New Nathan's Champion Crowned Amid Joey Chestnut's Absence

By Jason Hall

July 4, 2024

Speed Eaters Compete In Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest
Photo: Getty Images

American Patrick Bertoletti became the first new Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner since 2016 amid the banning of 16-time champion Joey Chestnut.

Bertoletti, 39, of Illinois, consumed 58 frankfurters and buns in 10 minutes, becoming the first person other than Chestnut to win since Matt Stonie in 2015. American Geoffrey Esper, 49, of Massachusetts finished in second with 53 hot dogs consumed and Australian James Webb, 35, finished third with 52.

Chestnut, 40, will compete against soldiers in a 5-minute hot dog eating contest at the Fort Bliss U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas, which will also be held on Independence Day, as is the case for the the 10-minute Nathan's contest, the New York Post reports. Last month, Nathan's banned Chestnut, who has won eight consecutive Nathan's championships, from its annual Fourth of July contest due to his recent endorsement of Impossible Foods' vegan frankfurter.

"I was gutted to learn from the media that after 19 years Im banned from the Nathan's July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest," Chestnut wrote in a thread of posts shared on his X account Tuesday (June 11). "I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I have been training to defend my title.

"To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with. This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th event.

"Sadly, this is the decision Nathan's and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment. To my fans, I love you and appreciate you. Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!! STAY HUNGRY!"

Chestnut is also scheduled to complete with his longtime rival, six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, in a winner-take-all hot dog contest streaming live on Netflix on Labor Day (September 2), the streaming service announced on June 12.

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