It took 17 tacos for a Richmond resident to win the top prize in a taco-eating contest at a Steveston restaurant on Friday.
Winner Ryan Fleming went up against five other contestants and the clock to eat the most chicken tacos in 30 minutes at Little Mexico Cantina.
Not only does Fleming officially have bragging rights as the winner to the restaurant’s first eating contest, but also 50 per cent off his bill at Little Mexico Cantina for one year, a premium bottle of tequila and a winner’s trophy, which will remain in the restaurant.
The taco-eating contest was hosted by Scotty Olak, the new owner of Little Mexico Cantina, and Chris and Angela Dinnell of Dinnell Real Estate Group.
According to Chris, Fleming and a last-minute entry contestant, who happened to be the restaurant’s previous chef, were going “neck-and-neck” during the competition.
“When Ryan got to the 10 mark, he started to do push-ups and jumping jacks in between his tacos right to the end and I think that was the turning point that motivated him to finish,” said Chris.
“Ryan had to hold himself up for a bit after the contest to receive his prize. I don’t think he ate until the next day because he was almost sick.”
Chris told the Richmond News the contest’s main objective was to bring some fun into the community.
“I think we achieved our goal of bringing some fun to everyone during this time. There was lots of cheering and people were hyping each other up.”
Next year, assuming the pandemic is over, Chris said they hope to have a bigger event out on the patio, with a DJ and possibly have all the contestants “miked up so it will be a bit more entertaining.”
He added they are looking to partner with a charity for next year’s event after one of their contestant, Mike Smith, announced he will be donating $10 to the Richmond schools’ Breakfast Club for every taco he ate.
Steveston’s Barbershop topped it off by donating $1 per taco eaten during the contest and, therefore, at least $165 will be donated to the Breakfast Club in Richmond.
“It’s a great direction for us to go in and we look forward to next summer’s contest.”