ISLAND PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — One of the biggest names in extreme eating has been missing from the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest the last few July Fourths, but he turned up on Long Island Sunday.

Takeru Kobayashi served as coach for some Nassau County firefighters who competed in a Clam Eating Challenge in Island Park, 1010 WINS reported.

Kobayashi also did a demo of his own, slamming back eight dozen clams in two minutes, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported. He said the tough part is the technique.

“(You have to take the meat out of the shell, and that’s the hard part?) Yes, that’s the hard part,” Kobayashi said.

The event, which raised money to benefit firehouses that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy, was held at Peter’s Clam Bar on Long Beach Road.

First prize went to Long Beach firefighter Richie Santoro, who put away more than two dozen clams, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

“I didn’t expect, to think that I was going to come here today and win,” he said.

Santoro won $2,500 for his fire department to make post-Sandy repairs.

Organizer and Island Park Fire Chief Anthony D’Esposito said the first annual clam eating contest was about raising money for all South Shore departments who were hit hard by Sandy.

“Our firehouse alone took over six and a half feet of water,” he said, adding that the plan is to rebuild firehouses better than they were pre-Sandy.

Peter’s Clam Bar owner Butch Yamali said he didn’t mind paying it forward with trays of seafood gold.

“They’re fresh, they’re cold, they’re plump,” he said.

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