Competitive eating legend Takeru Kobayashi devoured the American dream until it chewed him up and spat him out again.

Now a new documentary on American sports media network ESPN is inviting viewers to digest the details of his remarkable career and take a closer look at the man who has been dubbed "the godfather of competitive eating."

"At first, I kept refusing to take part in the documentary," Kobayashi tells The Japan Times from his home in New York. "But I had heard it was a great series, so I'm very proud that it allows me to explain to people what I have done so far in my career."