"I can't believe he can consume that much," the 24-year-old San Jose State University student's mother, Vallejo resident Alicia Chestnut, said today. "He's incredible."
Chestnut, best known for his hot dog-eating skills, wolfed down 9.8 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes at the Best in the West Nugget World Rib Eating Championship. His three brothers accompanied him to the event.
Second-place winner Pat Bertoletti took in 7.4 pounds of ribs. Fifteen contestants participated.
Alicia Chestnut said her son, who has competed in speed-eating contests for the past three years, is competitive but enjoys the company of the other contestants.
"He's having fun," she said. "He's very healthy; he's not fat at all. He's just having a very good time."
Chestnut has participated in more than a dozen competitive eating events, but occasionally the food doesn't agree with him, according to his mother.
Once, she said, "he ate crab cakes and he said that the spices were really hard for him."
"He's not much on the sweet stuff," she added.
Chestnut also does not like to cook, but has always enjoyed his mother's food.
"He loves my cooking, he says," Alicia Chestnut said. "He likes lasagna, he loves all Italian food... For a while I was making a lot of chicken and rice and he hated that."
On the Fourth of July this year, Chestnut ate 59 hot dogs in Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, tying with hot dog-eating legend Takeru Kobayashi. Chestnut won, however, in a subsequent five-hot dog eat-off.
In addition to studying civil engineering at San Jose State University, Chestnut works as a project manager for a construction company, according to his mother.