Meatballs of Martorano

Written by Nikki Artale

Photos by Nikki Artale

You haven’t eaten the best meatball of your life until you eat a meatball from Martorano’s Restaurant. Steve Martorano is the owner of the Italian Restaurant and he attributes his fabulous food to the teachings of his grandmother. As a young boy, Steve would spend many days in the kitchen with his grandmother who taught him how to cook.


She shared her love and her cooking skills and Steve demonstrates that skill and love in his restaurants. Martorano Restaurant is located in the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas and also in Florida. People from all over the world come to eat his wonderful Italian food.


Steve Martorano

Not only do people pay for his food, a select few get to eat his meatballs free once a year when he holds his competitive Meatball Eating Contest. This is the second time that the Martorano Meatball Contest has been held in Las Vegas.

For the second consecutive year Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has won the Meatball Contest by eating 43 meatballs in 10 minutes, earning him an “M” Necklace and $1500.00. Coming in second place by eating 37 meatballs was 74 year old Henderson resident Rich Lefevre, winning $750.00. Third place was won by Juliet Lee, eating 35 meatballs, earning her $500.00.

Joey Chestnut

Steve Martorano, Joey Chestnut, Holly Madison, Rich Lefevre

 Steve & Joey

Guest host was Holly Madison who is appearing in Peep Show at Planet Hollywood. Other guest celebrities were celebrity Tattoo Artist Mario Barth.

Steve & Mario Barth

Mario Barth & Robin Leach

Holly Madison & Steve

Joey is ranked a number one eater and last year earned $218,500 in prize money, appearances and endorsement. Joey holds the title for world’s record of eating 68 Nathan Hot Dogs and buns in 10 minute. There are many other competitive eating contests that are a sight to see, such as, Buffalo Wing Festival held in New York, BBQ Eating Championship held in Myrtle Beach SC, Chili Cheese Fries, Pigs Feet, Pizza, pies, pickles and Ribs.

Major league eating has totaled over $600,000. What a way to go, what a way to eat. Maybe I should start eating in some contests.

The event was exciting to watch and thanks to the staff and crew of The Rio, everything went smoothly under the direction of the Technical Director Paolo Cuccaro.

Paolo Cuccaro             Video Meatball Eating Contest 2010


Nikki Artale

Nikki Artale, a woman of many professional backgrounds and experiences, is originally from a small town in North New Jersey. She moved here to Las Vegas back in 1995 to pursue the booming real estate market and has since been a contributing columnist for Vegas Community Online – interviewing the stars and entertainers for “Vegas Stars.” She has hosted a radio talk show, Celebrity News at All Talk Radio and has also been a part of a live internet webcast at “Live at the Studio.” Her numerous interviews with those responsible for the glamour behind Las Vegas can be found on her website

Nikki has also been active in the entertainment industry behind the camera – she belongs to the Screen Actors Guild and has been in numerous movies and has also judged screenplays for the Las Vegas Film Fest. Not only has she been behind the camera in the industry but also as a critic and has written many show reviews. You can usually find her at big entertainment events with her Nikon camera and smile, ready to review, interview, and capture the moments that make the night.

Aside from her lengthy experience in the entertainment industry she is also a successful Real Estate broker with 30 years of professional and dedicated services. She serves the greater Las Vegas area and has an in depth knowledge of the real estate housing market. She prides herself in giving excellent service to buyers and sellers with 100% of her time. You can contact her with the information below for any questions, comments or requests of services. 702-279-7001


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