Ben's Matzo Ball Battle

The International Federation of Competitive Eating will officialy sanction the seventh Ben's Annual Charity Matzo Ball Eating Contest to be held on January 27, 2004.

Eric Badlands Booker, ranked number four in the world, holds the matzo ball eating record with 21 baseball-sized matzo balls in 5 minutes 25 seconds. Booker will defend his title against those who secure a spot in the finals by competing in one of five qualifying rounds beginning January 17.

The event -- known in the eating community as the Gartenberg Classic after Jim Gartenberg, a rising IFOCE eater who died in 2001 at age 36 -- typically attracts top eaters from the east coast.