Can you beat Yuan?

By Jamie Lowe

The first ever Big Deni Float pie eating competition has already attracted one of Australia’s fastest competitive eaters, with Yuan Teck Yeap making the trip from Sydney for the event.

The 31 year-old has been eating competitively for about 12 months, and is ranked 17th in the Australian Competitive Eating Professional rankings.

The truck driver has been visiting for the past five years on Australia Day to meet up with family and friends 

‘‘With my family and friends in Melbourne, Deni was somewhat of a place to meet in the middle,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve tried to make it an annual tradition to come to Deni.

‘‘I saw the post on Facebook about the pie eating competition, so I immediately messaged the organisers of the Big Deni Float to let them know I would be entering.

‘‘I take any opportunity I get when it comes to eating challenges and thought I could help, as it’s the first time they’ve organised something like this.’’

Yuan said his career as a truck driver has led him to various eating challenges in Sydney.

The most recent eating challenge he conquered was on Tuesday night, where he took on the Schnitzelmeister Challenge at The Bavarian in Penrith - a tower of six chicken schnitzels topped with napoli sauce, ham and cheese and served with four side dishes.

Yuan was given one hour to complete the challenge, with the speedy eater completing the 2.5kg meal in just 10 minutes and three seconds.

‘‘I think I chose the worst sides in terms of flavour and texture; red cabbage, mushy peas and broccoli, so it wasn’t my best performance,’’ he said.

‘‘I feel okay after that challenge, but it was definitely a tough one.

‘‘I’m based at Western Sydney but drive into the city where all the big burger challenges are.

‘‘I’d say I’ve completed about 90 per cent of the eating challenges in Sydney, but I’m aiming to complete them all.’’

While Yuan has stepped up to the plate for plenty of eating challenges, he said the meat pie competition would be something new to him.

‘‘I’ve taken on many challenges that include pasta, schnitzel, steak, pizza and burgers, but haven’t tackled anything like this. I’ve never done a meat pie challenge,’’ he said.

‘‘Every food challenge has its pros and cons, but I feel as though the pie will be one of, if not the hardest, challenges I’ve faced.

‘‘I might have to practice at home to work out what the best strategy is.

‘‘I look forward to the challenge and can’t wait to see who else steps up.

‘‘To all others who are entering I say good luck, and I hope you’re hungry.’’

The Big Deni Float will start at Willoughby’s beach, with float participants asked to meet there by 12.30pm on January 26 for a 1pm start.

Entry into the float is $2 to be paid on the day, with a limited amount of $10 entry packs that include a stubby holder, your entry and a key ring.

A raft race will also add some excitement to the day.

When the floaters reach McLean Beach there will be a sausage sizzle and refreshments, and presentations for awards such as best dressed float, best girls’ and boys’ floats, best adult men and women’s floats, best ‘Straya’ float and a few other prize categories.

There will also be beach games including a thong throwing competition, yabby races, sandcastle building and sack races which are all $1 per entry.

Another new attraction is the giant bubble ball area, which is expected to produce a few laughs.

The fun event is an opportunity for the community to raise money for the Deniliquin Volunteer Rescue Squad.