At an event organized by YU’s Stern College for Women Chemistry Club, Kobayashi discussed training techniques and health concerns involved in the competitive eating process. He also emphasized the importance of mindful eating. “I’m a competitive eater but also a foodie,” said Kobayashi. “I enjoy food more than the average person. When I’m not competing, I like to focus on the atmosphere, the taste and texture of food, and I eat very small amounts.”
Kobayashi holds several eating records including Guinness Records for hot dogs, meatballs, Twinkies, hamburgers and pasta. From 2001 to 2006, he won the Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest an unprecedented six times in a row.
After a question-and-answer session that covered everything from the champion’s favorite foods to the cultural differences between Japanese and American eaters, Kobayashi helped students devour a massive hamentasch in honor of the upcoming holiday of Purim.
“Kobayashi was funny, animated and inspirational,” said Emily Levine, president of the Stern College Chemistry Club and a resident of Great Neck, NY. “He spoke about overcoming adversity, proving that he had what it took to win when all the odds were against him, and everyone told him that he had no chance.”
Kobayashi donated his proceeds from the event to Masbia, a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry in New York City.
“I’ve always been a huge Kobayashi fan and follow him in competitions,” said Yeshiva College student Yossi Aharon. “Having the opportunity to hear from a celebrity on a global scale about his career is really exciting and fun.”