Boone has family in Western North Carolina and sees the contest as a chance to connect with his Appalachian roots, to which he pays tribute in competition. He claims to be a descendant of Daniel Boone, the legendary explorer and hunter who once wandered these parts. “That's why I wear the coon-skin hat, kind of representing him. It adds a lot of flavor,” he says.
As a professional eater — he competes all over the Southeast and in India — Boone hopes to spice up the contest. He says professional eating is not “a bunch of guys just throwing up and munching down like a bunch of people say.” Rather, eaters are also entertainers. “We make it fun,” he says. “It's like the WWF of eating.”
Burgerworx manager Alicia Donaldson says the restaurant is excited to have Boone at the competition, although they didn't solicit his attendance. “It's going to be a trip just to see him because they have their professional techniques,” she said.
The contest is still registering participants, who must eat as many burgers as they can stomach in 10 minutes. Once 10 people sign up, the restaurant will make a waiting list. The cost of entry is $10, but eaters will receive a $10 Burgerworx gift certificate on the day of the competition. To sign up, visit Burgerworx in person. The burger binge takes place on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.