Brownsey plows through pulled pork at Erie County Fair
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • August 16, 2012 @ 8:56am
At the Erie County Fair’s BW’s Smokin’ Barrels pulled pork eating contest, a new champion was crowned.
Chris Brownsey, 36, from Kenmore nudged out defending champion Rob Holleran and resilient runner-up Joe Schubbe to win gift baskets to the Erie County Fair and BW’s Smokin’ Barrels.
The competition pitted 10 contestants against each other to determine who could eat the most pulled pork in five minutes. The competitors, split into two separate tables, were handed a bin with three pounds of pork—equivalent to 15 sandwiches—and were told to eat using only their fingers.
Brownsey, Holleran and Schubbe—all seated at the right table—were neck-and-neck for much of the five minutes while the other table lagged noticeably behind. Brownsey cleverly took advice from Holleran before the contest, then dethroned him.
“The guy next to me was the champion last year, and so I talked to him before about how he did it, and I figured he was the competition,” Brownsey said after. “It looked like he was ahead of me the whole time, but at the end I just tried to put as much in as I could to get more than him, figuring no one would have as much as him.”
After the win, Brownsey admitted that he drew confidence from a past competitive eating win.
“I didn’t do any training [before today], but this is my second competitive eating event, both of which I’ve won. The other was an ice cream eating contest at Sal and Al’s in Elyria, Ohio about 10 years ago.”
“I’ve always said—if I ever see a pork competition, I’m going to eat it, because that’s my favorite,” Brownsey added. “I saw that last night on the internet when we were planning our day here, and I said, ‘I’m doing it, I’m going to win.’”
Brownsey, who grew up in South Buffalo, was prepared for the challenge with an empty stomach, however, as he only drank small amounts of water leading up to the 3:30 p.m. showdown. He admitted that eating breakfast before the sundae competition a decade ago hindered his performance, even though he won. He wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
Rob Holleran of Buffalo, last year’s top finisher, was frustrated after Brownsey’s victory, annoyed that the contest’s administrator chose not to shout out the three-minute mark.
“I heard him say two minutes, I heard him say four minutes, but I did not hear him say three minutes,” Holleran said. “I guess I panicked a bit.”
Both Brownsey and Holleran plan on returning next year to battle again for the pulled pork eating crown.