Can you imagine wolfing down an entire large pizza and washing it down with a big bottle of coke in under five minutes? Thinking of all the calories and the guilt of gluttony? Well, brothers Akash and Vishwa Joshi aren’t. Not only have they repeatedly managed to achieve this impressive feat, they do it on a bi-weekly basis, too, for their YouTube channel ‘Viwa Food World’. Over a telephonic conversation with indianexpress.com, they tell us about their monstrous appetite, how they prepare for these food challenges, and the concept of ‘speed eating’ in India.
“Starting this YouTube channel was actually Vishwa’s idea. I was in Mumbai then. When I returned, I helped around with shooting and editing; later, I started participating as well. Initially, it was just an experiment and Vishwa shot videos using his mobile phone. We started taking it seriously when we realised our videos were being received well,” informs Akash, who runs the channel with younger brother Vishwa, after whom it is named.
The dictionary definition of speed eating or competitive eating is consuming large quantities of food in record time, while competing with other participants. And for any human being to do that, there must be some behind-the-scenes preparation. “Actually, we have always had a large appetite. That’s what gave us the idea. We were inspired by challengers like Matt Stonie and Furious Pete,” he says.
“This doesn’t mean we eat ravenously every day,” remarks Akash, whose favourite kind of challenge would be one that involves pizzas.
So, what do the Joshi brothers eat on days when they are not filming? “What any other normal person eats. It’s just that we possess the capacity to eat large quantities. If you check out some of our recent challenges, you’ll see that it’s not just about the quantity; we are bringing in fun and unique content as well,” he says. Earlier this month, they pushed out a ‘slow food eating challenge’ featuring ice-creams. And more recently, the Gujarati brothers from Vadodara took part in a Bengali thali eating competition as well.
“Except junk food, every dish, especially the homemade ones, is prepared by my mother. She is a great cook and is interested in unique recipes,” comments Akash.
Like any regular person, both Akash and Vishwa tend to feel full after their eating binge. “We normally shoot in the evenings, after which we start work on the editing and don’t eat anything after that. As far as detox is concerned, Vishwa tends to work out seriously. Me, not so much. Our bodies are tuned in a way that these challenges don’t affect us, even when we consume junk food,” says Akash, who is also a professional photographer.
As far as the revenue is concerned, Akash remarks that it fluctuates, but generating food-based content on YouTube is comfortable enough as a full-time job. The two-year-old channel’s subscribers stand at a healthy 2.63 million. “As vegetarians, our channel only features vegetarian food challenges, but we have still managed to gain so many subscribers,” he says.
By his own admission, Akash Joshi is a foodie. So developing any kind of food aversion is beyond him. “Obviously, after a particular challenge we don’t feel like eating that particular item for a day or two, but it’s all temporary,” he remarks.