A team of administrators and chefs at UMass-Amherst achieved its third food-related world record. They concocted the world’s largest seafood stew. The team had already landed UMass two spots in the Guinness Book of World Records — the first for creating the world’s longest sushi roll and the second for its 4,010 pound batch of stir fry.
Garett DiStefano is director of residential dining at UMass Amherst. He says the team will be cooking about 900-pounds of seafood in a 14-foot pan. He says part of the challenge beyond just the current feat is to introduce healthier protein options to students who might otherwise opt for a hamburger or fried chicken.
“Seafood is very important to us. Americans don’t consume nearly enough seafood as they need to. On average it’s about 15 lbs per person per year. I mean, elsewhere in world its almost 3 times that. So we want to show students, hey look at this, this is really good food. Salmon, cod, lobster. These are all foods that when cooked in ingredients with healthy local produce — taste great.”
Celebrity Chef Jet Tila — who’s appeared on the Food Network, HGTV and the Travel Channel — says the existing record is in the four-thousand pound range.
“I mean my goal — and I know I’m scaring my colleagues here — is to take it to at least 6,500 pounds. You pull together 100’s of people and 1,000’s of man hours — you wanna make sure the record is feared by all others who are going to attempt the record. So we’ve got about 20 of these custom made stainless steel tools…some things looks like oars that you paddle with. Some things look like giant whisks and some look like giant rakes.”
Tila says he expects more than 1,000 people to watch the ordeal and sample the stew. Then — he says — the stew will be distributed to all four of UMass’ dining commons and to local fire and police departments.