Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MSU's School of Hospitality Business Breaks World Record—with Tacos

Demonstration Hall on the campus of Michigan State University was the site of a world record-breaking line of—believe it or not—tacos. And two students in The School of Hospitality Business demonstrated their perseverance, persuasive powers and organizational skills by spending nearly eight months orchestrating the memorable event, which occurred on September 30 and fulfilled the Guinness Book of World Records requirements.

Nate Redner (BA ’12) and Luke Magnini (BA ’12) came up with the idea when they watched a YouTube video detailing the record set by Dining Services at Emory University, which was 260 tacos, totaling 121 feet. They worked with alum and MSU Culinary Services’ corporate chef Kurt Kwiatkowski (BA ’96, MS ’05) on the project.

Using only MSU ingredients, the line contained 150 pounds of beef, 35 pounds of cheese and 50 pounds of pico de gallo. All the ingredients added up to a 490-foot taco line with 847 tacos placed on tables in the shape of a block “S” and created with the help of almost 60 volunteers.  The project covered nearly the whole length of Dem Hall, which served for years as MSU’s ice-hockey rink.
(l. to r.) Cichy, Kwiatkowski, Magnini, Redner. Photo by Lindsey LaTour Bliss, MSU Culinary Services

Culinary officials were required to record an exact measurement of the taco line. Additionally, a video had to be taken of the lineup, and each individual taco had to be counted and documented. Several witnesses and MSU workers also were required to fill out forms documenting the event.

School director Ron Cichy was one of those witnesses. He was amazed, but not surprised, by the students’ accomplishment and sense of fun. “It seems as though there is nothing Nate and Luke can’t accomplish when they put their minds to it,” he said. “And it’s great to see that they made it a total Spartan effort.”

Recognized as the top-ranked hospitality-business school, the school has a unique and independent position within Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. Celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2012, the school boasts nearly 10,000 graduates worldwide, including a number of leading academicians and industry executives who have earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees.