Jack Diamond is an eating machine. The 53-year-old resident of Bainbridge in Lancaster County got his start in competitive eating at Wing Bowl 18 in Philadelphia in 2010, devouring 112 wings and finishing in sixth place – all without any practice. Since 2010, Diamond has entered more than 100 eating competitions, including events in which he devoured four and a half pounds of chimichangas in 15 minutes and downed seven Lebanon bologna sandwiches in five minutes.
As last year’s Wingstock champ, Diamond looks to defend his wing-eating title at this year’s event, which competitors have five minutes to finish as much of a five pound bucket of wings as possible. We caught up with Diamond for some pro tips on eating massive amounts of wings.
Fly Magazine: What’s your secret for eating wings?
Jack Diamond: Drink a lot of water. You have to try and get smaller pieces so it’s not so hard to chew; the less chewing, the faster you’re going to be. And you have to be breaking up the two-bone wings while you’re sucking the meat off the one-bone wings. Other than that, keep chewing, keep swallowing and keep working. And don’t look around – pay attention to what you’re doing.
FM: What was one of your most difficult food challenges?
JD: There’s a really big sandwich at the airport in Morgantown, WV, at a place called Ali Baba’s. It was eight pounds of gyro meat, a bunch of vegetables and some hot peppers. It took around 41 minutes to eat. I was sweating like crazy at the end of it, but I completed that one.
FM: Is there a challenge you couldn’t finish?
JD: There’s one in Philly at Jake’s Sandwich Board called the Five Pound Philly Challenge. It’s a big cheese steak, four soft pretzels, some Tastykakes and a cherry soda – that’s the killer. I didn’t make it through that one. I had maybe eight ounces left to eat, and it just came back up.
FM: Have you always been a big eater?
JD: I’d have to say yes. I try and be good now with the challenges because I play hockey a couple times a week, so I want to stay a little in shape.