Last night in Greenpoint, Takeru Kobayashi attempted to set a Guinness World Record for eating a 12" pizza, but was unable to break the record time of 1:45.37. Instead, The Tsunami finished at just under 2:04. The record, set in 2008 by a Josh Anderson of New Zealand, would have been Kobayashi's fourth Guinness Record. He currently holds records in hot dogs, meatballs (set in Brooklyn), and hamburgers.
As expected, Guinness has very, very specific rules for the anyone attempting to set the 12" pizza record:
- Pizza must weigh at least 348 grams (12.27 oz) and be 12" in diameter
- Crust should be heavier than 150 grams, precooked
- Pizza must have at least sauce and cheese
- Pizza must be eaten with a knife and fork, but can be precut
The pie that Kobayashi ate weighed 364 grams, but that didn't seem to be what kept the former Nathan's Hot Dog Champion from setting the record. After cutting his 12" pie into 16 smallish, slices, Kobayashi was ready for the contest to begin. It was immediately evident that he was having trouble with the conditions of the pizza. He chose to eat each piece by folding it in half length-wise (not the standard New York fold), piercing the pizza with his fork and then cramming the slice into his mouth. On several occasions, the pizza fell from his fork and at one point, Kobayashi had to fix his fork, which was bent while picking up pizza. After the competition, Kobayashi would say that the pizza was "too soft" and he was even ready to make a run at the record right away, but it would have been necessary to start from the beginning, videotaping the making of a whole new pizza through the eating process.
In post-pizza comments to the media, Kobayashi, who is on probation after his run-in with security at this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, said that eating the pizza was "much harder than he thought" despite "two weeks of practice." His next food competition is in Taiwan, where he'll attempt to set a lamb pot stew record in mid-December.
The event took place at the Eight Annual Amnet New York Japan Arts Matsuri. The festival continues Sunday at 3pm at Java Street Hall, 176 Java Street, Brooklyn.