The giant "Jumboli" has met its match.
Or, rather, matches.
Adam Richman from the Travel Channel's "Man v. Food" proved on national television Wednesday evening that he could eat the entire massive stromboli at Butte's Trimbo's within an hour.
Shawn Bingham of Butte proved he could do the same thing last Sunday.
Bingham, 30, was one of several patrons at the pizzeria at 43 E. Park St. Wednesday watching the premier of the "Man v. Food" episode featuring Butte and some its
eateries. Bingham, who has lived in Butte for about a year, said he wanted to see if Richman could eat the entire
five-pound mountain of food, also called a
"This is one of my favorite shows," Bingham said. "I've seen him put down five pounds of food before, so I wouldn't be surprised (if Richman succeeds), but I want to see if I beat his time."
The reality television show features Richman, who travels around the country sampling local cuisine. Richman
highlights each episode with an eating challenge, usually involving
consuming a large amount of food in a short time.
A crew from the show filmed the episode in Butte in August. And the result of the eating
competition was kept tight-lipped.
The show featured the host watching a pasty being made and eating one at Joe's Pasty Shop, 1641 Grand Ave. Richman later stops at the Freeway Tavern, 2001 S. Montana St., for its famous "Wop Chop" pork chop
The packed house at Trimbo's Wednesday got a thrill out of seeing the host dressed like Evel Knievel. Richman then got on a motorcycle and (with the help of special effects) simulated
jumping across the Berkeley Pit, which drew plenty of laughter from the audience.
Melissa McGregor of Butte appeared in a brief interview with Richman in the episode.
"It's awesome to see all the pictures of Butte," McGregor said during a commercial break Wednesday. "I think it (the episode) is showing a good cross section of food in Butte. It really represents the flavor of this town, no pun intended."
In one scene, Butte High teacher Chris Fisk gives Richman a
motivational speech, a la Knut Rockne, to
encourage him to eat the entire stromboli, which is a pastry crust stuffed with mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, fried
capacolla and salami. The speech must have worked, because Richman finishes the colossal
cuisine with just 14 minutes to spare.
Fisk was full of
hometown pride as he watched the episode at Trimbo's.
"This is good for the city of Butte and its food, which really deserves this attention," Fisk said.
So how did Bingham stack up against the
He beat Richman's time by eight minutes.
"It feels pretty good," Bingham said after the show. "It feels like I beat a pro. Maybe I should get a show."
Bingham added that he's far too shy to have his own show and could never do it as well as Richman.
Both will have their photographs on Trimbo's "wall of shame" for being the only two people to complete the Jumboli challenge - so far.
Reporter John Grant Emeigh may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.