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Milliners Southern Smoke: Barbeque built on family

Local News

HORNELL, N.Y. (WETM)- Have you ever wondered what it would be like to compete in a food eating competition?

To see just how difficult it is to eat insane amounts of food like Kobeyashi and Joey Chestnut.

Well one local eatery, Milliners Southern Smoke is going viral for their food challenge, the ’88 Mike Soldier Challenge’.


Milliners Southern Smoke in Hornell, NY has been a barbeque hot spot for years, but as the coronavirus pandemic struck, they started looking for new and fun ways to bring back customers.

Rebecca Milliner, Owner and food challenge creator says, “we were just kind of like constantly racking our brains around ideas and thought…what if we did a food challenge”?

A business built on family.

“All of our menu items are based on names of people that were involved in either starting the business or growing the business. They’re all played an intricate part in our business so we named the menu items after them” says Milliner.

Including the ’88 Mike Soldier Challenge’.

“My sister was killed in Iraq, in 2004, in a roadside bomb, that was her MOS… 88 Mike is what in the military, they call the truck driver.” says Milliner.

“It’s just great because we constantly keep her memory alive”.

Now in the name of Milliners sister, over a dozen individuals have given their best at eating over 7 pounds of food, including professional food eater and Youtuber ‘MGDD”.

“You get 45 minutes to finish all of it, it all has to be done in 45 minutes and the meal is free, and you get a beautiful shirt” says Milliner.

Our own reporter Matt Paddock attempting to take down the challenge, not even leaving a dent in his 45 minutes.

Paddock says, ” It was some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had, my stomach just couldn’t handle the task at hand”.

“We’re talking ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, mac and cheese, baked beans and French fries” says Paddock.

Paddock going on to praise their blueberry barbeque sauce which he says was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

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