Fixing a meal for thousands of people is nothing new for Decatur Civic Center Executive Chef Darrell Riley.
Preparing a meal alongside more than 1,300 other people in the “kitchen” at one time, however, was a new experience.
Knocking hundreds of British sandwich professionals out of the record books – yeah, that’s also a new one.
Riley and fellow Civic Center cook Lawanda Rowland put their sandwich-making skills to work last Saturday at the Hilton Anatole in downtown Dallas as part of an effort to break the Guinness World Record for the most people making sandwiches simultaneously. It appears the 1,363 sandwich-making volunteers successfully broke the record of 607 set last May by the British Sandwich Association, although it will be another couple of weeks before the record can become official.
The people who benefited most from the event were the hungry in the Dallas area, who got to eat the more than 100,000 sandwiches created and donated to the North Texas Area Food Bank and seven churches.
“It was a good experience,” Riley said. “I’m glad it went to a good cause. The group that put it on actually has a good mission to feed the hungry.”
The event was organized by TangoTab, a Dallas-based company that provides a free app for smart phones that features deals at local restaurants. When the diner redeems the deal, TangoTab donates a meal to a food pantry in that area.
“They said if they had one million users, they could wipe out hunger,” Riley said.
It seemed like the perfect way for TangoTab to celebrate its second anniversary.
Each participant was asked to bring three loaves of bread, two packs of 16-slice bologna and two packs of 16-slice Amercian cheese. For the actual attempt, participants had five minutes to make a sandwich under the watchful eyes of Guinness witnesses. After the attempt, wristbands each participant wore during the sandwich making were cut off and carefully sealed in a bag for the official count.
Once the record was set, the volunteers spent the next hour making more sandwiches. The sandwiches were bagged, boxed and then shipped out to those in need.
The goal was to make 30,000 sandwiches, but the final count was actually 136,000. Riley’s table alone made more than 300 sandwiches.
Once the record is official, Riley, Rowland and all the other participants will receive a printable certificate documenting their achievement.
For more information on TangoTab or to download the free app, visit www.tangotab.com.