He has eaten 21 cannoli in six minutes. Devoured a 76 ounce steak in 20 minutes. Left other contestants in the dust at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog contest by eating 301/2 of the fearsome franks in under 12 minutes. And on Sept. 25, Ed “Cookie” Jarvis obliterated the previous burger eating record at the Yankee Doodle Burger, devouring a staggering 31 hamburgers in under 23 minutes with room for more.
With a group of 30 spectators, Jarvis alternated between plates of burgers, cheese and ketchup breaking only for glasses of milk and water. In the end, Jarvis consumed 31 burgers, breaking the previous record of 28 burgers set by William Stobierski in 1999. He celebrated his win with an extra burger and an ice cream.
A RE-MAX realtor by trade, the 6’6,” 380 pound professional eater has proven to be a formidable competitor, clinching the Steak, Ice Cream, French Fry and other titles for speed eating in numerous competitions on the East Coast.
Jarvis said he used a variety of strategies in competition.
“I think it’s a combination of things. You’ve got to come up with a strategy, mentally prepare, to be able to get through without puking like those other guys,” he said in an interview with the New Haven Register.
And get through he has, eating up the competition to become ranked 2nd internationally for speed-eating by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), and become a favorite in most competitions he enters.
“He was a real nice guy,” said Rick Beckwith, owner of the Doodle Burger. “I thought it was amazing, and never doubted this guy would break the record.”
The preparation for the burger challenge is short, with the Doodle Burger finding out as late as the day before.
“We get one day’s notice, and I go ahead and order enough beef and tell them to come the next day,” said Beckwith. Despite the short preparation time, the competition receives international attention.
Founded in 1989 when student Ed Anderson consumed 10 burgers, the Doodle Hamburger Contest has attracted Yalies and professional eaters alike. The last attempt at the record was two weeks before Jarvis’ win when fellow IFOCE champion ‘Gentleman’ Joe fell short by one patty before regurgitating on the sidewalk outside of Doodle Burger.
Even with such setbacks, Beckwith remains optimistic.
“I think 31’s definitely beatable. I mean, just pick a number [of burgers,] because it’s as predictable as tomorrow’s stocks,” he said.
There is no shortage of interested challengers, including former champion William Stobierski who will attempt to regain his lost title by challenging Jarvis’ new record on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
However, Beckwith was hesitant to take a stand on his possible success.
“It may be tough for Bill to do do it,” he said. “It’s a tough call.”
Come Thursday morning, 31 burgers will be lined up on the counter at Doodle Burger, waiting for the next would-be challenger to have his name etched on the Doodle Hamburger Hall of Fame. And that’s no small beef.