Five spicy tuna handrolls, a dusting of fresh powder in the air and a five-minute time limit. It doesn't get any crazier at Mamasake. Did I mention it was 4/20 and the judges included skiing greats Shane McConkey, Kent Kreitler, Jamie Burge and RSN's own Todd Offenbacher?
The annual Mamasake Sushi/Wasabi and Exotic Seafood Eating contests all went down last Friday in the Village at Squaw Valley. The wind and blowing snow didn't discourage more than 100 people who bared the cold to witness the madness.
After the first three elimination rounds it was down to returning champion Ryan Mailhot, who battled newcomer Shalebe and the well-known sneaker Tristan Queen in the final match up. Each man had to eat five spicy tuna hand rolls with nothing but a supply of cold water. Mailhot started off strong as expected with two hand rolls down in less than a minute. Tristan kept up at the start but then quickly started to fall behind to Mailhot's patented standing eating technique. Shalebe on the other hand, ate slow and steady hoping to win by some sort of tortoise and hare routine. But this was no fairy tale – it was a winner take all eating contest and the tortoise wasn't going to win this one. At the crest of two minutes Mailhot downed one last cup of water to wash down his fifth hand roll and that was that. The judges unanimously agreed and Mailhot was crowed the 2007 Mamasake Sushi Eating Champion. He was awarded a $75 Mamasake gift certificate to return and eat more sushi whenever he wanted, a sweet Snowbomb Hoodie to show his sponsor love and the pride of being Squaw's Sushi Master.
In the Wasabi Eating division two lovely ladies, Veronica Lichter and Colleen Manriean, battled head-to-head for a $75 gift certificate and a Snowbomb Hoodie. Veronica, who must have numbed her senses in celebration of the fine cannabis holiday quickly downed five golf ball sized balls of green paste. Seriously though, she eat them so fast we had to double check that she didn't just throw them over her shoulder Chevy Chase style. It was a serious sinus cleansing. Colleen on the other hand finished three, tried for the fourth and then rushed to the bathroom. She has yet to return.
The day ended with the first ever Exotic Seafood Eating contest where three men each confronted a plate of four slightly seared baby octopus. With only two contestants in the running host and emcee JD Haus from 101.5 FM stepped up to fill the third seat. The three men battled through the tentacles, abdomen and finally the eyes and ears of each little monster. In the end it was Ryan Mailhot once again as the village's fastest octopus eater.
As for the clean up and the after party… that's a whole other story. See ya next year.