Man Snaps Record for Eating at Most Michelin-Starred Restaurants in a Day

Eric Finkelstein fine-dined his way through 18 celebrated eateries, and the logistics are pretty impressive.

January 04, 2023

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Photo by: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Bloomberg/Getty Images

Can we just call Eric Finkelstein the Michelin Man? The 34-year-old health IT consultant has just set a new Guinness World Record for eating at the most Michelin-starred restaurants in a 24-hour time period. The number of highly regarded dining establishments visited by Finkelstein in just one day: a whopping 18.

Although Guinness ratified Finkelstein’s record only last week, his impressive culinary adventure actually took place in New York City on October 26, 2022. The record-breaking run of fine dining kicked off with a $36 grilled avocado salad at Le Pavillon in Midtown; continued with a $25 order of caviar with blini and creme fraiche at Caviar Russe; included, among others, Tuome in Alphabet City (grilled scallops with grapefruit and chrysanthemum), Aquavit in Midtown (a $15 bowl of lingonberries), Oiji Mi ($24 steak tartare), and The Modern ($26 oysters); and capped off with “a uni- (sea urchin) and caviar-topped chawanmushi” at the sushi bar Noda, according to an account on the Guinness blog.

Through careful planning (he had to scramble to replace a few restaurants that were stripped of their stars only days before his record attempt), and though confined by Guinness record rules to travel only on public transportation or foot, Finkelstein actually ate his way through all 18 restaurants in only 11 hours. He has estimated that he consumed about 5,000 calories in all and spent $494, excluding tax and tips, on the high-end meals he consumed. (The strategic record-setter selected menu items with size and speed squarely in mind.)

When asked by Guinness to reflect on his favorite foods of the day, Finkelstein responded, “The Fluke Crudo at Casa Mono (fresh with surprising waves of flavor), Duck Mortadella at Francie (the buttery bread practically melted in my mouth), and Everything Brioche at Red Paper Clip (satisfyingly soft, combined sweet and savory flavors).”

Finkelstein — who holds world records for the longest table tennis serve and the largest table tennis ball mosaic and in 2021 became the first person to visit every Citi Bike station in New York and New Jersey (all 1,609 of them) — said breaking this record called out to him “as almost no record has.” “As soon as” he learned about it, in 2021, he told the New York Post, “I thought, ‘I have to do it.’”

But Noda’s general manager, identified by Guinness only as “Philip,” had a more philosophical view of Finkelstein’s feat: “I am a firm believer that the world is at a great deficit of capriciousness,” Philip tells Guinness. “It feeds a sense of novelty. As we go through life, novelty begins to be far more scarce. I think to participate or create a moment which has a genuine sense of novelty or first-time experience to it has a tremendous amount of value.”

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