Competitive eater sets burger bar high in epic chow-down
In one corner towered 850gm of beef in five patties held together with buns, bacon, onion rings guacamole and truffle mayo.
In the other corner stood the burger's creator, Nela Zisser, all 50kg of willowy blonde model and sometime competitive eater.
The result was never in doubt.
Zisser ate her way around the monstrous meal in 3.03 minutes at Eat Burger in Hamilton on Friday.
The beast was of her own creation and enough to send the average person into a food coma for the day. But not Zisser.
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"It wasn't that big so I'm feeling fine. It's just like I had a big breakfast."
Unfortunately, this reporter didn't feel the same and Zisser was announced the winner five minutes into my own futile attempt to better her time.
Zisser shared a few techniques which included folding the burger bun, taking small sips of water in between bites and a rotating eating motion on each patty to help get the food down quicker.
She said the burger was similar to other challenges she's done but this one tasted extra good.
"I really do enjoy it. It tastes just the same as if you're eating it slowly."
Zisser got into competitive eating after her mum convinced to enter a Sal's Pizza competition in 2013.
After that she won the Burger Burger Competition, placed sixth at the biggest eating contest at the biggest eating nation in the world - Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in the United States, and has started posting challenges on her YouTube channel.
The day before a competition she always eats a big meal, she said.
"You want to eat a decent amount or your stomach will shrink and you won't be able to eat as much."
Her last meal before Friday's challenge was steak and chips at 9pm on Thursday.
She doesn't go to the gym or exercise but lives a fairly active lifestyle, she said.
Her typical diet consists of a small lunch and a large dinner, plus snacks.
"I'm pretty healthy in general and I eat a lot of asian food."
Zisser said her next meal would probably be dinner of night pork belly from a restaurant she opened in Auckland called Tucks and Bao.
Zisser is something of a contradiction, first coming to public attention in 2013, by winning Miss Earth New Zealand. She's also modelled for Portfolio in Christchurch and Unique Model agency in Auckland.
But her eating exploits had actually helped her get modelling jobs before she gave away the competitive part to concentrate on her bio medical university studies.
City Co-Op sous chef Marco Muetze prepared the burgers for Friday's challenge.
He called it "a heart attack between two buns.
"We had a go at it yesterday. There were three of us guys and we all felt quite sick afterwards."
Zisser's time will be used as a benchmark for future Eat Burger customers who dare to take on the challenge.
It'll cost you $48.50, unless you manage to meet or beat her time, in which case you get it for free, along with a commemorative t-shirt to stretch over your swollen midriff.