Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Big Pizza Turd

Fresh off a successful canned food eating challenge, someone saw a Pizza Hut advertisement for their "Big Dinner Box", which is 2 medium 1-topping pan pizzas, 5 breadsticks, and 8 wings.  Fortunately, we decided not to make this into an eating challenge.  If we had, it would have been a miserable experience, where we all showed up at Rob's place and waited for our twelve cold boxes to arrive with their crappy toppings and extra cold marinara, and then we sort of tried to eat all of it, but not a single person could do it, because it was over five thousand calories of awful.  Good thing that never happened, then.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Results of the Epic Canned Food Drive Challenge

This event was everything we had hoped for.  The highs were high, and the lows were so very low.  To the surprise of many, the winner finished seven cans, and in total it took several hours of cunning, fortitude, and sweetened condensed milk to decide the champion.

We had nine entrants, each bringing their $10 and ten cans.  Most people had the maximum of 5 sponsors, and therefore a budget of $15.  Of the seven items revealed in the first round only one, tomato paste, was not from the safe list.

I pulled off a coup (and reached my high point of the evening) by going into the mystery can pile for what I knew were 100 calorie peaches, which no one placed a bid on.  I thought I had made a similar move to get my canned pineapple in round three, only to open the bag and to my horror see whole serrano peppers, which knocked me out.

In the meantime, a large (and frankly, illegal) "can" of peanuts took out Rob, and sweetened condensed milk eliminated Dan.  Amelia proved that sweetened condensed milk could be beaten, however.

Trexler powered through some canned salmon, using his heat option.  This was particularly surprising since couldn't stand the smell of tuna wafting across the conference room in round one, but apparently he's just very specific about his canned fish.  All this work only to walk away after he opened a mystery can to find queso blanco.

Abhi, going for low-volume, high-disgust food, drew some sort of squid in the first round.  His strategy held until VJ stuck him with the largest can in the pile, which turned out to be a fatal loaf of bread.

There are no pictures of what happened next.  Amelia had powered through tomato paste, sweetened condensed milk, mixed vegetables, black beans (strained), and beets.  She drew a mystery bag for round 6, and got mandarin oranges.  These were the mandarin oranges that broke the camel's back.  She downed them quickly enough, but while waiting for the other competitors to join her in round 7, she had the first in-competition reversal in our history.

This left VJ versus Garrett for the win.  VJ had all the advantages: he had money left in his budget, and was acting last.  Garrett chose a mystery item, which VJ bought.  Then VJ went for an item, which Garrett would have to eat.  He went for the size, shape, and weight of sweetened condensed milk.  In a delicious (?) twist, it was a concentrated caramel sauce.

Garrett chipped away at the caramel, just in case VJ couldn't eat any of his item (a can of jalapenos).  Instead, VJ finished both the jalapenos and Garrett.

We'll pretend that he is wiping his face in this picture.  In all, we ate about half the cans, and donated over a hundred, in addition to $100, to the Connecticut Food Bank.  I'm not sure they'll appreciated the quail eggs or four cans of mackarel that went uneaten, but we did our best.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Canned Food Drive Challenge

I'm way behind on posts, but I wanted to add a note about today's very special challenge.  We are using our considerable talents for good, and have designed an eating challenge to benefit a local food pantry.  Each contestant will provide 10 cans of food, and bring $10.  The cans will be entered into a general pool, and one-by-one they will be put up for auction.  Each round, each contestant must purchase and eat one item, using their $10 budget.  We will go through as many rounds as necessary until only one person finishes the can they just purchased.

Of course there's a twist.  Although five cans must be purchased off a list of approved items, the other five can be any safe-to-eat canned food 1 lb or less.  Nine of the cans must be purchased at a major grocery chain, but one may be purchased at the ethnic food store of your choice.  And of course, only a small fraction of items will be unveiled each round, so some items will be bid on knowing only their size and shape and not their contents.

At the end of the challenge, all the auction money ($10/person) and leftover cans will be donated to a food pantry.  Now you might say, "Wait, that means that every can you eat you are taking away from charity?"  This would be true, if not for your help.  Non-participants can sponsor a contestant by promising that for every can the contestant completes, they will donate one to the cause.  For every sponsor, the contestant is awarded an extra dollar for the auction process.  So get in the holiday spirit, and give someone every reason to choke down that last can of pickled artichokes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tour de Rice Finale

The Tour de Rice turned out to be a case study in domination.  The third sprint, on Thursday, was again won by Garrett, who sewed up the green t-shirt competition.  Dan had a meeting and could not participate in the sprint, but he was down to about two and a half pounds, and held onto yellow convincingly.

Dan finished it off on Friday, in a total time of 3 days, 21 hours, and 33 minutes, taking his last bites at the start of group meeting.  Garrett won green with a total of 30 points to Trexler's 17.

Next up: chocolate pies (speed competition, no hands)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tour de Rice Stage 2

Stage two brought some questions - could Dan hold onto his lead without having an extra meal (he waiting to eat lunch until after the start of competition on Monday)?  Would the competitors stay on course when faced with temptation?  Will we ever want to eat rice again?

Since I was already out of competition for yellow, I decided to go for a sprint win.  I had a small breakfast (and no rice), but I still knew I was a big underdog.  So I went on the offensive, baking fresh cinnamon rolls (not Lynnette's recipe unfortunately, but are there any bad cinnamon rolls?).

Amazingly, no one bit; no one even appeared to waver.  I at least expected Dan to try to add some frosting to his rice.  I dropped out of the sprint very early (does Cavendish race for 5th?)

In the end, the results were nearly the same as Stage 1.  Dan's pace slowed, but he was good enough to win the stage with another 2 lbs eaten, bringing him to 5 lbs 8 oz left.  Garrett won the sprint (with Dan second), opening up a 4 point lead in the green jersey competition.

The finish could be sometime on Friday (the same day as Strobel lab group meeting and free sandwiches).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tour de Rice Begins!

Our first multi-day event, Le Tour de Rice, began at 1 PM yesterday.  We all took our 10 pound bag of rice - the first one to eat it all is the winner.  We also have a points competition, with sprints taking place every day from 12:30 to 1 PM.

The leader in the points competition wears the green jersey of course.  We award 10 points for 1st in a sprint, 7 points for 2nd, and from 5 points down to 1 point for 3rd to 7th.  Garrett won today's sprint to earn 10 points and the first green jersey.

Dan won stage 1 and the overall lead, with 7 lbs, 6 1/4 oz left to eat.  He is proudly sporting the yellow jersey.

An impressive start - on pace to finish in about four days.  He is followed closely by T-Rex, with 7 lbs, 9 7/8 oz left.  Here is the full spread of competitiors:

We'll see tomorrow if Dan can defend the yellow jersey.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Taco Bell Draft

Years from now we will look upon fall of 2010 as the golden age of MB&B eating challenges.  We do them more frequently now, but it will be hard to top the epic back-to-back combination of the Taco Bell Draft and McDonald's Survivor.

We were inspired by this video of four people drafting items off the menu of Taco Bell.  While they seemed to do a fairly limited set of items, we had ten competitors, so we literally drafted every item (including all the permutations of nacho cheese/meat/chalupa/gordita, etc).  By random selection, I had the first pick and made the obvious choice: cinnamon twists.  Not only smaller than all the other items, but possibly the only item on the menu that tasted different.

The draft continued for all ninety spots.  At the time, Taco Bell only had eighty-six items, so we had four wild cards - if you picked one of those you were assigned an item at random.  Jared was first to choose a wild card and was stuck with some sort of beefy cheesy burrito thing, scaring everyone off.  The last round was a showcase of horribleness - Chicken Ranch Taco salad, Chipotle Steak Taco Salad, Express Taco Salad, and the dreaded Fiesta Taco Salad.  Salads at Taco Bell consist of a fried tostada shell filled with pools of meat and beans barely concealed under a few shreds of lettuce.  Somehow, with the last pick of the draft I was spared all those and was left with the Volcano Nachos, which were higher in calories but delicious.

It's not clear what Dan was doing during the draft (he's the tall red bar); perhaps he couldn't override his natural instinct to maximize calories.  After we divided up and went to three area Taco Bells, we came back to the conference room with our spoils.

We learned all about the meat sweats that night, as well as meatmares, meat shakes, and of course I learned all about meatpeating.  I managed to finish my food before I did though.  Here I am midway, trying to put down one of several chalupas while listening to "All I Do Is Win":

Six of us finished our drafted food: VJ, Dan, Jared, Trexler, Rob, and me.  Observe the blue bars of shame (uneaten food):

We then entered overtime, where each person redrafted an uneaten item.  Only VJ and Dan finished the first round of overtime.  In round two, VJ successfully ate a large burrito, while Dan tried to induce meatpeating in VJ by opening a packet of ranch dressing and drinking it directly.  That strategy was unsuccessful, and Dan became the third person to be eliminated by the Chipotle Ranch Salad, leaving VJ as the victor.  A strong start to his career, but other challenges lay ahead...