ELK HORN –What started in college lead Matt Stonie to Elk Horn on Saturday.
The first Aebleskiver Eating Championship was held during the town’s Tivoli Fest celebration, and it brought in several competitive eaters, including Stonie, who is known for winning the 2015 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating contest.
His eating competition life started in college.
“I won some money in an eating contest, and (thought) it’s kind of fun. (I could) make some money on the side, might be fun. It just took off from there,” he said.
He said his training includes one thing that the average person might do - working out to try to keep in good shape - but then something that the average person probably wouldn’t do - buying the food that he would be eating in a contest, and practicing eating it fast. Of course, he hadn’t ever tried an aebleskiver, and it wasn’t something he was going to be able to purchase in his home state of California.
“I was told (aebleskivers were) something like pancakes, which of course, I’ve had before,” he said.” It was like a pancake. Iit had a little bit of corn bread texture. It was really good. It was really delicious.”
He was able to eat 87 aebelskivers in eight minutes during the competition.
“It was an amazing competition,” he said. “This is the first time aebleskiver championship. Usually these first time events are a little bit slow- the crowd is just kind of getting used to it. But no, the crowd today was just totally into it. A lot of fun, and the food was great.”
He said he competes in 10 to 12 events a year, and said he likes to come back to competitions he’s been in before, and would happily come back again if they decided to hold another aebleskiver championship. His next event is likely a return to the hot dog eating contest.
The idea for the contest came from Logan Veath, who had moved from Lincoln, Neb., to Elk Horn, and one night, while visiting friend Steve Rold and his parents Becky and Mark Rold, thought one thing the celebration needed was an eating competition. The rest is history, just like Stonie’s record.