Today is Eat What You Want Day, and by an uncanny stroke of luck, it’s also champion speed eater Leah Shutkever’s 33rd birthday.
Leah, from the UK, is a Guinness World Records regular with a whopping 20 speed eating records to her name, plus one for organizing the most people eating a fish and chip dinner simultaneously online, with 331 taking part.
She first got into the sport after seeing a spread on competitive eater LA Beast in the Guinness World Records book, and now, she’s soaring to fame while doing it for the girls in a very male-dominated field.
As she celebrates her special day with (we hope) a big ol’ birthday cake, we thought we’d take a closer look at her champion chomping.
Racing the stopwatch and meticulously following the rules, Leah has made quite the habit of eating things faster than most of us could imagine.
Her time-tastic record titles include:
• Fastest time to eat three pickled eggs – 7.80 sec
• Fastest time to eat a muffin (no hands) – 21.95 sec
• Fastest time to eat three mince pies - 52.21 sec
• Fastest time to eat a cucumber – 27.16 sec
• Fastest time to eat a hot dog with no hands – 18.15 sec
• Fastest time to eat a banana (no hands) – 20.33 sec
• Fastest time to eat 80 g of watercress – 45.26 sec
• Fastest time to eat 15 Ferrero Rocher – 2 min 1.7 sec
Her favourite record in her collection is the fastest time to eat a Chocolate Orange, which she did in just 57.14 seconds.
Oh and by the way, the delicious treat is still in its packaging when the clock starts ticking.
Leah said: “The feeling I had from breaking that record did something to me I can’t explain, but it changed the trajectory of my life.”
And the toughest by far was most jam doughnuts eaten in three minutes, because the rules meant she wasn’t allowed to lick her lips even once. She managed 10, but it was tough going.
She confessed: “I didn’t realize how instinctual it was to lick your lips.”
Leah also admits that her pickled eggs record – on the set of UK TV show Battle of the Super Eaters - led to her discovering she can swallow eggs whole, unlocking a whole new skillset she didn’t know she had at her disposal.
It’s one that’s sure to come in handy in her lane of record breaking.
Leah also holds a string of records for eating the most food items in allotted amounts of time.
Have you ever wondered how many tomatoes you could scoff in 60 seconds?
Well, Leah did eight to nab the record for most tomatoes eaten in one minute.
Her other records are:
• Most spring rolls eaten in one minute – 301 grams (10.6 oz)
• Most sausages eaten in one minute – 10
• Most mini gherkins/pickles eaten in one minute – 23
• Most marshmallows eaten in one minute (no hands) – 20
• Most sausages swallowed whole in one minute – 12
• Most hot cross buns eaten in three minutes – 6
• Most chocolate truffles eaten in one minute (no hands) – 12
• Most chicken nuggets eaten in one minute – 352 grams (12.42 oz)
• Most chicken nuggets eaten in three minutes – 775.1 grams (1 lb; 11.34 oz)
And why does she do it all? Leah told us: “Breaking Guinness World Records titles reinforces that there is real value in being unapologetically unique and that’s a beautiful thing.”
We couldn’t agree more, Leah. Happy birthday!
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