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INTERVIEW: Competitive Eater Darron Breeden On Competing At Mattituck Lions Club’s 65th Annual Strawberry Festival Eating Championship And More

Ryan Lappe

Darron Breeden is among competitors. (Courtesy Photo)

Darron Breeden, the 5th ranked competitive eater in the world, will be one of many competitors at the Mattituck Lions Club World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Championship on Saturday, June 15. Breeden and other contenders will have eight minutes to consume as many individual strawberry shortcakes as possible with the winner earning the title of World Strawberry Shortcake-Eating Champion.

We caught up with Breeden to get to know him a bit better before his big day.

How long have you been participating in competitive eating?

DB: I've competed in Major League Eating events for a little over two years now.

What sparked your interest in competitive eating?

DB: I tried one of those Man vs. Food-style restaurant challenges at a curry shop in Japan and beat it on my first attempt. I was hooked from there.

How do others in your life view competitive eating?

DB: My friends and family think it's neat, but worry about me for a good reason. They are very supportive though.

Do you plan on retiring from competing any time soon?

DB: I still find it to be very exciting, so expect to still see me at the table.

Any advice for those interesting in becoming competitive eaters?

DB: Don't: stay in school kids! All jokes aside, start out with a "smaller" restaurant challenge like I did and see how you do there. Like anything else, start small and build up!

Will this be your first World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Championship contest?

DB: Yes, I've heard very good things about this event and am looking forward to it! I'm also looking forward to breaking the world record!

The 65th Annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival, Long Island's Original and Largest Strawberry Festival and Charity Fund Raiser, will take place Thursday, June 13 through Sunday, June 16.

The Mattituck Lions Club held its first Strawberry Festival on June 16, 1955, and entertained about 1,000 guests. The first Strawberry Festival Queen was crowned in 1956. Over the years, other traditions have been introduced including the craft show, carnival, midway, international food court, strawberry daiquiris, coloring contest, raffle, entertainment, fireworks, business vendors, LIRR excursion, VIP seating, and chocolate covered strawberries.

At last year's championship, the 2nd ranked competitive eater in the world, Carmen Cincotti, took the title of Strawberry Shortcake-eating Champion after eating a World Record of 22lbs of strawberry shortcake in eight minutes of sanctioned competition time. In the second place, the 3rd ranked completive eater in the world, Geoffrey Esper, fell short by just two pounds, eating 20lbs of strawberry shortcake.

The 2019 World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Championship will take place on Saturday, June 15 at 5 p.m.

The Strawberry Festival site is located at 1175 Route 48 in Mattituck. For more information, visit www.mattituckstrawberryfestival.org.

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