Thirteen and one half pounds later, he’s Meat Fest champion
When it comes to meat, Mike E. Wojenski has achieved a feat that’s tough to beat.
During an eight-hour eating contest called the Meat Fest on Long Island a week ago, Wojenski, 24, lustily sampled the entire 12-item menu of cold cuts, steaks, pork roast and sausage, washing it down with plenty of beer.
Weighed at the end, he had gained 13 pounds, 9 ounces, more than any one of the 36 other contestants – 3 pounds more than the second-place finisher.
He described the effort as "not very difficult." "I equate it to a big day of going around to graduation parties," he said.
Wojenski, who tends bar part time at his father’s place, Steve’s Restaurant on Tipperary Hill, says he has a big appetite and a high metabolism.
He stands 6 feet, 2 inches and normally weighs 199 pounds. The day after the Meat Fest, he said, he had already dropped 9 pounds of his prize-winning weight gain.
The Meat Fest is a 5-year-old, invitation-only competition at the home of Kevin Finnerty in Bay Shore, Long Island.
Entry costs $50. Everyone cooks. No women attend. Shirts are stripped off at the start and everyone wears his beginning weight written on his belly. There are no forks, knives or napkins.
And no "healthy food."
"We’re all young and dumb," explains Finnerty, 23.
They consumed about 200 pounds of food and 71/2 kegs of beer costing about $1,500.
Finnerty said Wojenski’s strategy was simple.
"He just sat down and ate. He didn’t talk. He ate and ate," Finnerty said.
Wojenski said he knew he’d won the trophy and custom-made champion’s robe when, late in the day, everyone was just picking at the filet mignon that he was wolfing down.
He got his invitation on the recommendation of a friend of a friend of Finnerty’s who witnessed an impressive display of Wojenski’s appetite at a Denny’s restaurant. Wojenski finished his meal, then polished off what was left on the plates of everyone else in a large group.
The Meat Fest is capped off with a night on the town.
Wojenski said he was pretty beat by 3 a.m.
"I went home, had a little bit to eat and went to sleep," he said.