INTERVIEW: We Challenged Geoff Esper With THESE Questions!
Geoff Esper is a competitive eater, YouTuber, world record holder, and high-school teacher from Massachusetts.
Credit: Geoff Esper
Geoff Esper, a high-school teacher from Massachusetts, loves a good challenge. He has become quite popular in the competitive eating world with top-level performances at several eating contests. So that means he can eat. But it goes much, much further than that.
Geoff participates in eating contests organized by Major League Eating (MLE). The food eaten at these contests can vary, but his determination does not. He has proven that regardless of the food in front of him, he will provide an entertaining and high-energy performance each time.
When he's not breaking records and entertaining crowds, Esper also uploads food challenge content to his YouTube channel, where he has garnered over 50,000 subscribers and 11 million views.
Oh yeah, and he also ate 500 pizza rolls once. I thought that was worth mentioning.
Food Challenge News had the opportunity to chat with Geoff, and we challenged him with questions on his competitive eating career, motivation, favorite beverages, and more!
Let's get into it!
FCN: Where did you grow up, and how did you get involved with competitive eating?
Geoff: I grew up in central Massachusetts, and I got into competitive eating pretty much the same way the majority of eaters do. I always wanted to try and do a restaurant challenge. I did a few and thought it would be fun to enter a local taco-eating contest. I did pretty good at that, so I set my sights on trying to do the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. It took me two tries, but once I won, I was hooked.
FCN: You are currently ranked the second-best competitive eater in the world by Major League Eating. How does it feel to be ranked in the League among other great eaters?
Geoff: It feels pretty good, I guess. My original goal was to try and get into the top ten. Then, once I did that, my goal was to be in the top four. So I pretty much accomplished both of those goals. But that being said, I don’t think I would say I am second in the world. There are a few other eaters out there that would give me a run for my money on any given day.
Heck, Kobayashi could come out of retirement and kick my butt. So realistically, I would put myself somewhere in the top 5 right now.
FCN: How do you stay motivated (and hungry) for competitive eating?
Geoff: Mostly, I like competition. The desire to do my best motivates me to train hard. But lately, competitive eating isn’t anywhere as much fun as it was in the past. The ten minutes at the table is still what keeps me going right now. I’m not sure how much longer I will stay with it, and I haven’t decided exactly how much longer I’ll compete. Maybe a few more years or this may be my last year. I’ll have to see how things go.
Credit: Geoff Esper
FCN: What is your favorite beverage to consume when you are taking down massive amounts of food or speed-eating?
Geoff: It depends on what I am eating. I use Blue Powerade, Crystal Light Fruit Punch, and warm water, depending on the type of food.
FCN: Are there any similarities between teaching classes and training for eating contests?
Geoff: Not much. I guess the only thing is you better be prepared before attempting either one.
FCN: What is one of your biggest challenges when training for an eating contest?
Geoff: Most people think that it would be the physical aspect of competitive eating that is the biggest challenge. For me, I don’t really find it very physically taxing at all. Finding the time and being self-motivated is the biggest challenge for me. It’s pretty much just me while practicing, so I’ve learned not to have to depend on anyone for motivation.
FCN: What is your favorite challenge that you personally prepared?
Geoff: Tough to say. I’m not much of a foodie. It’s probably one of the pasta dishes I did. But the best-tasting one I think I did was the baklava. I didn’t prepare it, and I didn’t even finish it.
But man, was it good!
FCN: Can you walk us through the determination it takes to achieve world records? Do you have a favorite?
Geoff: Honestly, I don’t go out with the intention of setting a record. I just try and go out and do my best. Good competition brings out the best in my performance. Every record I’ve broken has been a total surprise.
As far as my favorite, it’s got to be the Hooters wing record. I had a really really bad day leading up to that contest. It felt good to turn the day around with a win and a record.
FCN: What are three things you like to do outside of competitive eating?
Geoff: Working on and driving my Jeep. It can be driven on the road, but it’s mostly for off-road rock crawling type of stuff these days.
I like backpacking, and my goal is to thru-hike the Appalachian trail the year I retire from teaching. I also like lifting weights, although I’ll never be able to do what I did when I was younger, but I still have fun.
FCN: What are your plans for competitive eating and YouTube?
Geoff: Honestly, I don’t know. I’m going to have to see how things go.
As I said earlier, competitive eating isn’t as much fun for me as it used to be. I’m taking it one contest at a time right now. I’ll probably end my YouTube channel at the same time I end my competitive eating career.
FCN: How can our readers find out more about you?
Geoff: The best place to follow me is my YouTube channel.
Photo credits: Geoff Esper.