As most of you reading this will know, Randy Santel had a pretty incredible summer break.
Along with “Magic” Mitch Dombrowski, he toured a chunk of Europe, taking down challenges whenever he could, kicking things off in Kilmarnock, Scotland on the 25th of May at Hogan’s with an undefeated breakfast sandwich challenge, and ending on the 3rd of August in London, England with Union Viet’s pho challenge.
In total he visited and attempted 60 food challenges in 12 different countries, which is astounding. To check his full schedule with results, click here.
After all was said and done, and Randy returned home, I had the chance to ask him a few questions about his trip…enjoy!!
How was travelling around Europe?
Because I have been over to Europe many times before, travelling around Europe was pretty easy and we didn’t encounter any difficult or unexpected hurdles. What made it a lot easier than past tours though is that my phone plan with T-Mobile got me unlimited data (at a lower speed but still pretty good) in all 12 countries that we visited. I was able to book transportation, find challenges, contact people, and book accommodations A LOT easier than during past tours when I had to go to places and find good WIFI signal in order to use the internet.
What was the best and worst thing about it?
The best thing was that for about 95% of the challenges we did, there were friends and fans that showed up to watch and meet us. It was awesome meeting everyone and I appreciate everyone who took the time to come see us while in the area. There weren’t really any negative things that occurred and everything went smoothly other than in Greece. We tried to help create 3 new challenges in Greece but the restaurants didn’t really understand anything about creating and promoting marketable food challenges. All 3 were way too difficult, 2 of them had way way way too much sauce, and nobody in Greece would ever really want to try any of the 3. Next time we will go about things a little bit differently. With that said though, Greece and Malta were by far our favourite countries that we visited as tourists.
What was the hardest challenge you faced during the trip?
Hardest actual challenge was the Gigatacos Challenge at O’Tacos in Lille, France. I think it came out a little bit larger than the 2.5 kg it was supposed to be lol. It took me over 53 minutes to finish.
What was the tastiest challenge you faced during the trip?
Tastiest challenge was the Parmo challenge at The Lion Sports Bar & Grill in Billingham, England, near Middlesbrough. It was sooooo good I wish I could have enjoyed it a bit more but I was speed eating it so that I could break the previous record.
Which challenge do you wish you could have another shot at?
If I could redo one challenge, I would redo a burger challenge I attempted in Athens, Greece. I was in the restroom getting ready when the chefs assembled it, and while I was gone they added what seemed like a full 1 litre of various sauces on to the bun and burger. They turned what could have been one of the best burgers I’ve ever had into one of the worst tasting burgers I’ve ever had, and it was so gross I couldn’t even finish it. If all the sauce had not been on there, I would definitely have won and I would have gotten my first win in Athens.
What is one place you visited that you would love to go back to?
Malta was AWESOME and so much fun!! I definitely want to go back there when I am thinner and looking better, but I would have to say Greece. I loved the country but also I want to avenge my 2 losses and get a win in Athens. And, like Malta, I want to go back there when I’m thinner and looking better because everyone in Greece and Malta was beautiful!!
What is one place you probably wouldn’t rush back to?
I absolutely loved Budapest, Hungary and Zagreb, Croatia and I loved the two challenges we did too but those were the only challenges in those 2 countries and there are no others available that we know of, so because of that we probably won’t be back any time soon. The top bucket list country in Europe now that I need to visit is Spain. Can’t wait!!
That’s the questions related to Randy’s recent trip, the remaining three are just general questions…enjoy!
How’s school going?
Good so far. I haven’t been in school since 2008 so it will take me a few weeks to get truly acclimated to everything involved. I’m studying for a bachelors degree in Dietetics at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. My first degree was a bachelors in construction management, so this stuff is all new to me. I love the new apartment though and my location, so things are going well as of right now.
What are your plans for the future?
I will be losing weight during school these next few months but Mitch and I will do a western USA tour for about 3 weeks from December 26th through January 15, 2017. Then next summer we will do a 2 month Australian tour plus New Zealand. Then summer 2018 will be all around Asia and I will just continue doing small North America trips during my shorter school breaks.
And to finish, for all the people who want to get into food challenges, what tips would you give them?
It’s very important to Win Before You Begin (Train. Strategize. Dominate.), but the most important tip is to make sure you don’t sign up for a challenge you can’t win. Make sure you at least have a chance. Many people for their first challenge end up trying one that is way too big and difficult. Then they get discouraged and decide they just weren’t meant for competitive eating. The real reason they lost is because attempted a challenge they should never have attempted.
That’s it. Thanks to Randy Santel for patiently answering my questions.
If you want to learn more about Randy Santel then visit his website here.
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If you want to learn more about food challenges then check out the challenges section of our website to find one near you, and be sure to get check out the tips and strategies sections before you do attempt one.
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