Big Eater Visits Circle City, Gets Saucy

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Big Eater Visits Circle City, Gets Saucy

Fans got a chance to meet and take a photo with 12-time Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Joey Chestnut on Thursday.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Hot dogs and summertime go hand-in-hand.

People in Indianapolis got a spicy taste of summer on Monument Circle on Thursday, and got a chance to meet 12-time Hot Dog Eating Contest champion, Joey Chestnut.

Chestnut was giving away bottles of his new line of hot sauces, that everyone could put on the free hot dogs that were also being given away during lunch time. 

He got the idea of creating his own line because of his love for condiments.

"Sauce can add so much flavor," Chestnut said. "It gets rid of flavor fatigue. A lot of the times, during an eating contest, you get tired of eating the same thing. So with a great condiment, nothing gets old."

Some of the flavors of his new sauces include Nashville Hot, Green Hatch Jalapeno and Spicy Sriracha Teriyaki. 

"The Green Hatch Jalapeno is a little spicy and creamy, and can work on anything, from french fries to fish tacos," Chestnut said.

You won't see ketchup on the champ's hot dog though. 

"It's way too sweet and masks the flavor of a hot dog," he said.

Chestnut is coming off his victory at Coney Island last week on 4th of July, his 12th career Mustard Belt. He ate 71 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. 

"I'm living the dream," he said. "I never imagined that I would be doing competitive eating at this level for so long. I can't believe I've been able to stay on top."

So how does a professional eater go about his job, day after day, year after year?

"A lot of it is building tolerance for the food," Chestnut said. "Same way a runner gets used to running in certain conditions, I have to make sure to push my body with conditions of that food."

Along with hot dogs, Chestnut also holds world records in numerous other eating contests, including tacos, cheeseburgers, glazed doughnuts, and ice cream sandwiches. He even won, and set a new record, in the St. Elmo's Shrimp Cocktail eating contest in Indianapolis last year. He'll be back in Indy this December to compete in that contest once again.

(Photo by: Rob Connett, WIBC)

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