(October 4, 2011, East Lansing, Michigan)  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 Friday evening, September 30, and indeed fulfilled the Guinness Book of World Records requirements.

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

Originally planned to coincide with the “Izzone campout,” where thousands of students camp out to garner a coveted spot in the Izzone at MSU basketball games, the record break attempt was moved indoors to nearby Dem Hall when inclement weather cancelled the campout.

Using only MSU ingredients, the line contained 150 pounds of beef, 35 pounds of cheese, and 50 pounds of pico de gallo.  The State News on Monday, October 3 quoted Nate, who said, “We made the tortillas in Brody.  The beef is a special project between MSU and Michigan Beef Producers.  The cheese is from the MSU Dairy Store.  And the pico de gallo is 100 percent from the Student Organic Farm.”

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 sixty volunteers.  The project covered nearly the whole length of Dem Hall, which served for years as MSU’s ice hockey rink.

The State News article explained the Guinness Book of World Records logistics: “. . . culinary officials were required to record an exact measurement of the taco line.  In addition, a video had to be taken of the line-up and each individual taco had to be counted and documented.  Several witnesses and MSU workers also were required to fill out forms documenting Friday’s 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.”

And who can resist a free meal with fresh ingredients, all from the State of Michigan and MSU’s campus?  Certainly not the students who enjoyed breaking – and then eating – the world record taco line!