From Detroit Free Press:
How many coney dogs could you wolf down in 10 minutes?
About 28 people — and a handful of Detroit police and firefighters — battled for a championship elt, trophy and bragging rights at the fourth annual American Coney Island Coney Eating Challenge on Thursday afternoon.
In the public contest, 46-year-old Matt Holowicki of Plymouth was crowned the top dog after he ate 17 coney dogs — and all the trimmings — in record time, smashing the event’s previous record of 10½. Holowicki said he hopes to participate again. Each participant was given a tray of 14 coney dogs. Holowicki was on his second tray before the contest ended.
“When you’re eating good food, it makes it so much easier,” said Holowicki, who competes in eating contests all over Michigan. “After the first two or three, I stopped tasting them.”
The competition earned Holowicki a shiny championship belt, but the event was for a good cause, benefiting Detroit Police and Detroit Fire department charities.
The two departments faced off in a separate competition, with the firefighters ultimately being crowned the champs after they collectively ate 12 coney dogs.
Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said it was all in good fun and was grateful to the owners for donating to the charities. Detroit Police Chief James Craig made a brief appearance to cheer on the officers.
“I didn’t eat as many coney dogs as I wanted,” Woody said, laughing.
Nearly 200 people gathered at the restaurant on West Lafayette Boulevard downtown to watch and donate to the Keros Family Fund. Event organizers predicted they would generate nearly $20,000 by the end of the competitions.
“I’ve always wanted to come to Detroit,” Kobayashi said via translator. “I heard this place has a lot of history and I’ve always been interested in searching out the greatest coney dog.”
Judges included former Detroit Piston Rick Mahorn, WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff and the Gold family from the truTV television show “Hardcore Pawn.”
“We had such a good time,” said Seth Gold. “Anytime we can come out for a good cause and support the city, we have to do it.”
American Coney Island owners Grace Keros and Chris Sotiropoulos said the event gets better every year. [Read full article and see more photos here]