IN 1926, Pasadena teenager Lionel Sternberger dropped a slice of cheese on a sizzling hamburger, creating the first cheeseburger in history.
Since that day, one question has plagued mankind – exactly how many cheeseburgers can one person eat in 30 minutes?
It’s a question the chef and owner of the Midland Family Bistro, Grant Clark, is intent on finding the answer to as the Commercial Tavern holds the 2020 Cheeseburger Chugging Championships.
With six weekly heats starting next Saturday March 21, contestants will take to the stage to put their appetite to the test.
These are no mere cheeseburgers though – every burger has a 150g beef pattie, two slices of American cheese and a grilled brioche bun, pickles, onion, ketchup and a mustard mayonnaise.
While some might consider the entry fee of $50 steep, the potential of a $500 windfall for the winner of every heat is sure to ensnare even the pickiest eater.
Mr Clark said the idea was a group effort.
“We were sitting around spitballing ideas and we hadn’t seen a cheeseburger eating competition done in Perth before, so we decided to go with it.
“I’d seen some in America so we thought we’d give it a go.
“There’s six people per heat, half an hour per heat and Cameron McLaren will be hosting it so there’s entertainment in that.
“I think the first heat will be a fun one and then it’ll get serious.
“I think I’d be able to do three, maximum because it’s 300 grams of food per burger.
“Some people seem to think it will be easy to do six, or eight, but I think they’ll be suprised.”
For Mr Clark, maintaining the quality of the burger is paramount, even if they’re going to be demolished as fast as possible.
“We make all our burgers on site and we get the mince from Tony’s House of Tender Meats.
“Good quality ingredients and keeping it simple is what it’s all about.
“Pickles are essential, and I personally think mustard is too bitey but the public thinks differently.”
The first heat starts at 2pm on Saturday March 21, and Mr Clark recommends standing back from the stage.
“There will be buckets on stage and competitors will have to keep it down for 15 minutes after the heat ends or they’ll be disqualified.”