as the singer before them (who was singing Britney Spears songs and begging the audience to give her french fries) went a little over. Bu,t finally, the stage was set and the contest was announced. Three sandwich employees from Jimmy John’s locations around Chicagoland were announced first. And then the eaters took their places.
And then it was off! The sandwich makers started putting together their sandwiches. It was hard to see what they were doing as they were behind a screen, but they got down making sandwiches as the eaters waited. For this contest the eaters would not be penalized for not having sandwiches at first. The makers would be given six minutes to make and then when the time ran out the eaters would be given an extra minute or so to finish (whatever the amount of time was that they spent at the beginning with nothing to eat).
As soon as the first Jimmy John’s sandwich was handed to the eaters, they were off! The eaters ripped sandwiches in half to share, they dunked, they stuffed, they swallowed. At times it definitely looked like the four to three ratio of eaters to makers would pay off as often times an eater would be without anything to eat at all. For the first time on the circuit it looked as if the eaters could win!
After six minutes the makers were told to stop and it looked like a victory was possible for the eaters as they went into their final minute. There was a tense moment as it looked like Steve was about to have a reversal of fortune, but luckily he powered through. Finally time was called for the eaters too.
After examining the table the results were announced…the eaters left behind two slices of tomato and a handful of lettuce. The makers would emerge victoriously!
It was a sad day for the competitive eaters who have been facing off against Jimmy John’s employees around the country all summer. This was the closest they got tow inning and they still couldn’t out-eat the Jimmy John’s makers.
Hopefully there will be another rematch and more chances next year.
More photos from the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Sandwich Eating and Making Contest: