Victory has never tasted so savory.
A Park Slope man is filled with more than home-town pride after edging out a New Jersey interloper for the grand prize in Artichoke Pizza’s pie-eating contest on Saturday, wolfing down the final slice in overtime to preserve Brooklyn’s honor.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said winner Steffen Gonzalez.
The six contestants were given a whole cheese pie from the Fifth Avenue eatery and 10 minutes to eat it in, but both Gonzalez and opponent Amit Malhotra, who came from Dirty Jersey to compete for the chance at a year’s worth of free slices and Islanders tickets, managed to cram the Italian delicacies down their gullets just as the buzzer rang.
But the Park Slope champ notched up an additional slice over the Garden State guzzler in an overtime round, earning himself the spoils of pizza-eating war — which also included a decorative pizza paddle and a little slice of immortality in the form of his picture hanging in the famed eatery.
Gonzalez says he won through a combination of voracious appetite and cunning strategy, using a time-honored pizza-eating tactic of rolling up his slices “like a burrito” in order to gain an edge.
His technique was so effective, he said, that it wasn’t long before the other contestants started emulating him.
“A couple of the other competitors caught on after my second or third slice,” Gonzalez said.
Artichoke Pizza’s contest was staged amid the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District’s latest Summer Stroll street fair, which featured a host of family friendly games and events that attracted hundreds of locals to the ritzy commercial strip.
Gonzalez, who handles marketing for a local real-estate company, said he plans on returning for the chow down next year in order to defend his title, but that he doesn’t plan on quitting his day job in favor of a full-time career in competitive eating.
Competitive eating champ Joey Chestnut ate 45 slices in 10 minutes at a contest in 2008 — a far cry from Gonzalez’s puny nine slices.
“Compared to my nine, that’s impressive,” he conceded.