Pedestrians passing by the Caseus Cheese Truck parked on York Street this afternoon gave Peter Kelly GRD ’15 a wide berth, and understandably so — they saw him demolishing 10 tomato and grilled cheese sandwiches with a look on his face of stern determination and considerable nausea.
The folding table and mere two onlookers were not indicative of the historical event that was taking place: Kelly became the third person ever to succeed at the Caseus Cheese Truck Challenge by eating 10 tomato grilled cheeses in under an hour.
“I was hungry, so the first five were pretty good. Six, seven, eight—not so good. Ten was pretty painful,” said Kelly, who succeeded by stuffing the last quarter-sandwich in his mouth with about two minutes left, before promptly throwing up over the Jonathan Edwards College wall once he was declared champion.
Those who succeed in eating a classic grilled cheese with at least one topping of choice get their sandwich named after them on the side of the truck. Winners can also get their namesake sandwich free of charge for life.
It’s not a task to be taken on lightly: the Caseus Cheese Truck website warns that losers must pay for the sandwiches they eat and “get nothing but full of cheese sandwiches.”
Kelly strategically chose tomato as the topping for his classic grilled cheese (which comes standard with provolone, swiss, comte, gruyere, gouda, sharp cheddar “and more” on sourdough) because he thought meat like applewood bacon or Berkshire pulled pork would be significantly heavier.
He named the combo the “Barberis and Kelly (2012),” a citation-like ode to his advisor, SOM Finance Professor Nicholas Barberis. Kelly and his friends also considered the name “Barbaric Barberis” pretty seriously.
It remains to be seen how much desire Kelly will have for his free lunch after consuming 10 so rapidly. According to the Cheese Truck staff, of the two previous winners, Etkin Tekin ’12 has only returned twice to claim his bacon and guacamole grilled cheese, the “TEKIN,” and the second champion has yet to come back for more.
An earlier version of this article misspelled Etkin Tekin.