Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Philadelphia man eats 40 rotisserie chickens in 40 days

Crowds cheered as restaurant server finished his quest on Sunday

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Monday 07 November 2022 20:19 GMT
Houston Astros Win 2022 World Series

This weekend, a Philadelphia man completed his unique mission of eating a whole rotisserie chicken every day for 40 straight days, becoming an unlikely internet sensation and joining the City of Brotherly Love’s pantheon of offbeat local legends.

From the place whose NHL team mascot gave us Gritty, the 7-foot-tall orange monster, we now present: Alexander Tominsky, the Philadelphia Chicken Man.

On Sunday, a crowd of supporters gathered around on an abandoned pier near a Walmart to watch Mr Tominksy, 31, polish off his final chicken. “Eat that bird!” they cheered.

Mr Tominksy, 31, a restaurant server who moved to Philadelphia in 2014, began his poultry parable in late September.

He has explained his mission as an earnest attempt to sacrifice himself as a way to bring others joy and a bit of entertainment, though one suspects this all may be an elaborate and very internet-y practical joke.

“This is just a little bit of an inconvenience and a sacrifice for the joy that it seems to be bringing people,” he told The New York Times.

He also said it was a way to celebrate a city known for being, well, gritty.

“I’ve had long stretches of being tortured and people can relate,” he added in Billy Penn. “The City of Philadelphia has had a lot of pain, but it’s a city with a lot of perseverance. That’s what makes this city very special.”

Mr Tominksy began publicising his quest on Twitter on 8 October, though he hasn’t made any apparent attempts to cash in on his growing fame. Instead, his posts were often extremely simple, featuring him holding up a whole chicken and grimacing.

“I would like to Invite you all on a journey that I am on. I am eating a rotisserie chicken every day for 30 days. Today is day 11,” he wrote online, before deciding to extend his mission another 10 days. “I will keep you all updated as I get closer to my goal. Thank you.”

He also posted semi-anonymous fliers around the city welcoming the public to witness his final chicken meal on a pier on the Delaware River.

“This is not a party,” the posters read.

As the quest began to way physically on Mr Tominsky, who lost 16 pounds and began to feel bloated and unwell after so many successive days of rich and salty food, his legend began to grow.

The chicken stunt became meme fodder for some, while others thought it represented Philly’s prized sense of weirdness and determination.

Both the Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB and the Philadelphia Union in the MLS may have lost their championship runs this weekend, but at least for the day, the city had a new hero.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in