Orenburg residents have prepared a 1,841-kilogram Olivier salad — the heaviest on record — at an event to mark the salad's 150th anniversary.
The salad was only supposed to weigh 1,743 kilograms to symbolize the founding date of Orenburg. But with dozens of local chefs, politicians, businessmen, celebrities and athletes all uniting their efforts at Sunday's event, the salad outshone organizers' expectations, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.
Among the cooks were celebrated artist Valentina Talyzina, retired cosmonaut Georgy Grechko, poet Viktor Pelenyagre and top restaurant critic Oleg Nazarov.
"A very delicious salad, and properly made. Last year, we didn't register a similar record in Stavropol because more than half of that salad was mayonnaise," Vlad Kopylov, general director of Interrecord, an international agency for registering records, told the newspaper.
The first portion of the salad was sold at a charity auction for 50,000 rubles ($1,600), with the money going to kids at the Buguruslansky children's home.
The rest was dished out to Orenburg residents to taste, and a portion was sent by express mail to the authors and actors of the movie "The Irony of Fate" — Eldar Ryazonov, Barbara Brylska, Andrei Myagkov.
Previous records for Olivier salad were set in Syktyvkar (1,007 kilograms) in 2009 and in Pavlodar (1,500 kilograms) in 2010.
Belgian chef Lucien Olivier is credited with inventing the salad in the 1860s during his tenure at the Hermitage, a popular Moscow restaurant. Throughout the world, the dish is often called Russian salad.