Food & Drink

TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills Helps Raise Funds for Homeless at Eating Competition

Jonathan Sym of Short Hills and Robert Hughes of New Providence representing Team TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills in a valiant performance. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Golden Chopsticks Winner Sebastian Voltarelli Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Winner Sebastian Voltarelli and Second Place Finisher Carlos Avellaneda Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Ani Ramen team surround winner Sebastian Voltarelli and second place finisher Carlos Avellaneda Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Ani Raman owner Luck Sarabhayavanija explains the rules before kickoff. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Ramen ready to hit the bowl Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Robert Hughes of Team TAPinto Millburn and Short Hills still smiling on bowl five. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
Jonathan Sym of Team TAPinto Millburn and Short Hills gets final instructions before the main event. Credits: Karen E. Hughes

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Ani Ramen House of Montclair held their inaugural “Slurp, Sip and Repeat” ramen noodle eating contest on Monday night. Team TAP along with 26 experienced competitive eaters and newcomers entered the contest, seeking to win the coveted Golden Chopsticks and a year of free ramen.

Proceeds from the night’s competition benefit the Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless.

“We wanted to do something to be active in the community as National Noodle Day was October 6. So we decided to announce [the contest] then and hold it today.” Manager Kathleen Reyes explained about the new event. 

Sign Up for E-News

The contest consisted of two 15-minute heats with the winner being the first person to eat ten bowls of ramen or the most bowls consumed in the time allotted. The first seating ended with the leader downing 9 ¼ bowls and the next closest contestant eating six and half bowls. Soon after the first heat, both men looked on as the second group dove into their noodles waiting to see if their numbers were enough to claim the crown. As the time ticked down, it was clear that the first round produced the top eaters of the night. 

Sebastian Voltarelli, a realtor from Glen Ridge, standing 6’3’’ and 238 lbs. won the day with 9 ¼ bowls consumed. He said his strategy was to “just shove as much in before I realize that I am eating ramen.” 

Carlos Avellaneda of Paterson echoed Voltarelli’s eating contest philosophy.  “Just eat, don’t stop, stand up and try to keep my stomach open, but I ran out of room.” Capping out at 6 ½ bowls, it was enough to claim second place for the Ani Ramen fan.  “I was one of the first people that came here to eat when they opened.”

Team TAP, consisting of two participants, came in fourth place, consuming nearly five bowls of noodles each.

“We entered the competition because we thought this was going to be a fun way to raise money for a great cause,” said Jonathan Sym, editor of TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills. “It’s great to see so many foodies come out to support a local business, maybe we should sponsor something similar in Millburn next year.”

"This was my first eating contest. It was great fun and I met some wonderful people.  I'll definitely be back next year!" said Robert Hughes of New Providence.

Owner Luck Sarabhayavanija explained how the inspiration for the contest originated.  “We realized we didn’t have a ramen contest in the states yet. I just came back from Tokyo and they hold ramen contests throughout the year and they do a major one, kinda like how we glorify our Nathan’s [hot dog eating contest]. So I wanted to bring one over here.” 

In English Ani translates means 'big brother'. The idea being one of nurturing and growth in the way that sibling and family relationships bring together and strengthen communities. Ani Ramen is opening a second location is Jersey City shortly. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory thru Sunday for Millburn Township

June 30, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ —  A heat wave rolling into the area is expected to last through Sunday, with the National Weather Service (NWS) calling for a heat advisory for Millburn Township through 12:00 pm Sunday. However, an excessive heat watch runs through Monday evening. 

According to the NWS, the heat index values are projected in the mid to upper 90s today and ...

Millburn Police Issue Multiple Summons Based on Outstanding Warrants

July 17, 2018

On July 11, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Shanahan stopped a 2014 Honda Accord on Millburn/Vauxhall for speeding. The investigation led to the arrest of 22 year old Lyes Yakoubi of Jersey City on an outstanding traffic warrant out of West Windsor. Mr. Yakoubi was issued a summons and released with a new court date.

On July 11, 2018 Millburn Police Sergeant Delrusso observed a 2007 Acura MDX on ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 16, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

TRENTON, NJ – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...