New Bern barbecue master Tommy Moore achieved a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Open Sandwich” Sunday, a whopping 1,336 pounds after it was heaped high and wide with barbecue and slaw.
Moore’s masterpiece was baked in a specially designed 10-foot-square oven engineered by Glenn Snader.
Official verification paperwork and video was put on its way to Guinness World Record headquarters in London.
A crowd estimated at better than 2,500 formed a ring around the tent that housed the oven and bun at Union Point Park. They cheered loudly as the weight was announced, increasing with the unloading of each tub of barbecue and slaw by a 30-member Bun Crew.
Moore helped smooth the toppings, using a paddle that was about the size of a boat oar.
After the huge sandwich was weighed, the crew began to shovel the ingredients into plates and served portions to everyone in the crowd. Linda Staunch of the New Bern 300th team said 2,000 plates were available and all were used, with hundreds more getting their serving on napkins.
The first people served were military members of the Navy and Marines.
“They serve us every day, so it’s my turn to serve them,” Moore said later.
Gov. Bev Perdue of New Bern was on hand, congratulating Moore with providing a free lunch for the town and making this a great Independence Day in New Bern.
She then pitched in and helped serve trays to the servicemen and later to people in the crowd.
Hector Torres moved to New Bern three months ago from New York and as he finished his barbecue plate, he said Sunday’s event was just another in a series of pleasant experiences he has had in his short time in town.
“It is a wonderful place,” he said. “The people here are so nice, friendly and polite.”
Betty Thomas, who handled the marketing for the world record, said the criteria included that Moore make a sandwich which weighed more than 1,000 pounds and that it be edible.
The bun-making included using 561 pounds of dough made up of 350 pounds of flour, 10 gallons of milk and 17 gallons of water. The 1,015-pound bun cooked for six and a half hours at 300 degrees.
Crews added more than 300 pounds of barbecue and slaw to complete the record sandwich.
Jay Phillips and his daughter Leanne were among the huge throng that surrounded the oven area.
“This is awesome,” he said. “We know Tommy and he’s a first-class guy.”
Moore paid for all the expenses involved in the project, but dedicated the effort to the city of New Bern.
“As I’ve said before, it’s not so much about the brick and mortar that make up the city. It’s about the people,” he said while mingling through the crowd shaking hands and posing for photos. “And the city has the finest people around. Look at all these people who came out to support us today. They are the proof in the pudding of what a great city we have.”
Moore has spent considerable time on the project in recent months, but he won’t be taking today off.
“Oh no, I’ve got to get the oven out of the park and take it to the restaurant,” he said. He plans to leave it on display at his restaurant on U.S. 17.
When Reggie Griffin of New Bern got his plate he had a one-word reaction: “Fantastic.”
“This is an international event, and it’s a great day not only for New Bern and the 300th, but all of Eastern North Carolina,” he added.
Worlds Largest Open Sandwich set world Record 2010 Video.