Kansas Relays breaks world record with largest serving of nachos

Salty Iguana employees scoop nachos from the 160 cubic square foot container, setting a Guiness World Record at the Kansas Relays on Saturday afternoon.

Kansas Relay participants and visitors feasted on heaping servings of the world-record breaking 4,689-pound nacho platter on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Centerplate, Salty Iguana, KU Athletics and Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen (L.I.N.K.) collaborated to prepare the massive amount of nachos, which were 80 feet long, three feet wide and more than 10 inches deep.

"We wanted to do something to match the spirit of the relays, which is breaking records," said Rick Brown, general manager of Centerplate. "We thought it would be great to do something with food and we really wanted to do something that we could involve the community in."

L.I.N.K volunteers were at every entrance to the world's largest nacho area in Memorial Stadium. People were able to taste the nachos by donating money or a canned food. The proceeds were donated to L.I.N.K, which provides three-course meals for low-income families four times a week.

Judges from the Guinness World Records flew in from New York to observe the production and serving process of the nachos. The nachos, excess and packaging weighed 5,002.6 pounds in total. To make an accurate decision, judges deducted the weight of the packaging and excess remnants, which was 313.6 pounds. The grand total was 4,689 pounds of pure nachos.

Philip Robertson, official adjudicator for the Guinness World Records, said Saturday was the fifth attempt of the record for the largest nacho serving since June 2002. The previous record holder belonged to 99 restaurants in Billerica, Mass.. The restaurants collaboratively served 3,999 pounds of nachos in October 2011.

"It was fun to watch a team come together with an extraordinary goal," Robertson said. "It took a lot of coordination to get food delivered, heated and cooked thoroughly, and also for them to lay it all out in the trough and make sure everyone put everything on in the order that was necessary to fulfill our guidelines."

Preparation for the nachos started at 12 a.m. Saturday morning at the Salty Iguana and Memorial Stadium. Approximately 80 volunteers were involved with the entire process.

"Our signature on the nachos was putting on our Iguana dip," said LeAnn Brock, vice president of Salty Iguana. "It took about four of us to make all 230 pounds of dip."

Scott Peck, sous chef from Centerplate, said his team produced roughly 1,200 pounds of beef, bean and jalapeno mixture.

"We lost some of the product in a broken cooler this morning and had to remake it on the fly," Peck said. "It was a challenge, but the team came together."

Volunteers acted fast after losing almost 2,000 pounds of product. Philip Tillman, concessions manager for KU, received a call at 3 a.m. Since he had access to Allen Fieldhouse, he was asked to bring as much beef, beans, and jalapenos as he could to Memorial Stadium. After adding product from the Fieldhouse, they still didn't have enough food. Tillman made trips to Walmart and Checkers to purchase the rest of the refried beans and black beans.

"I don't like to lose," Tillman said. "I was really thinking about what we could do overcome this. It was a matter of putting our heads and resources together."

Jake Plevnic, a sophomore from Francis Howell Central high school in St. Louis, gave a scale on how excited he was about the nachos.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, six dump trucks," he said.

Edited by Nadia Imafidon