KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt “Megatoad” Stonie says he loves barbecue. He’ll get his chance to down some ribs this weekend. 

Matt Stonie, competitive eater
Matt Stonie, competitive eater

Stonie, the No. 1 ranked competitive eater in Major League Eating, will attempt to set the world record for how many Smithfield Fresh Pork Ribs are consumed in five minutes on Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Following the attempt, Stonie will join “The King” Richard Petty and Aric Almirola to judge and crown the ultimate amateur eating champion of Smithfield’s final Whole Hog Challenge. Smithfield sponsors the Richard Petty Motorsports' No. 43 race team with driver Almirola.

Last July, Stonie defeated eight-time champion Joey Chestnut to claim the 2015 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating title. Stonie ate 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Last February, Stonie ate 182 slices of bacon in five minutes at the Smithfield Pig Out Chase to set a world record.

Being a competitive eater, people might think that Stonie is 6-foot-6 and 280 lbs., but Stonie stands a mere 5-foot-8 and weighs 130 lbs. He says competitive eating has nothing to do with size and says it’s vital to stay in shape.

“It’s a workout,” Stonie says. “It’s fun, but it’s not fun like going out to dinner.”

Lawrence Aylward, editor of MEAT+POULTRY, caught up with Stonie to discuss with him what it takes to become a champion competitive eater, among other things, including his favorite foods away from the eating circuit.