How I Won the Pickle Eating Contest — by Max Bluestein

The Champ. Max Bluestein

Tonight is the Fifth Annual Sixth & I Pickle Eating Contest.  Check back next week to see the report.  In the meantime, here’s a description of the event from last year’s winner Max Bluestein.


I showed up for trivia at Sixth & I last Thursday and 4 beers and 15 botched history questions later, I found myself in front of 100 people and a 5 pound bowl of dill pickles.


The dozen competitors across the long table gorged the pickles with me as the crowd roared.  However, what we competitors thought were “oos” and “ahs” were probably more like “eeew”s and “that’s absolutely disgusting”s.

I was determined to win this thing. The pickles, provided by the corned beef purveying food truck Sixth and Rye, were delicious, but unfortunately the 5 minute contest didn’t allow time to appreciate the taste.

I glanced up and down the battlefield at the bowls of my enemies. My left flank was faltering and the right side had completely given in. Cowards. The only competition remaining was the man in the blue shirt next to me. He was technical, dedicated,and intense. I only knew him from the chants emanating from the blood-thirsty crowd… “Alex! Alex! Alex!”

His methods were calculated and deliberate. The systematic delivery method, the corn on the cobb bite-and-turn, the strategic water dunks. By comparison, all I had was the brute force of my lower jaw and the matter obliterating blades twisting in my stomach.

But I am Max Bluestein. The Max Bluestein that can go through an entire herd of cattle in a single sitting at Fogo de Chao. My very name sends chills down the spine of restaurateurs daring enough to offer a buffet in the tri-state area.

The battle raged.

Style vs. stamina, intensity vs. insatiability, technique vs. freakish monster stomach.


3 pounds of pickles in 5 minutes yielded me free movie tickets, gift cards, tickets to see Bobby Flay, and my name on a plaque (alias included).

Oh, and eternal glory.

Thank you Sixth & I for launching my competitive eating career. You’re next, Kobayashi.