Sunday, 25 October 2015

World’s largest doner gets roasted in Dubai

Last week saw a successful attempt for the largest doner meat in Dubai - a first for food related record breaking, which I was fortunate enough to attend.

Although Guinness World Records™ holds records for the largest kebab and longest skewers of kebabs, this was the first attempt at the largest ever doner verified by GWR.

This record attempt was no easy feat from the onset, with months spent in preparation at the Doner Restaurant on Jumeirah Beach Road in order to produce a spit roast able to facilitate the meat that could weigh up to 600kg.

My mind boggled at the thought of what such a device would firstly look like and secondly how it could cook such a large piece of meat. To add to this already incredible feat, Dr Mohd Alsyoufi, who initiated the attempt for the restaurant, was also battling temperatures of up to 48 degrees. Never the less; he remained confident and undeterred with his team of staff having come too far to turn back.

Despite the unbearable heat, the attempt began on Friday 26 th August 2011 at 3pm. With chefs, volunteers and restaurant manager Noor Ghannam preparing the meat to be assembled onto the skewer for the spit roast, the anticipation was high to maintain a high standard throughout the attempt.

Both Mr Noor and Dr. Mohammed were cautious that this was a record attempt whereby no mistakes could be made as, with all food records, GWR encourages record breakers to distribute the food to limit the wastage. This being an important factor meant that the standard in which the meat was handled, cooked and distributed had to be high as well as ensuring real doner kebabs could be made using the meat from the record attempt

I was pleased to learn that the reason the restaurant's attempt came into fruition was due to the need to supply less fortunate individuals and families within Dubai with a decent meal after the breaking of fasting during Ramadan. With a touching ambition acting as the driving force behind this record attempt, it was clear to see why this record attempt held such importance amongst everyone involved in making it a success.

With a representative present from the Dubai Municipality for health and safety present, the meat was finally taken from the fridge and freezers where it had been left to marinate and then onto the skewer for the spit roast. I was on hand to ensure that the meat was being placed onto the skewer as it would ordinarily be placed on a standard sized doner spit roast, as well as witnessing the measurement of the skewer itself which was lifted using an industrial sized measuring crane. With this number noted down I could then subtract this amount from the total weight of the skewer and meat, enabling me to distinguish the total weight of the doner meat itself.

As the evening drew to a close and the final measurements were taken, the relief was noticeable as the temperatures had not let up and it was clear that the entire team was elated to have finally finished the unenviable task of assembling 468 kg of doner meat onto the skewer!

I was pleased to finally confirm and announce that the largest doner was 468kg in weight, 2.95 metres in height and 60 cm in width.

Congratulations to the entire team at the Doner Restaurant in Dubai for the hard work and success in achieving this brand new Guinness World Records title!

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