Matt Timms' Takedown competitions draw contestants and eaters alike
It all started 10 years ago in Matt Timms' apartment.
"I was just hanging out with friends, and we were partying and cooking for one another," said Timms with a chuckle. "And then it got competitive."
Timms is the founder of the Takedowns, a food competition in New York City that in the past few years has gone national, to Chicago, Boston and other cities.
The competitions have gotten very popular - the most recent bacon Takedown at the Bell House in Brooklyn sold out with 700 people in attendance. On Jan. 27, the competition returns to the Bell House, with about 25 contestants competing to make the best meatballs.
Each competition focuses on one food or type of food, from bacon to cookies to hot sauce to chili, and each contestant or team of contestants are amateur cooks.
Timms says the number of amateur cooks in New York City inspires him to continue doing what he's doing.
"Everyone's cooking and getting more experimental," he said.
Sabrina Mossberg, a commercial producer/production supervisor and "amateur food explorer," has competed in multiple Takedowns in addition to other food competitions. She says the Takedowns are great because she "loves a challenge."
"I also love experimenting, especially with food," she said. "The Takedowns are a way to motivate and challenge myself to try new recipes and experiment with flavors and ingredients."
Indeed, in foodie-obsessed NYC (Brooklyn especially), it's no shock that food competitions are popular. But Timms' no-rules, let's-have-fun vibe is what makes the Takedowns unique.
"Other competitions are a little rigid and too serious," Mossberg said.
Before the Takedowns, Timms was an actor trying to make it.
And while he is still an actor "to some extent," the Takedowns and other related gigs keep him busy. Despite the growth, Timms wants the Takedowns to stay homegrown.
If you go: The Brooklyn Meatball Takedown Sunday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m., the Bell House, 149 7th St., Gowanus, Brooklyn. $15. TheTakedowns.com