The annual Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest at the Florida Strawberry Festival filled the Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent to capacity Thursday afternoon.
Ten competitors were drawn at random to participate in the event. They were each served a four pound shortcake with whip cream, strawberries and toppers. The first six minutes of the competition the competitors could use a spoon to eat the sweet desserts. From there on out it was hands only.
Some took full bites, others tackled the whip cream first while others focused on the thick layers of berries. Once the final bell was rung the the chef weighed each plate to determine who had eaten the most of the delicious shortcake.
The winner was James Arch from Davenport. This was his second time in the competition. When he first took the stage he ate without too much of a plan and ended up in third place. This time he was focused and ready to take home the trophy.
He focused on the weight ratio of all of the ingredients, eating the heaviest items like the berries and whip cream first and then using his final moments to start chomping down on the fluffy shortcake. By the time the final second had passed he had eaten all but 7/8ths of a pound of the four pound dessert.
His strategy paid off and he walked out of the tent with both the trophy and a smile.