Competitive eaters, start your chompers. Hooters in Mesquite hosts the Hooters World Wing-Eating Championship qualifying round at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28. Winging in for the event are some monster food champs: Bryan "The Big Sexy" Beard of Denver (that's him, right, at a hotdog-eating competish), Erik "The Red" Denmark of Seattle and The Notorious BOB (aka Bob Shoudt) of Philadelphia. They're all top chew-daddies in Major League Eating, the world body that oversees professional eating contests.
The winner in Mesquite will go on to compete in New York City at the Wing-Eating World Championship, part of National Chicken Wing Day in late July.
"For nearly 30 years, Hooters has been known for our original world-famous hot wings and it's only natural that we establish this inaugural coast-to-coast wing-eating competition," David Henninger, Hooters of America's chief marketing officer told the media this week. "At Hooters we're all about great food and great fun. This competition exemplifies that spirit."
The Hooters Wing-Eating World Championship tour started April 5 in Augusta, GA, with Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas winning the event. Weighing a wiry 100 pounds, Thomas is the world's top-ranked female eater and current five-time National Buffalo Wing-Eating Champion.
Along with the Mesquite event, Hooters is holding 10 more wing-eating contests nationwide, with stops in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Miami, Detroit and St. Louis. Winners in each city get $500 and a trip to the finals in New York City.
"We are thrilled to be working with this iconic American restaurant," said Richard Shea, President of Major League Eating. "While the Mesquite contest will feature Major League Eaters, I wouldn't be surprised if we see great things from Texas-based lovers of Hooters wings."
Hooters fans can follow each contest, keeping track of the local winners and the schedule for future events through Hooters' Facebook page. All competing wing-eaters must be at least 21 years old and, according to legal info from Hooters, "fully acknowledge and understand the inherent dangers and risks associated with participating in an eating contest."
Including any embarrassing instances of sauce licking and/or finger sucking.
Twenty-five-year-old "Big Sexy" Beard travels the Major League Eating circuit. [Photo: Major League Eating]