David Burmeister is bound and determined to make the longest pasta noodle in the history of the world. Burmeister, a Springfield, Ill., native who owns Mangia Italiano restaurant in St. Louis, tried in November to make a piece of spaghetti that was more than two miles long. But it rained that day, putting an end to the outdoor project after only 4,750 feet of noodle was concocted.
David Burmeister is bound and determined to make the longest pasta noodle in the history of the world.
Burmeister, a Springfield, Ill., native who owns Mangia Italiano restaurant in St. Louis, tried in November to make a piece of spaghetti that was more than two miles long. But it rained that day, putting an end to the outdoor project after only 4,750 feet of noodle was concocted.
“I had a machine on a wagon with a 110-amp generator and pulled it around a 250-foot track,” said Burmeister, 34. In St. Louis’ Tower Grove Park, he was trying to shatter the Guinness World Record for the longest noodle, which is 11,000 feet.
“I’m a pasta maker and there was a record to beat,” he said.
Mangia Italiano, 3145 South Grand Blvd. in St. Louis, (www.dineatmangia.com) isn’t just an Italian restaurant. The company also produces more than 1,000 pounds of fresh pasta per week, which is sold to restaurants and grocery stores (such as Whole Foods and Dierbergs) throughout the St. Louis area.
Burmeister got his start in the restaurant business at a young age, when venerable Springfield restaurateur George Baur hired him as a busboy at age 14.
“George and David had an interesting rapport,” said Joan Burmeister, David’s mom and the first female server hired at Baur’s restaurant.
“George suggested I bring David in as a busboy once a week. I think David went beyond expectations and before you knew it he was working full time,” said Joan, now a Springfield artist who also worked as a cocktail waitress at the old Southern Air restaurant.
After high school, David moved to St. Louis to attend Webster University. A drummer, he earned a degree in jazz performance and then started working in St. Louis-area restaurants. He bought Mangia Italiano — where he was a regular customer — when he was 25.
“He was the kind of kid who, when he wanted something, he went after it,” said David’s mom.
Joan Burmeister, who admits to being a “terrible cook,” said the family ate in a lot of restaurants. When David visits his parents in Springfield — his dad Chuck is retired from a job in lake management – he often cooks for them.
David, a married father of two, advises young people seeking a career in restaurants to “learn Spanish, not French, work in a restaurant before you go to school and learn how to sweep a floor and clean out drains. Most of all, I recommend getting a job washing dishes at Olive Garden. It’s better than a degree in restaurant management.”
His plans for looping the world’s longest noodle around the track of a St. Louis park is on hold for the winter. But come spring, he says he’s going to try again.
“I intend to accomplish it, as long as the weather cooperates.”
State Journal-Register food editor Kathryn Rem can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is the opinion of the writer and not of the newspaper.