A New York man sets the world record for eating at the most Michelin-starred restaurants in a single day

Alexandra Ferguson

(CNN) A New York man set the world record for eating at the most Michelin-starred restaurants in a single day.

Eric Finkelstein, 34, began a complex mission in October: eat at 18 of the acclaimed restaurants in a 24-hour period.

This eccentric feat took this IT consultant in the health sector 14 months to plan, not least because he had to reserve a table at many of the best establishments in the city.

“The planning was more than half the challenge: getting the restaurants to agree and finding a logical route that would work,” he told CNN in a phone interview Tuesday.

The idea, which was officially recognized by Guinness World Records last month, came to him during the pandemic, when he moved out of town.

The dish called “Everything Brioche” from Red Paper Clip was one of her favorites. Credit: Eric Finkelstein

After moving temporarily again in 2021, Finkelstein came up with a list of the best places to eat. He also joined an online foodie group, which is where she first heard about the challenge.

With two other world records under his belt, both related to table tennis, a sport he has competed in in the past, his interest was immediately piqued.

“I loved the idea,” he explained to Guinness. “I combined my love of eating interesting food, working toward a checklist, and working toward something.”

complete the challenge

Initially, Finkelstein contacted more than 80 restaurants, but only received responses from 10 of them. Unfortunately, four of them lost their star when the Michelin Guide announced their selections for 2022, just 20 days before their official bid.

Finkelstein frantically contacted other restaurants and luckily got enough reservations for his official attempt on October 26.

The day started with a $36 grilled avocado salad at Le Pavillon in Midtown. Then caviar, blini and crème fraiche for $25 at Caviar Russe.

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Other standout dishes included grilled scallops garnished with grapefruit and chrysanthemum en Tuome; a bowl of lingonberries for $15 at Aquavit; a $24 steak tartare at Oiji Mi; and oysters for $26 at The Modern.

His last bite was in Noda, where he tried chawanmushi covered in uni (sea urchin) and caviar.

The total bill came to $494, excluding tax and tips. Finkelstein calculated that the binge of award-winning dishes was about 5,000 calories and was completed in 11 hours.

According to the rules, Finkelstein could only walk or take public transportation from one restaurant to another. Credit: Eric Finkelstein

Finkelstein explained to CNN that when he was little he was nicknamed “the finisher” for his ability to finish off everyone’s food. But this was another league, he said.

“I got really full,” he told CNN. “Definitely, by two-thirds of the time I started to get a little nervous about my appetite. The next day I ate almost nothing,” she laughed.

other records

Finkelstein’s previous records are the longest table tennis serve (15 meters) and the largest mosaic of table tennis balls, jointly with two friends.

He also told CNN that in 2019 he was part of a failed attempt to break the record for the most people performing a “Kamehameha” from “Dragon Ball,” a move inspired by the popular anime series.

In 2021, he became the first person to visit all Citi Bike stations in New York.

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“I tried other things that weren’t official world records,” Finkelstein said. “When Pokemon Go was all the rage I went around the world hoping to become the first person to catch regionally released pokemon. Unfortunately, someone else beat me by two weeks.”

Finkelstein in Noda, which he considered his favorite experience, overall. Credit: Eric Finkelstein

Finkelstein hopes to try to break the next record with his girlfriend, but did not share any further details on the matter.

“As a child, my parents gave me a book every year with the 10 best records from around the world, and I became fond of them,” he explains to CNN. “But it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I tried to break any records.”

“I liked things that involved jokes in college, so I thought what could I do as an adult version of still being a kid?”

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