I can throw back some food like no one you know.
This is a fact.
The irony hasn’t escaped me that I love to eat yet hate to cook. It’s an anomaly I’ll never understand.
My love of cheese is rivaled only by my love of wine. And that would be the ultimate Sophie’s Choice that I hope I never have to make in my lifetime.
And lucky me, Seattle has quite a lot of options for me to indulge in my love of good cuisine.
My life likely should not revolve around food as much as it does, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was a driving force for me. Are you meeting up with me? Because that likely involves shoving our faces with something delicious while catching up.
One of my favorite Seattle comfort foods on a cold and rainy day is Kedai Makan’s fried rice. So meeting up with a few friends and inhaling rice covered in spices only to be complimented by a fried egg, scallions, and cucumber is one of my go-to scenarios.
I got to the restaurant 15 minutes after opening to put our names down and was told we would have to wait an hour before we would sit down at a table. That’s how good this fried rice is.
So once we sat down at a table we were all slobbering over the food.
As I’ve said, I don’t mess around, so my plate was gone pretty quickly.
One of my friends looked at me and said, “Oh my God. Are you finished with that entire plate?”
“Um, yea. This is one of my favorite meals in Seattle.”
“I think this is why we are friends. You don’t play when it comes to food.”
“I don’t think I can bring just anyone here to watch this annihilation happen. So I can only be in the company of people that are comfortable enough with our friendship to watch this kind of massacre go down. I should probably get involved in some kind of competitive food eating. Or be one of those people who live stream themselves eating so that people with fetishes can watch and pay me for that,” I thought aloud, wondering if I’d found my calling.
“Yea but they’d tell you things like chew slower,” he responded.
“And clearly that’s outside of my spectrum of talent?”
“I’m just saying I’ve never seen you eat slowly…or that you would like to take direction from people.”
I’m not one to shy away from ways of making some extra cash–I have to fund my travels somehow. But I’d never thought about having someone watch me eat and pay me money. I could be an internet sensation.
I squelched that dream quickly when I realized that I want to break people’s cameras like Sonny Corleone in the Godfather every time a picture is taken of me. I honestly find it to be one of the most relatable moments in film, but I digress. Being live streamed on video is not something that falls in my wheelhouse of interest.
But I did feel like I would be a great competitive eater.
My family used to watch Man Vs. Food years back, and after Adam Richman stopped at a burger joint in Carmel, Indiana you had better believe the Lauck family organized a day for the Bub’s Burger Challenge.
My dad, brother, and I all participated. My mother was there to tell us not to make ourselves sick and to drive us home should we be too incapacitated. We also had several others from the Lauck family show up for moral support. Rule number one of competitive eating: make sure you have a solid crew of people to cheer you on when the meat sweats start to kick in.
The challenge was to eat a one pound burger (post-cooking weight). Any sides/condiments had to be eaten in their entirety in under an hour and your picture was on the wall.
I wanted my picture on that wall.
I had a whole method for eating it as quickly as possible before I started to feel too full. My brother is a bottomless pit but also is the slowest eater I know, so time was his only obstacle. And my father, Paul, was notorious for finishing everyone else’s meals at restaurants so was the least likely to have problems.
Burgers were served, the rules were officially read, the clock started, and we all finished our meals before they called time.
I was proud of myself because in my determination to eat quickly before fullness started to set in, I had polished off my burger before both my brother and Paul.
I was gloating, because I do love a good victory, when the waiter came over and collected my plate saying, “I’ve never seen anyone eat it that fast.”
I smiled and looked at my brother. “He’s NEVER seen someone eat it that fast.”
He looked up at me mid-bite and said, “That’s not a compliment,” and got back to it.
He had a point. But I decided to take it as a compliment anyways.
We all three finished our challenge in under an hour and our photo went on the wall. A victory for the whole family really.
I was still a novice at this, but I certainly had the love of food and the competitive nature to make this work.
I looked down at my empty rice bowl in Seattle, and my wheels were spinning. Perhaps this was a way to make money in my next life, when I move from Seattle and get a different job.
But for now, I’ll just enjoy the rice and know that I have a hidden talent for a rainy day.