AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - What better way to celebrate labor day, than to labor over a hot frying pan. A 14-foot frying pan.
That's what dozens of volunteer chefs were doing Monday night in front of hundreds of people at UMass, Amherst. It was a team effort to break the world record for stir fry.
Volunteer chefs were using specially-built rakes to push thousands of pounds of chicken and vegetables around a "monster wok," a 14-foot wide custom-built frying pan... suspended over the flames by a crane.
UMass freshman, volunteer assistant chef Ian Casker didn't know he'd end up cooking. "It's pretty crazy. I wasn't expecting this to happen. I thought I was gonna be serving water. But the we got asked to come in here and help."
In an attempt to set a new record for the world's largest stir fry, they used 800 pounds of chicken, and all locally-grown vegetables: 535 pounds of onions, 464 pounds of carrots, 216 pounds of peppers, 242 pounds of green beans, 200 pounds of peanuts, 50 pounds of garlic... and 11 pounds of basil. (Also some parsnips and other stuff)
It was all stirred in with 200 pounds of zero trans-fat canola oil.
When the crane hoisted the giant pan to weigh it, a Guinness Book of World Records representative confirmed, they didn't just break the record, they shattered it; "You've broken the record with 4010 pounds!"
Monday night's accomplishment marked Food Network Chef Jet Tila's third world record. He reclaimed his stir fry title Monday after African high school students broke his first record 6 years ago... and last year he enlisted UMass to help him make the world's longest sushi roll, at 440 feet.
Tila told 22News he always welcomes a challenge, "I will do anything insane when it comes to food. If... I can come up with another world record idea, we're definitely gonna do it."
The crowd sampled the stir fry, and said it was tasty. Among the comments, "I love it. It's great. Love it. Awesome! It's really good. I like it a lot."
The idea behind the event, six-months in the making, was to promote healthy eating and welcome 27,000 students back to UMass, Amherst.
And at two tons of stir-fry, they expect this record to stand awhile.