Interview met Michelangelo Partipilo

Michelangelo werd dit jaar de winnaar van de Cheesecake Challenge 2018, georganiseerd door The Cheesecake Company uit Den Haag. We stelden Michelangelo enkele vragen: in het Engels, omdat Michelangelo, zoals zijn naam al doet vermoeden, geen Nederlander is (links op de foto zien we Rebecca Joyner: de eigenaresse en organisator van de Cheesecake Challenge)

1. What was your first ‘encounter’ with eating competitions?
Answer: I had previously heard of hotdog eating competitions, and personalities like Kobayashi. Mostly through viral videos and such.

2. Which eating competitions are still on your wish list?
Answer: I would LOVE to take part in a pizza eating competition. Maybe roasted chicken, or spare ribs if they are properly done. Also, DONUTS! I will definitely take part in the Cheesecake Challenge 2019.

3. Are there things you would absolutely not eat (during a competition)?
Answer: Spicy peppers, mexican or indian, or any spicy food.

4. How do you physically feel the evening / morning after a competition?
Answer: I have only taken part in 1 competition. I expected to feel ill, but most of what I felt was guilt from how I haven’t done much physical training lately.

5. How do you prepare before a competition?
Answer: I drank lots of liquids a few hours before. Mostly fruit juice. I had slightly smaller portions of food the night before and the morning of the event.

6. Do you exercise? And, if so: how much (a week) and what exactly?
Answer: Not for the past year. I had to avoid any physical activity after a surgery around a year ago, and lost track of my exercise routine. I used to jog and run at least once a week, travel to work on my race bike, sign up for 5k and 10k runs, also with obstacles, and always tried to stay active. After the competition I have felt an urge to start doing those things again.

7. Are there more fans or haters about these competitions in your surroundings?
Answer: I wouldn’t say there’s hate, but I have noticed a tendency to make winning an eating competition sound funny or shameful. There are people who are seriously concerned about the health of competitive eaters.

8. Aren’t you afraid of health risks (on a long term) ?
Answer: Yes, which is why I decided to start a stricter exercise regime.

9. Which competitors do you look up to, and/or are really impressive to you?
Answer: I don’t know anyone in the scene at the moment. I remember watching a video of a tiny asian girl eating a bowl of noodles. I don’t know whether it was admiration or disgust that I felt when I watched it, but it was quite impressive. I believe it was this girl (link opens YouTube video in new tab)

10. Do you have any tips or advise that you would give to people that also want to participate eating competitions?
Answer: Have fun!