SLIDESHOW: Chestnut spears competition in Stockton
RAW VIDEO: Watch the World Deep Fried Asparagus-Eating Championship
STOCKTON, CA - Joey Chestnut is the king of asparagus -- again.
Chestnut, the Vallejo native who scaled the peaks of his sport to become the world's top-ranked competitive eater, regained his asparagus-eating title in front of an enthusiastic crowd of supporters Saturday at the Stockton Asparagus Festival at the Weber Point Event Center.
Chestnut, who now makes his home in San Jose, captured his fifth career asparagus-chewing championship, devouring 8 pounds, 7 ounces of fried asparagus as hundreds cheered the local hero on.
"It was a great contest," Chestnut said. "The crowd was definitely on my side so I definitely was able to push harder than everybody else, I think."
The 8 pound, 7 ounce tally just missed breaking Chestnut's own world record of 8.8 pounds, set in Stockton in 2008.
Chestnut far outdistanced fellow professional eaters Ben Monson (6.13 pounds) and Patrick Bertoletti (6 pounds).
The victory was sweet revenge for Chestnut. His four-year reign over the event from 2004 to 2008 was snapped last year when Chestnut's good friend and world No. 3-ranked Bertoletti downed 7.36 pounds, just edging Chestnut's 7.18 pounds.
Despite the joy of his well-earned victory and the wild cheers of the festival fans, Chestnut admitted after the contest that slamming down pound after pound of fried green goodness isn't always the easiest of feats.
"It's pretty rough, but the longer it goes, the further down it settles, I'll be feeling pretty good in a little bit," Chestnut said.