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Roti to enter Guinness Book of World Records

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Saturday, August 1, 2009
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Trinidadian Ronnie Ramsawak, now resident in Canada, may have created, in one day, six world records, including one for the biggest roti.

Known as Mr Roti Roti, Ramsawak is now working

Trinidadian Ronnie Ramsawak, now resident in Canada, may have created, in one day, six world records, including one for the biggest roti.

Known as Mr Roti Roti, Ramsawak is now working towards registering his achievement in the Guinness Book of World records.

Ramsawak and his wife Marisha, originally from Gasparillo, South Trinidad, are the owners of Roti Roti restaurant at Albion Road and Islington Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. On July 18, the Ramsawaks, who have been serving hot, fresh roti and doubles since 1994, staged the third annual Fusion of Taste at the restaurant.
Fusion of Taste is a street festival designed to promote Trinidad and Tobago’s culture and cuisine, Ramsawak explained in a telephone interview.

A member of the Etobicoke Business Improvement Association, Ramsawak, who sits on the entertainment committee, explained that each year they explore new ways to promote the area and attract more visitors. Funds raised from the event are donated to the Canadian-based Caribbean Children Foundation, which assists children who are in need of life-saving operations. It was during a brainstorming session for the festival that they struck upon the idea to make the biggest ever paratha (buss up shot), which measured seven feet in diameter, dhalpuri, approximately 54 inches and, doubles, 21 inches in diameter.

In setting out to achieve this goal, Ramsawak said he and his group, including Mrs Roti Roti, Marisha Ramsawak, Nas Gaffoor (head roti maker), Mike Gaffoor, Tenney Ramkeessoon, Ron Palloo, Ramlal Rampaul, Chandra Ramkeesoon and Paul Bhangal, also had to make the world largest tawa (roti grill), belnah (rolling pin) and dablas (wooden spatulas/paddles to turn the big roti. “We contacted the people from the Guinness Book of World Records, but they told us that the request was made too late in the year. “They explained they receive over 70,000 applications per year from people who want to create or break a world record. Plus, if we wanted them to come, we would have had to bear the full cost of their travel and accommodation, so the cost was too prohibitive for us.”

Nevertheless, Ramsawak added, they were told that once it was properly certified, they could send the package to Guinness for their viewing and acceptance. “We had on hand to certify the records, councillor for the area Susan Hall, as well as prominent West Indian lawyer Dhaman Kissoon of Dhaman Kissoon and Associate. So we are presently preparing the package to send to them (Guinness),” Ramsawak said.

“Michael Lashley of the T&T Consulate in Toronto was also here, but had to leave early, pending the visit of a delegation from the Ministry of Information,” he added. “The support was really great, we had local calypsonians, including Foreigner, who composed a special song called Do the Roti Dance, for the event.” Excited about getting into the book of world records, Ramsawak said if this is achieved, “I may be the only person in Canada or T&T to have created six world records in one day.”

The Big Roti Records team

Ronnie Ramsawak (Mr Roti Roti)
Marisha Ramsawak (Mrs Roti Roti)
Nas Gaffoor (head roti maker)
Mike Gaffoor
Tenney Ramkeessoon
Ron Palloo
Ramlal Rampaul
Chandra Ramkeesoon
Paul Bhangal