Randy Rachwal with his burger-eating awards
HAMBURG — Randall Rachwal is sick of burgers, for awhile. The Hamburg Library maintenance man and village resident has won the Burgerfest burger-eating contest four years running, and after cramming down seven burgers in three minutes at the 2013 contest, he said he has “eaten enough of them,” for now.
“He does not do any formal training,” said his mother, Jackie Rachwal, a 20-year village resident. “Actually, about two hours before the contest this year, he ate two pieces of pizza and chicken wings.”
How does he do it? “I have no idea,” Randall Rachwal said, with a laugh. “I just eat.”
The contest, sponsored by Uncle Joe’s Diner, was held under the canopy at Bank of America on Main Street, so the burger-eaters did not get soaked by the rain that fell steadily, throughout the day.
“We were fine,” Rachwal said, noting that the rain did not interfere with the contest at all.
After the competition, he said his stomach felt just fine. “I wasn’t sick at all, or anything,” he said. “I sort of just go in there and do it.”
He originally signed up for the competition because his older brother told him he should. He put his name down and the rest, as they say, is culinary history.
While the burger champion said he would not give away his secrets, he did advise potential competitors to eat a lot of burgers throughout the year, to get up their tastes, and their stomachs, for the contest. “Just order burgers,” he said.
“He loves to eat and cook,” said his mother. “He was always a big eater.”
Randall Rachwal’s favorite food is pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms and Nino’s Pizza, located on Buffalo Street in the village of Hamburg, is his preferred spot to grab a slice or two.
He works up an appetite at his job at the library, and also works as a security guard at a local mall.
His mom said she is “very proud of him” for his winnings.
“Every year, we look forward to the Burgerfest,” she said. “It’s a village activity.”
When asked if he plans to enter next year, he laughed.
“Of course. I’ve got to keep my streak going!”