Podcast #43: The 2007 National Windmill Hot Dog Eating Championship

Click Here to Listen to the Windmill Hot Dog Eating Podcast

Click Here for Complete Hi-Res Slide Show of the Hot Dog Eating Event

Click Here for Complete Video Telecast of the Hot Dog Eating Championship

Related OTB Post: Goin’ Down to the Shore

This last weekend, I was invited to attend and cover the National Windmill Hot Dog Eating Championship, sponsored by Windmill Hot Dogs and the AICE, the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters. Having never attended such an unusual sporting event before, I was intrigued. For starters, I happen to really love Windmill’s hot dogs, just because of how mammoth they are in size, and I also feel they make a the best chili dog in the entire state of New Jersey. So Rachel and I headed down to the Jersey Shore in Lake Como (Formerly South Belmar) at Bar Anticipation to watch the real pros eat mass quantities.


Exhibit A, a Windmill Hot Dog. Over a quarter pound in size fully cooked, they dwarf just about any other hot dog currently on the market and are ideal for heavy condiment loading. These are a special beef/pork hybrid manufactured by Marathon Meats (Sabrett) for the Windmill hot dog restaurants in New Jersey. They are griddle fried for 45 minutes on low heat until the skin gets nice and crispy. Rachel and I were able to share two of these over a course of a few hours, but you’re about to see these things literally inhaled by much more serious eaters than us.

Ready to see about 50 pounds of quarter pound hot dogs disappear in about 10 minutes? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.


The stage area at Bar Anticipation, the calm before the storm.


A pack of restaurant-grade Windmill franks. These are the full sized, foot long hot dogs, which are each over a quarter pound uncooked. As Steve Levine, the owner of Windmill says, “These are not weenies”.


Aaron Levine grills up the dogs before the main event.


Mmmmm. Hot Dogs.


Steve Levine, the Hot Dog king of New Jersey.


A pair of VIP’s enjoying their hot dogs.


Competitive Eater Elvis Van Gorden.


Aaron: “Now, Elvis, just so you understand, we’re eating Hot Dogs at this event, not peanut butter and banana sandwiches, ok?”


The WRAT girls warm up.


Arnie “Chowhound” Chapman, AICE Chairman.


The Chowhound addresses the crowd. “If you don’t have a beer in your hand, dammit, BUY ONE RIGHT NOW!”


One of the lovely Windmill girls.


The dogs are assembled.


The fans gather


Elvis meditates in Zen-like anticpation of his hot dogs.


New Yorker Chris “The American” Schlesinger prepares to do battle.


Ian “The Invader” Hickman, from Virginia.


The food warriors get ready.


The chowing commences!


Chris “The American” Schlesinger inhales a hot dog. AICE requires all its competitors to eat Picnic Style, and does not allow dunking or mutilation of the food. It has to be eaten just like at a picnic.


Competitor “Gentleman Joe” Menchetti hits a speed bump.


Ian “The Invader” Hickman takes first prize with nearly 15 hot dogs (14 and 7/8ths) with Gentleman Joe Menchetti in 2nd with 11.5.

Ian The Invader

Ian the Invader, a true man among giants. He’s actually going to go and eat dinner afterwards, if you can believe that. I’m not sure how the hell he’s going to do that after ingesting well over 3.5 pounds of meat and 15,000mg of sodium, but more power to him.

14 Responses to Podcast #43: The 2007 National Windmill Hot Dog Eating Championship

  1. Bob Skilnik says:

    My God. Who puts catsup on a hot dog?

  2. Bob: The Windmill hot dog is a blander variety of dog that is a pork and beef hybrid, which is ideal for loading of different condiments. I actually think that on this particular dog, both mustard and katchup work well, as does the addition of relish. But they didn’t have relish at the event, so I decided to dress it with both mustard and ketchup for the photo.

  3. Bob:

    I agree, Mustard for HD’s and Ketchup for Hamburgers. When you go away from East coast you see this “dictate” violated in strange ways (chicagofor instance). Despite the use of Ketchup on the Windmill HD it is a great photo and the use of Ketchup and mustard seem to addd a certain visual beauty

    Arnie Chowhound Chapman
    AICE Chairman

  4. […] Podcast #43: The 2007 National Windmill Hot Dog Eating Championship Click Here to Listen to the Windmill Hot Dog Eating Podcast Click Here for Complete Hi-Res Slide Show of the Hot Dog […] […]

  5. Jon says:

    I’ve never gotten the anti-ketchup bias with hot dogs. Hot dogs are frequently a beef-based product. Ketchup on beef isn’t that bizarre.

    Now mayo… on hamburgers… THAT’S strange. ;-)

  6. John Fox says:

    The Windmill Hot Dog Eating Championship is a fun event. I was a judge 2 years ago. The dogs are exactly twice the size as the ones at the Nathan’s competition, so eating 15 is the equivalent of eating 30 at Nathan’s, which is quite an accomplishment. In 1999, 24 hot dogs was enough to win at Nathan’s. The Windmill dog is good, but has to be grilled for awhile to bring out it’s flavor. As many of you know, this is the same dog that is served at Callahan’s, only at Callahan’s it is deep fried.

  7. Don says:

    Hmmm! I was on WordPress for a completely random reason and as I hadn’t ever heard of a Windmill dog (I’m in Texas), I had to check this out. I’m definitely going to have to see about getting my hands on some Windmill dogs and putting them on the grill!

  8. qritiq says:

    I was here for another reason too, but had to click in. Looks like a blast; thanx for the rundown. Been down the shore a bunch of times, but never heard of this.

  9. Bob Skilnik says:

    Your typical “Chicago-style” all beef hot dog comes on a steamed bun with poppy seeds, yellow mustard, relish, hot sport peppers, tomato wedges, a thin wedge of cucumber and topped off with a dash or two of celery salt.

    Anything else and we run you out of town.

  10. Random says:

    re: John Fox,

    Which Callahan’s? The only one I know of was the one right next to Hiram’s in Fort Lee. It has since been replaced by a bank.

  11. John Fox says:

    There were three. The original in Fort Lee, which is gone. Another location (I forget where) that is also gone, and another in Little Ferry which survives.

  12. The other one was in Hasbrouck Heights.

  13. WindMill says:

    what a contest it was!!!!!
    Great eaters from all over the country.
    there is a good comparison to Nathans, but you must remember that the WindMill contest does not allow for Dunking, mashing, or breaking of the Hot Dog. It is a picknick style event!

    We had a lot of fun and gave away lots of great prizes.
    Thank you again Jason for covering the event!
    it was great to meet you!!!!!

  14. Chuck Gafford says:

    This looks like you and Rachel and having fun there with some great food!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: