Tucson's petit school teacher and champion competitive eater Michelle Lesco added Oyster Queen to her growing list of titles.
The crown came with her mouth-puckering first place finish in the Turkish Airlines World Oyster Eating Championship on Sept. 3 in Ireland. She downed an impressive 227 oysters in three minutes to unseat 10-year reigning oyster champ Colin Shirlow from northern Ireland.
Earlier this year, Lesco practiced for the Irish contest by slurping down 385 oysters in eight minutes for a second-place finish in the Acme Oyster Eating Competition in New Orleans.
Lesco, at 112 pounds, holds titles in a number of contests and is ranked 10th in the world by Major League Eating, the international organization that oversees all professional eating contests. She also has top finishes in wings, ribs and hot dog eating contests including tying for third place finish in the 2016 annual nationally televised hot dog eating contest at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous in New York in July.
Lesco, who goes by the nickname “Cardboard Shell,” had a dry run — or should we say slippery? — for the Irish contest by slurping down 385 oysters in eight minutes for a second-place finish in the Acme Oyster Eating Competition in New Orleans.
Lesco has been a competitive eater since 2010. She became interested in the sport after accepting a dare from Tucson friends to take on Lindy's On Fourth's three-pound O.M.F.G. burger challenge. She zipped it off in 4 minutes.