Ever wanted to be a professional eater or competitive eater? (Yes, there is a difference between the two.) Are you a foodie who can put down a lot of food at once? Have you ever taken part in a food-eating challenge? I'm not talking about the incredibly hot wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, I'm talking about a large amount of food in a relatively short amount of time. Illinois has plenty of food challenges waiting.

Size Doesn't Matter

Body size and gender make no difference for pro eaters. For example, my friend Molly Schulyer is a pro eater and she can polish off some food despite her petiteness. When I asked her if food challenges were something anyone could train for, like a marathon, I was surprised by her answer. In short, it's a solid no. "You can either do it or you can't.", is what she told me.

Molly Schuyler Professional Food Eater
Submitted by M. Schuyler
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In 2017, Molly and a partner completed a challenge in Rockford, Illinois at Mamma Mia's Pizza, The Don. It's a 32-inch cheese pizza that must have one other topping. She and her partner crushed the challenge in a whopping 15 minutes.

Here's a conversation we had shortly after that challenge.

Murphy's Pub & Grill Bacon Burger Challenge

In Rockford, Illinois there is another monstrous food challenge waiting to be conquered at Murphy's Pub and Grill, at 510 S. Perryville Road. The 7lb bacon cheeseburger is a beast. It's no easy feat with a 3-pound burger patty, topped with 8 slices of cheese, tomato slices, pickles, raw or grilled onions (or neither( and 12 strips of bacon. Let's not forget the additional pound of fries on the side.

Pro eater Randy Santel demolished all of this, along with a few beers, in about 30 minutes. Check out the timelapse in his TikTok vid filmed at Murphy's Pub.

@randysantel Murphy’s 7lb Bacon Cheeseburger Challenge!! #randysantel #foodchallenge #cheeseburger #bacon #illinois #murphys ♬ original sound - Randy Santel

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