Bertoletti's Kind of Town

Chicago’s Patrick Bertoletti, who credits the music of Irish punk bands as the driving force behind the creation of his signature roast leg of lamb with mixed berry coulis, will compete at the St. Valentine’s Day Chocolate Massacre in Chicago on February 13th.

Badlands Booker, Yellow Cake Subich, Frank Wach, Bubba Yarbrough and Kevin Carr will also be competing at the event, which will be held at the Chicago Chocolate Company at 847 W. Randolph, but many believe Bertoletti will beat all comers and take top honors on Monday.

A student, who studies culinary art at Kendall College, Bertoletti raised a number of eyebrows in January when he beat Sonya Thomas, the top-ranked eater in America, at the corned beef sandwich eating championship in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Joey Chestnut also competed in that event, taking second in a hard fought overtime battle with Sonya.

Bertoletti continued to surprise the eating community when he finished an impressive 3rd in front of a number of veteran competitive eaters at the recent World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship at Planet Hollywood in New York City.

“I can’t forecast where we’ll be at the end of this first quarter, but if Bertoletti wins Monday's event he’ll be entering ’06 as strong as any other eater on the circuit,” said Charles Hardy, commissioner of the IFOCE. “Erik the Red, Hall, and Chip have shown skills, but Bertoletti is looking Chestnut-like of late.”

“I am shocked there is so much buzz on Bertoletti this week,” said Kate Westfall of the IFOCE. “With Valentine’s Day approaching and Dale Boone off in India, perhaps we should consider the loss being felt by all women in the Greater Atlanta area.”