Posted by Turkey Hill Team on August 10th, 2010

ALEX M. OF SCRANTON, PA ASKS: Ernie, I’m going to be competing in an ice cream eating contest in a few weeks and since you eat ice cream for a living, I thought you might be able to give me some tips to help me win. Any advice you can give would be appreciated, especially advice on how to avoid brain freeze!

I’m more than happy to help out, Alex, and I wish you the very best of luck in your contest, but I should point out that my competitive eating experience is limited to Thanksgiving and the occasional breakfast buffet. Although I do eat ice cream for a living, I usually only eat it in very small quantities, so brain freeze isn’t an issue for me. However, one person who does have a lot of competitive eating experience and who knows a thing or two about battle brain freeze is Chicago native Patrick Bertoletti.

Pat, or “Deep Dish” as he’s known on the competitive eating circuit, is ranked #4 in the world by Major League Eating and he even has his own website, Deep Dish Eats. Among his eye-popping (or should I say, gut popping?) world eating records are:

- 47 slices of pizza in 10 minutes
– 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes (yes 21 POUNDS)
– 11.1 pounds of shoofly pie in 8 minutes (set right here in Lancaster County)
– 42 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 10 minutes
– 275 pickled jalepeno peppers in 10 minutes
– 55 hot dogs in 10 minutes during the annual July 4 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (not a world record, but still pretty amazing)

    Most importantly, Mr. Bertoletti holds the world ice cream eating record with 1.75 GALLONS of vanilla ice cream in 8 minutes during a contest in 2006. That’s more ice cream than I eat in an entire month, and I eat a lot of ice cream! As you can see, Pat has a pretty impressive eating resume, which is why I reached out to Pat to get his professional ice cream eating opinion. Here’s what Pat had to say:

    “As far as eating it fast I would suggest using a warm or hot liquid to aid in faster consumption.  Stirring the ice cream up so it’s not rock hard also helps.  I don’t suffer from brain freeze but have heard that flipping the spoon upside down protects you from the dreaded after effects (more like using your tongue to scrape the ice cream off the spoon and keeping the spoon in between the ice cream and the roof of your mouth).  I hope this helps!”

    So there you have it. Some great advice from one of the greatest competitive eaters on the planet. Did I mention that Pat has won over $160,000 dollars in eating contests since his professional debut in 2004? Yup, this guy knows a think or two about making food disappear. If anyone else has any advice for Alex for how to win his upcoming ice cream eating contest or how to avoid brain freeze, please share your tips with a comment!

    Leave a Comment


    1. Carol Y says:

      Good luck with the ice cream eating contest!

    2. Vicki says:

      good luck!

    3. Ken says:

      I love your ice cream!

    4. mary frey says:

      just eat ice cream everyday for practice,

    5. Sandy C , corry,pa says:

      I love TH ice cream but I could not eat enough to be in a contest, besides i would rather savor my time with my ice cream.

    6. Joanna says:

      good luck to you and make sure you let us know how you do.

    7. jonibee says:

      What a way to go..this sounds heavenly..Good Luck!

    8. marion says:

      Please post your results, and let us know how it went for you. Good luck, and have fun!

    9. good luck hope your heat don’t hurt

    10. Jean Marie says:

      Be sure to take Pepto Bismol(sp)after you’re done! And good luck!

    11. opps sorry meant your head

    12. Mark Keip says:

      The store in hometown i think is so busy that you could possible put small hand held baskets or a few not many small shopping carts in the store and increse im pulse buying by some positive perccentage. Its a tremendous business going on their.

    13. kathleen says:

      best of luck. i just wish i knew how after eating all that food you stay in such good shape

    14. Ellen says:

      Good Luck in your upcoming contest Alex. I agree with Mary Frey, eat ice cream everyday for practice.

    15. Pat says:

      Good Luck!

    16. Norma says:

      The winning formula: eat the fastest, eat the most!

    17. Norma says:


    18. Lois Sidelnick says:

      Being a Scranton native myself before moving here, I suggest also that you eat some every day, follow the champs suggestions and just enjoy getting all that ice cream for free just for entering. Hope it is Turkey Hill, probably Woodlawns or Burshels, if they are still in business there.

    19. […] John’s Makers vs. Eaters contest at the Mile High Music Festival on Saturday. Bertoletti also offers eating contest advice in the Ice Cream […]

    20. Bob Kessler Jr says:

      I would like to know if Pat ever gets sick after these contests. I’ll bet all this food bypasses his taste buds and he doesn’t have a chance to savor the foods. Of course that is not the point of these eating contests. As for ice cream I agree with the other commenters – sit back, relax, and savor your favorite Turkey Hill flavor.

    21. Cheryl says:

      INteresting question and answer. Good luck in the contest. Look forward to hearing your results.

    22. Alexa says:

      Good luck Alex, hope you win.

    23. karen says:

      Please, someone place a picture of What 1.75 GALLONS of ice cream looks Like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    24. Peggy M says:

      I love Turkey Hill ice cream but would not enjoy eating it so fast. I want to savor every bite but I do wish Alex good luck in this contest.

    25. Marcy says:

      If you can choose your flavor, do not chose any with nuts or fruit, just a plain flavor. GOOD LUCK, ALEX!

    26. Mary says:

      I hate brain freeze! Good luck!

    27. jim in SOMD says:

      I have no idea as to how to avoid brain freeze when trying to eat ice cream really fast. May be they should not have a time limit, but rather allow a leizurely consumption of the ice rceam.

    28. Donna Joyce says:

      Practice, Practice, Practice!!! Start getting your taste buds ready now by eating Turkey Hill ice cream at least three times a day — this will also alleviate “brain freeze” — your brain becomes “frozen” because you haven’t had any great ice cream!

    29. Lynn says:

      Good Luck Alex! What is the prize if you win??? If you have a choice of flavors choose vanilla, it seems to melt faster.

    30. Kathy M. says:

      Sorry to be a nay-sayer, but there’s no way this guy (photo) can eat like that and have the body he does without, um, tossing his cookies (or whatever) afterward.

      I find the whole idea of “eating contests” repellent. Watching them? Amusing and somewhat repulsively fascinating, I guess.

      But what’s the point, really?

      Then again, I just re-read this and saw HOW MUCH MONEY THIS GUY MADE – whoo whee!

    31. brenda says:

      Hi Turkey Hill fans, I wish you good luck in your ice cream. I contest. I hope you win.
      I love this contest…eating all that ice cream in that short time.

    32. leecarr says:

      just entering an ice cream eating contest you become a winner. you get to eat ice cream and there is no need to concern yourself about going fast, it will melt in your mouth, so enjoy it.

    33. Betty says:

      you can do it

    34. Pat H. D. says:

      I better buy my Turkey Hill ice cream while there’s some left. Too many people are eating up all the ice cream.

    35. […] out this link from a professional ice cream eater (not kidding) on the best techniques to drown your spinster […]

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