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Max vs Food Reaches 18,000 Subscribers and 1.7 Million Views on YouTube

Max Stanford (Max vs Food) is a competitive eater, YouTuber, and food adventurer from the United Kingdom.

 

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Welcome to our first interview of the year with Max vs Food! Max started his food journey on YouTube in 2020 and has continued gaining popularity ever since. We first wrote about Max a few years ago, where we talked about his passion for taking food challenges to the next level.

 

Since 2021, Max has made national headlines for his never-ending battle against food. It has further increased his popularity and introduced him to a new audience outside of YouTube.


Even with his increasing success, Max has remained humble throughout his eating adventures, whether it's thanking restaurant staff or cheering on fellow competitors. He is also known for being courteous and equally known for getting down to business when it comes to eating.


Max is also a member of the British Eating League (BEL), founded by Craig Harker. (Dad Loves Food & The George Pub and Grill) He has secured the top spot in the League in previous seasons and set many official food records alongside other great competitors.


Max has shown he can take on anything from a massive nacho challenge to chugging liters of milk for a contest. He continues to rise in the eating world, with his accomplishments continuing to fuel his passion-inspired food journey.

 



 

Max's YouTube channel has been growing steadily over the past couple of years, and he recently reached a milestone of 18,000 subscribers. With over 300 food challenge videos uploaded to his channel, he has attained a total of 1.7 million views.


We had the opportunity to chat with Max about his adventures in competitive eating, his favorite food records, his first YouTube video, and more.


Let's jump into the interview!

 

FCN: How did you get involved in competitive eating?


Max: I know it sounds strange to say, but I honestly fell into it!


I'd always loved Man v. Food (the US TV show) when I was younger, and I used to watch Randy and others on YouTube every now and again. But in 2019, I was looking to put some muscle on (I still am!) and needed to increase my calories, so a friend saw a big burger challenge at an American-style diner and thought I should take it on. I did...and failed miserably. I went back a few months later...and failed again! Sadly, they closed later that year, so I never got to get revenge; it haunts me to this day!


After that, I plucked up the courage to do a couple more. Some I defeated. Others I didn't.

Then, in September 2019, I went to a restaurant in London called Man vs Food. They had a metre-long hot dog challenge with chilli, onions, and a LOT of cheese!


I took it on and defeated it in 18 minutes, winning £50. They were impressed and said I'd qualified for a charity eating contest with professional eaters to take on a 5lb burrito!

I went against the likes of Leah Shutkever, Kyle V Food, and Radim Dvořáček. They all smoked me, doing it between 3-5 minutes, but I managed it in 9 minutes and was the only non-pro to finish it. It was the whole experience, meeting the other eaters and the crowd...I got the competitive eating bug from there!


I was a bit unfortunate and broke my wrist in 3 places at the end of that year, so I took some time off. But I decided to start a YouTube channel and posted my first episode in March 2020...but then lockdown happened.


I continued to post videos but mostly at-home challenges. That summer, as lockdown eased in the UK, I heard about the British Eating League and that they had contests. I decided to take a leap and took the 5-hour trip up to The George Pub and Grill to take part in a 10-cheeseburger challenge. Kyle V Food destroyed it in under 5 minutes, and I barely completed it in the 10-minute time limit. But I really enjoyed the experience. From there, I started competing more and more alongside filming at-home challenges and some restaurant challenges, too.


My first win with the British Eating League was a huge bread loaf with 20 slices of bacon. From then on, I won every contest for the rest of the year before lockdown happened again.


And I suppose the rest is history. I went on to come close second in the 2020 season after we had a break. I stopped competing for a bit as I threw out my back.


But since then, I have won the League in the subsequent years at the same time as my YouTube channel was growing from restaurant and at-home challenges, including some amazing collabs.


FCN: Do you currently hold any food/world records? If so, what are some of your favorites?


Max: I don't hold any Guinness World Records, but I hold quite a few contest records as part of the British Eating League:


- 166 chicken nuggets in 10.00 minutes

- 141 Oreos in 5.00 minutes

- 8,000-calorie cheesecake in 3.17 minutes 

- 10 McDonald's cheeseburgers in 2.42 minutes 

- 3-foot-long Subway subs in 2.27 minutes 

- 102 Jaffa Cakes in 3.00 minutes 

- 50oz steak in 4.50 minutes 

- 3 litre flavored milk chug in 0.54 seconds 

- 18.5 bratwurst sausages in 5 minutes

- 1.55kg BBQ wings in 6 minutes


The best contest records, I think, are the Jaffa Cake, chicken nugget, and sub sandwich records.

 

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FCN: Your girlfriend, Laura, helps with behind-the-scenes, filming, and promotional work, but she also takes on some challenges with you.


What are some of your favorite challenges you have taken on with Laura?


Max: Laura is definitely the unsung hero of my success. She comes to most restaurant challenges and contests, always cheering me on and pushing me to do my best. I do the editing, but she does those eye-catching thumbnails and is always there to watch my edits and give helpful comments. My family and friends have also been amazing supporters, especially my mum and stepdad.


We've taken on four together: a cake challenge for the 4th of July, a sweet snack challenge with Little Debbie's, an afternoon tea challenge, and most recently - and my favorite - a Valentine's Day date night where we surprised each other with a selection of pizzas from Papa Johns. Not only was it so much fun to eat with her on camera, but Laura actually did really well!


I'd love to know what people would like to see us take on next. I love to have a variety of videos, restaurant challenges, collabs, contests, and at-home challenges. I'm always trying to think of original challenges to take on!

 


 


 


 


 

FCN: Do you get nervous before food challenges/eating contests? If so, how do you handle it while focusing on the challenge/contest?


Max: I used to get really nervous for both restaurant challenges and contests, but I've gotten used to it over the years, especially as I get to know what my capacity and capabilities are. I rarely go into a challenge without having a good idea about how tough it will be. But I still do get nervous before a contest, it's such an unknown as anyone can win. But I do like to test myself and push myself to my limits.


I think the best piece of advice is from the legend himself, Randy Santel, "Win Before You Begin!" And that's all about preparing for a challenge and contest so you can do your best!


FCN: On March 7, 2020, you uploaded your first video featuring the undefeated Dairy Devastator Breakfast Challenge.


How have you improved as a competitive eater since that challenge?


Max: I almost forgot about that challenge. It feels like a lifetime ago, but that was just under 4 years ago!


I think I've improved in a lot of ways, but my main improvement has been my capacity. I've always been quite fast at eating naturally and have definitely increased my speed exponentially, but it's the capacity that has improved the most. And so that allows me to go quicker for longer.


I also think, as a creator, I've improved too - watching that breakfast challenge video back...there is no editing, voiceovers, or anything. I also think as a competitive eater, I've gotten a lot more comfortable in front of a camera, which has been great for me.

 


 

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FCN: If you could only eat one food for every challenge/contest, what would it be?


Max: That's a difficult one. I would say, for a challenge, an American-style breakfast. It would definitely have to have pancakes, as well as some tasty savory items like sausages and bacon. All with maple syrup and maybe even some whipped cream!


For a contest, something that's easy to eat that I wouldn't get flavor fatigue from...I think one of my favorite contests was the Major League Eating (MLE) strawberry shortcake contest.


FCN: What is next for Max vs Food?


Max: I'm going to continue to enjoy the journey. I won the first ever UK Nathan's qualifier, making me the first to punch my ticket to Coney Island 2024, and I am hoping to go to America for a month beforehand to train and take on lots of challenges over there. Before that, I'll be training and filming as much as I can!


I'll also continue to try to make videos that people really enjoy watching and try to keep to two videos a week. Sunday's and Wednesday's 6:30 p.m. GMT! Hopefully with some fun collabs too!


And hopefully continue to meet amazing people and make lots of friends. That's the one thing that has been the best and the most surprising on this eating journey, the community - both the fellow eaters and everyone that has been so supportive, whether it's liking a video, commenting on a post, or coming out to a food challenge. I've met so many friendly people, and some who I'd say will be lifelong friends.

 

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Photo credits: Max vs Food 


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