A Feast of Dumplings at Lower East Side Festival
By Della Hasselle
BOWERY- An international feast of dumplings brought hundreds of the treats - and their fans - to the Lower East Side Saturday.
The Chef One Dumpling Eating Contest, a food eating competition, attracted hundreds.
Competitive eater "Gentleman" Joe Menchetti won the men's competition with 55 dumplings in two minutes. Floria Lee ate 38 to take the women's crown.
The all-time record for the New York Dumpling Eating Contest is held by Menchetti, who ate 66 dumplings in two minutes in 2008.
Menchetti, who says that "every meal is practice" for competitive eating, blames new recipes for his recent dumpling eating decrease.
"They switched to whole wheat," he complained. "It's a little more chewy, harder to swallow."
Menchetti and Lee won $1,000 and a trophy. Second place winners, Patrick "The Viper" Viviano and Olga Zaitseva, won $500, and third place winners, Dave St. Fort and Shanei McMulley, won $300.
At the event, New Yorkers gorge for a good cause. All festival proceeds go to the Food Bank For New York City.