DEEP-DISHED: Six Questions with Patrick Bertoletti
Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti is a competitive eater and chef from Chicago, Illinois.
Patrick Bertoletti joined the competitive eating scene in the early 2000s. He participated in his first eating contest in 2004, which inspired him to begin a journey in competitive eating.
He would also visit restaurants to take on food challenges. It didn't matter if it was tacos, burgers, dessert, or breakfast; he would eat just about anything.
In 2007, Bertoletti launched a YouTube channel. It focused on food challenges, competitive eating, and even at-home cooking videos. These videos helped get his name out there and documented his love of food.
Patrick would begin training to improve his eating skills. He practiced and perfected eating techniques that he would use to his advantage in future challenges and contests.
After regularly competing in eating contests, Patrick would eventually sign as a professional eater with Major League Eating, where he would later achieve multiple world records for his performances. He would also be ranked the second-best eater in the world at the time.
Patrick would be recognized worldwide for participating in multiple televised appearances, where he would perform eating stunts and talk about his career in competitive eating. He also launched a successful food truck business with a friend and would appear on television to promote it, further proving his love for food.
Patrick would then take a multi-year break from competitive eating, returning briefly for the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2022, where he would place fifth, consuming 33.5 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes.
Food Challenge News had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Bertoletti about his favorite food records, television appearances, his nickname, and more!
Let's get into the interview!
FCN: You have been a long-time competitive eater, with some of your earliest food records achieved in 2007. Do you think that competitive eating has changed over time?
Patrick: Yes, I think my first event was somewhere around 2004, although I did not start to improve for several years. I think the biggest difference is the amount of skill and talent is better now than it ever was.
As far as the amount of competitions, there are certainly not as many as before, but things have changed. Media is changing, and YouTube seems to be the best way to monetize competitive eating.
FCN: Do you have any favorite food records that you achieved?
Patrick: I think my favorites are 275 pickled jalapeños in 8 minutes,
21 lbs. of grits in 10 minutes, and 42 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 10 minutes.
FCN: You have taken time off from competitive eating and then returned. What did you learn from having that much time off?
Patrick: I learned that my skills have diminished, and I am not the same eater that I once was.
FCN: What is your most memorable experience from your television appearances?
Patrick: I think being on America's Got Talent was a great one, as well as the Spike TV eating competitions.
FCN: How did you acquire your nickname?
Patrick: It was taken directly from being a Chicago native, which is the home of deep-dish pizza.
FCN: Will you continue eating competitively?
Patrick: I don't have any plans at the moment to return, but stranger things have happened.
Photo credit: Patrick Bertoletti.