Wednesday 23 August 2017

Fun park cooks up new chips record

Head of catering James Gibbs smiles after breaking the Guinness World Record for the biggest portion of chips ever served
Head of catering James Gibbs smiles after breaking the Guinness World Record for the biggest portion of chips ever served
Head of catering James Gibbs smiles after breaking the Guinness World Record for the biggest portion of chips ever served

The world's biggest portion of chips has been cooked up at a seaside fun park.

Weighing in at 988lb (448kg), the huge box was filled by five staff from the Fish and Chip Shop at Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, who battered the previous record.

It took them just three hours and 50 minutes to peel, cut, deep fry and package the spuds on their way to breaking the previous record of 812lb (368.5kg). They carried on to reach the new target in four hours and 20 minutes.

Gregg Smith, 27, the head of catering for the park, had the idea for the record attempt. He was joined in the feat by his old schoolfriend James Gibbs, 27, the group head of catering for a number of venues in Southend, including Adventure Island. Barry Campney, 67, Sean Handley, 22, and Mr Smith's brother Tim Rainbow, 18, completed the five-man team.

The clock started at 11am on Wednesday when the team started peeling locally sourced potatoes in a special wet room and cut them in a chipper. From there they ferried the raw chips to the four deep fat fryers and 14 frying baskets at the Fish and Chip Shop.

Once cooked, the chips were tipped into a giant replica of the restaurant's chip box - 54in (137cm) long, 46in (116cm) wide, 30in (75cm) high, and weighing 70.5lb (32kg).

Guinness World Record rules dictated that the chips had to be edible and safe, so the huge container had to meet health and safety regulations.

Visitors enjoying the sunshine stopped to admire the feat as the mountain of chips piled up in the box outside the Fish and Chip Shop as rollercoasters roared past. The fun park already holds the world records for the most naked people on a rollercoaster (102 people set in August last year) and the longest dodgem car marathon (26 hours in May this year).

After the record was broken, Mr Gibbs said: "It's absolutely fantastic. It's taken a long while, many months to plan it. It's wonderful. It's something that from when we were kids at school we used to dream about breaking a Guinness World Record."

The record was also aimed at raising awareness and funds for the Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation's Bosom Pals Appeal as, once the record was broken, visitors could by a cone of the chips for £1 each. Any leftovers will be fed to pigs at Wick's Manor in Maldon, Essex.

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