The Guacamole Story
So many of my friends have heard this story by now, so figured it was a good one to share on this rainy Wednesday. Plus after all these months I finally got the pictures of the ordeal so for the first time ever, there's some pictures to go along with the infamous story.
Back at our Holiday party last December in our office, we had a professional chef - John Reilly - come and cook up us a feast. Mr. Reilly is a renowned chef who has cooked for presidents in the White House and now has a catering company here in NYC. Mr. Reilly is also an avid hunter and wild game chef, and delighted us in the past with such delicacies as Black Bear empanadas, Braised Pheasant, Smoked Duck Lo Mein and Venison Burgers.
For our holiday party Mr. Reilly served up a smorgasboard of treats, including grilled shrimp, lamb chops, chicken and beef skewers and venison quesadillas with homemade quacamole.
It was heaven for a carnivore and I was up to the task, eating pretty much non-stop for 2 straight hours. Plus I helped myself to a bunch of beers and homemade margaritias.
At the end of the party, dessert came out in the form of homemade fudge brownie squares with vanilla ice cream. Of course there's always room for desert so I helped myself to a few squares and was ready to call it an evening.
A bunch of us were sitting around and the conversation turned to eating. One of my coworkers bragged about how many brownie squares he could shove in his mouth. This inevitably led to conversations about eating capacity, which somehow turned into a dare.
There was a full bowl of guacamole on the table. When I say full, I mean flowing and over the top. The guacamole was in one of those molcajetes - the stone bowls traditionally used at Mexican restaurants to serve guacamole. Somehow the bet turned to me and the challenge was to finish the entire bowl of guacamole in 5 minutes.
Initially I resisted since I had just eaten and drank for 2 straight hours and was way past capacity. Even though money started flowing on the table (got up to $100), it was ultimately my pride (and stupidity) that led me to accept the challenge.
At first the guacamole went down smoothly and I was plowing along. However no matter how fast I ate, when someone would scoop a fresh batch onto my plate it seemed like the bowl was still way past full. It didn't help matters that some in the room were trying to make me laugh, including putting one of those 100 gallon garbage bins next to me.
Co-workers making me laugh was costing me some valuable time
I was undeterred however and kept plowing along. However at the three minute mark things started to slow down tremendously. At this point our lovely PR director here decided to get her camera to start capturing the action (in case I started to puke everywhere - how kind of her :)
My hands literally started shaking after about 4 minutes. I was about halfway through the bowl and there was no way I was finishing it with a minute to go. I felt my color leaving my skin. It felt like I was 10 shades of pale. I was taking long bites and struggling to shallow even the smallest bite. So out of kindness they decided to bonus me two extra minutes.
Starting to struggle
Feeling completely pale
After sipping margaritas (probably not the best thing to drink while eating fast) I got past the wall that hits most competitive eaters and runners alike.
Getting to the bottom of the bowl
With renewed confidence, I started to plow through the rest of the guacamole. Shoveling it into my mouth as fast as I could, I finished the entire bowl at just under 7 minutes!
I couldn't believe I had actually done it. I was beyond full it was so disgusting. I was beyond a food coma. My eyes were completely gazed over and my whole system felt like it was in shock.
I heard hootin and hollering around me but I literally just sat there staring dead ahead in a complete daze. People were high fiving me and I'm not sure I could feel my hands. Now I know what Kobayashi, Chestnut, Thomas and Conti must feel like after a competition. You're beyond bloated and stuffed. You literally put on like 5 pounds just from the food alone.
Mr. Reilly unfortunately had left prior to the competition, but our boss called him up and told him what transpired. After some negotiation, the chef agreed to give me the guacamole bowl, which was hand made specifically for him down in Guatamala! I think that was a better prize than the cash!
The prized trophy
The best part was the wait staff that was working during our party had no idea what was going on. After I had finished the guacamole, one of the workers came back into the room and looked stunned at what had transpired. Our boss asked him if he's ever seen anyone eat that much guacamole at once and he shook his head no. He then proceed to exclaim in astonishment that I had ate 22 avocados! It was well over a quart of guacamole (can't remember the exact amount).
Trying to stop my hand from shakin afterwards
The worst part was we still were heading out to dinner afterwards. Sadly I just sat there at dinner staring at the food in front of me. Couldn't eat a thing.
I did manage to keep everything down surprisingly. I did feel pretty sluggish over the next few days but I wasn't too badly bothered by the ordeal. Actually we went out for mexican a few days later and I was able to eat guacamole pretty easily (at least I was eating it at my own pace!)
I am now the resident eating champ of my office and an official consultant on any eating competition from here on out. I'll have to prepare myself for a new challenge this holiday season. Hopefully it will involve some kind of protein, perhaps burgers, steak or maybe shrimp or oysters!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The Guacamole Story