Blog: Pizza Packet at the Bell House
Here in New York City we love two things: competition and a great pizza. We city folk can’t get enough of the gooey cheese, the tangy tomato sauce, and the perfectly baked crust. It’s only a cherry on top to add a competitive element too it and just last night, both of these elements came together in a bold marriage.
Competitive eating has exploded onto the New York scene in the past decade with the wildly popular “July 4th Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest.” The challengers in that contest have become celebrities, almost athletes in fact as the event is even covered by ESPN. Brooklynite Rob Blatt has that spirit in him as well, and wants the city to know that he plans to sit on the arms of giants in the competitive eating world. His passion for the culinary sports helped him to launch, ‘L.A.C.E’. That is, The League of Amateur Competitive Eaters, of course.
L.A.C.E. was birthed when a friend of Blatt had a casserole cook off. Blatt, being a guy who is always up for a challenge took the task to make the night interesting and see how many casseroles he could try in a certain time limit. Rob then recorded the challenge data in the Universal Records Database (urdb.org) , because you never know when you’re going to be the one to set a new world record. After the impromptu speed eat, Blatt organized a burger competition in Bay Ridge. It had a great response from both the challengers and the local press.
The “Pizza Party” at the Bell House would be the setting for yet another L.A.C.E. competition. It would be a five minute challenge to see who can eat the most pizza. The eaters were split into teams of four. The Pizza was provided by the excellent Brooklyn joint ”Cotta-Bene” (291 3rd Avenue, 718-722-7200). Check this place out- besides having a great regular pie, they have some really inventive pizzas at great prices. The three good natured teams that participated were full of energy, making the five minute challenge a good time for everyone involved. When there’s a time limit for anything you really get to see how fast normal people can move, or in this case shovel pizza into their face. At the end of the five minutes it was high fives all around, t-shirts and hats for the winners. Team Reddit won it all by eating twenty-five half slices within the five minute time limit. Plenty of free, delicious pizza was also available for the spectators to enjoy.
The evening’s events were sponsored by Crown Heights Brooklyn’s own Pizza Packet. The Pizza Packet is a fresh, clean, delicious replacement to the shaker jars we usually see in all our favorite pizza joints. The way in which the ingredients are sealed into these tiny one serving packets is inventine. The spices come in five varieties- garlic, parmesan, a homemade pizza spice, oregano, and red pepper. The Pizza Packet proprietors opened up a few packets so I could smell the difference. The garlic and oregano seriously blew me away. These packeted spices smelled as if they had just been purchased at an organic farmers market- they were that fresh. You can now find Pizza Packet in many of your favorite New York City pizza joints. Trust us, you will taste the difference. Check them out at www.pizzapacket.com.
Please do yourself a favor and keep up to date with Rob Blatt, and all upcoming L.A.C.E. events, including the Bacon Traol, taking place at the Roger Smith Hotel on April 16th from 3-6pm. Check out his website, amateur eaters.com, and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/amateureaters). And as Rob says, “Everyone should try competitive eating once.” So eat up: you’re being timed!
- Alan Smithee