Joey Chestnut, 34, of San Jose, will go for his another win in the Nathans Famous hot-dog-eating contest on July 4.

KCBS Radio

Inside The Bay Area Home Of The Hot-Dog Eating Titan

Matt Bigler
July 03, 2018 - 8:33 am

With all due respect to the Golden State Warriors, Joey Chestnut may be the most dominant competitor from the Bay Area. 

The San Jose resident has won the annual Nathan's Famous hot-dog-eating contest 10 times since 2007. The mustard-yellow belt given to the victor each July 4th is the most coveted prize in the world of competitive eating. 

Chestnut, 34, invited KCBS Radio into his home as he geared up for another shot at the title in Coney Island on Wednesday. 

With the event days away, Chestnut talked about his mental approach to gorging on dozens of hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. 

"You need to stay calm the day of the contest," said Chestnut. "Not let the weather bother me and just relax." 

Physical preparation is just as important as mental clarity. He's got a home gym where he works out regularly. Trophies from his eating contests abound in the room. Chestnut said astute fans will notice that he's in better shape than when he burst onto the scene. 

"I know that when I'm fitter, I breathe better," he said. "If I breathe better, I can eat more." 

In 2017, he set a record at the Nathan's by downing 72 wieners and buns in 10 minutes.

In some practice rounds, Chestnut claimed that he's beaten his own Nathan's record, though he wouldn't say exactly how many he's gulped. 

"I don't want to put out numbers exactly," he said. "It's more than mid-70s."

To train, he keeps a refrigerator in his garage stocked with the same Nathan's hot dogs that get devoured in the contest. They're hard to get in California, so he orders special shipments. 

Chestnut recently launched a brand of mustard and condiments. All profits from online sales will go to the Hidden Heroes charity, which supports military caregivers. 

"It's an awesome charity," Chestnut said. "It helps give support to the people who take care of our veterans."

Excited to launch my new line of condiments with 100% of profits from online sales going to support military caregivers via #hiddenheroes NOW thru July 6th. Link to buy in bio.

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