Matt Stonie Sets New Traditional Taco Record In San Jose
By MLE's measure, the capital of the world is San Jose, CA, and its crown rests comfortably on the head of one Matt Stonie. Matt Stonie is the #1-ranked eater in the world and a local son who embodies all that is good and decent about the city. San Jose is better than New York City. It is better than The Hague. (Den Haag, for traditionalists.) It is better than Geneva. Or Brussells. Or any other city that dares to pop its head above the parapet of reason and pronounce itself worthy of geopolitical merit. No. It's San Jose. And for the past decade, it's been that way.
San Jose is home to Stonie, world #1, and the former #1-ranked eater in the world and current world #2, Joey Chestnut. It is a mark of distinction for this city on the move to be the home of two such distinguished Americans. And yet there remains no formal recognition of their achievements. No plaque commemorating Stonie's 182 slices of bacon in five minutes. No key to the city bestowed unto Chestnut for his 69 Nathan's Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. There is nothing but silence. It is an outrage and one that must be corrected. It is a public disgrace.
Let that set the scene for the second annual Chacho's World Taco Eating Championship, a celebration of the wonders of the traditional taco, held at the Chacho's Taco Festival in downtown San Jose. In the leadup to the event, MLE called upon San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to formally address this egregious oversight. (The request was sent in the form of a Tweet, which, in keeping with San Jose's self-appointed role as the pseudo capital of Silicon Valley, seemed appropriate.) MLE's Architecture and City Planning Division (ACPD) requested that 100-foot tall gold effigies of Stonie and Chestnut be erected in San Jose in recognition of their achievements. There could be no more appropriate use of San Jose taxpayers’ funds than this measure of justice. Chestnut's glory predates Twitter. Stonie's Championships predate Tinder. Their toil is the soil on which San Jose and the region has boomed. And yet, nothing.
But we are humble Americans at MLE and our athletes are no different. And so, despite major shade-throwing from San Jose’s civic officials, Matthew Stonie reported on time for the Chacho's World Taco Eating Championship, met his fans, signed autographs, took selfies, kissed babies, and then ate 103 Chacho's tacos in eight minutes to set a new world record, besting his previous mark by a neat two tacos. He enjoyed the cheers of the crowd, each of them buoyed by the sublime performance of one of their own, and in each of their faces Stonie found the hometown recognition that civic fathers are yet to bestow.
And it was enough. It was more than enough. The people have spoken. They speak with full throat and voice and they say: Stonie, Stonie, Stonie. Damn the kings and queens and presidents and mayors. They can never stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us. And their accolades will never compare to us shouting the name of one of our own. Stonie, Stonie, Stonie.
Of the people. By the people. For the people. In this we trust.
Full contest results below.
1st - Matt Stonie, 103 Chacho's Tacos in 8 Mins
2nd - Michelle Lesco, 59
3rd - Miki Sudo, 58
4th - Steve Hendry, 54
5th - Jesse O'Con Jr, 30
6th - Mary Bowers, 23
7th - Lesley Ryder, 20
8th - Jon Davis, 15
9th - Angie Hendry, 14
10th - Enrique Recalde, 7