November 25, 2004

Aid Workers Try to Cook Record Risotto

SYDNEY, Australia - Aid workers and celebrity chefs created a stir on the banks of Sydney Harbor on Friday by cooking up what they hoped will be the world's largest risotto - a seven-ton tub of rice and peas - to raise awareness of world hunger.

"There are literally tens of thousands of children dying every week from malnutrition," said Robert Glasser, Chief Executive of Aid agency CARE Australia.

He said the Sydney cook off also would raise awareness of the role rice can play in combatting world hunger.

Cooks used oar-sized paddles to stir up 1,600 kilograms (3,527 pounds) of uncooked rice with 4,400 liters (1162 gallons) of vegetable stock, 800 kilograms (1764 pounds) of frozen peas and 320 kilograms (705 pounds) of parmesan cheese before selling plates of the finished dish to raise money.

Event organizers expect the finished pea and saffron risotto to weigh over 7,000 kilograms (15,432 pounds). In a statement, they said no record exists for the largest risotto, but added that the record for the largest rice dish stands at 6,300 kilograms (13,889 pounds).

The results from Friday's cook-off were to be checked by an official from the Guinness World Records, event organizers said.