UMass Amherst Dining Services Aims for World-Record Stir-Fry Using Custom-Built, 14-Foot Steel Pan


DATE: Monday, Sept. 5, 2011

TIME: 5:15 p.m.

PLACE: Haigis Mall in front of the Fine Arts Center

Using a custom-fabricated, 14-foot frying pan, UMass Dining Services chefs will attempt to create the world’s largest stir-fry using 3,320 pounds of vegetables and chicken. The current record of 2,319 pounds was set in 2005 by a high school in Klerksdorp, South Africa.

"Our goal for this world record, while supporting sustainability, is to promote healthy eating as we welcome 27,000 students back to school," says Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. "We plan to use vegetables from a student-run farm, the permaculture garden on campus and local farmers. In addition, we will be using canola oil with zero grams trans-fat. After setting the world record, the stir-fry will be offered to our students and guests."

The event is fully underwritten by donations from corporate sponsors, including Kikkoman, the National Peanut Board, McCormick, Kraft Foods, Dole, Bush’s Best, Performance Foodservice, Coca Cola, Bunge, Barilla, FreshPoint, Tyson, Hormel Foods, Green Mountain Gringo, Campbell’s and Texas Pete.

The cooking event will be led by Jet Tila of the Food Network, UMass Amherst executive chef Willie Sng and Dining Services chefs, aided by hundreds of volunteers. The chefs and guest stirrers will use specially built rakes to move the food in the pan.

The recipe calls for 800 pounds of chicken, 400 pounds of carrots, 300 pounds of broccoli, 200 pounds of peppers, 200 pounds of green beans, 200 pounds of bok choy, 200 pounds of root vegetables, 500 pounds of onions and 200 pounds of peanuts plus smaller amounts of basil and garlic, cooked in 50 pounds of oil and topped with 200 pounds of Kikkoman sauce.

The 2,500-pound stir-fry pan was built in North Grafton by All Steel Fabrication with the drawings and design by Scott A. Civjan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at UMass Amherst.

A representative from Guinness World Records will be at the event to certify the record.