The US' first ever National Fried Rice Day took place in September, and to celebrate a restaurant chain decided to take on a cooking marathon record attempt.
National Fried Rice Day was organised by Benihana, America’s leading operator of Japanese-inspired teppanyaki and sushi restaurants, with chefs in two of its restaurants attempting the Longest cooking marathon (individual).
Working alongside the National Day Calendar, Benihana officially designated 20 September as National Fried Rice Day and kicked off the campaign two days earlier at two of the restaurant group's flagship locations, New York City and Chicago, where master chefs - Andrey Shek (Uzbekistan) and Raymundo Mendez (Mexico) - battled a 500-degree grill and put their skills of culinary endurance to the test.
Devoted to alleviating hunger, City Harvest in New York and Chicago's Cornerstone Community Outreach also supported the initiative by providing rice for the attempt and donating the finished product to those in need of food in each of their respective cities.
With an official adjudicator at each location it was finally announced - after a gruelling yet rewarding 42 hours and 17 minutes of cooking - that both Andrey in New York and Raymundo in Chicago had achieved the Guinness World Records title on behalf of Benihana.
An impressive donation of 576 servings of Benihana Fried Rice have benefited Cornerstone Community Outreach, who serves nearly 500 low-income men, women and children daily in Chicago and 560 servings have benefited City Harvest, New York’s largest food rescue organization.
"We're beyond proud of our amazing chefs who dedicated their time, talent and tenacity to make this world record a possibility," said Benihana Chief Executive Officer and President, Tom Baldwin.
"We look forward to celebrating National Fried Rice Day each year with new traditions while continuing to build upon our legacy of great food and a great dining experience for our guests."