‘He just ate’: Canoli-contest king packs ’em in

Wayne Algenio, left, looked confident, almost cocky, as he effortlessly sucked down the Sicilian sweet treats, leaving his competitors stunned at the sheer speed of his eating. Photos by Tequila Minsky

BY COLIN MIXSON | Asuperhuman Filipino-born eating machine utterly destroyed his competition at a cannoli-eating contest amid the Feast of San Gennaro on Sept. 15, scarfing down an unbelievable 25 Italian confections in six minutes flat.

Spectators were practically blown away by the “amateur” eater’s effortless consumption of the Sicilian pastries, which were not small, according to the contest’s organizer.

“That’s an extreme amount,” said Adeline Sessa, co-owner of Ferarra Bakery and Cafe, on Grand St., which sponsored the event. “They’re large cannoli, so yes I was surprised he ate that much. He ate the bulk of them in the first three minutes, and I don’t believe he’s somebody who usually enters these contests, which makes it even odder.”

Wayne Algenio, 31, of Queens, emerged victorious by consuming the most pastries — by a fair margin — within the time limit, and flaunted his impressive lead by ordering a second plate after he’d devoured the first 20 cannoli set before him.

Algenio didn’t employ any tricks or strategy, such as dipping the cannoli in water to soften the pastries, as a means to victory. Instead he merely powered his way through, courtesy of his innate and prodigious eating abilities.

“In the past, you see people dunk them in water, but he wasn’t really using any tricks,” Sessa said. “He just ate.”

The contest has featured professional eaters in the past, but none were able to match the ludicrous 25 cannoli vacuumed up by Algenio, Sessa said.

“I think, before we had more who people enter these types of contests all the time,” she said. “But this was more people who had not entered, and they did better.”

Rival eaters strove to keep pace with Algenio.

After the contest, Algenio was awarded $250 in prize money to honor his victory.

The Feast of San Gennaro is a 10-day affair spanning Sept. 15 to Sept. 25, and Ferrara’s eating contest won’t be the last.

Five-borough feeders will have an opportunity to demonstrate their prodigious gluttony at a meatball-eating contest on Sat., Sept. 24.