Nigerian chef Hilda Baci has become the new Guinness World Record Holder for “marathon cooking.” On May 11, Baci lit her burners at 4 p.m. Eastern Time and continued to cook constantly for 87 hours and 50 minutes. She finished her last dish on Monday.
According to the BBC, Hilda Effiong Bassey, aka Baci, prepared nearly 100 meals in an effort to break the record. If Baci wins, Lata Tondon, the current world record holder, will lose her title while her time is still being evaluated. The Indian chef’s total nonstop cooking time in 2019 was 87 hours and 45 minutes.
Baci held her culinary marathon in Lekki, Lagos State, in Amore Gardens. Despite the bad weather, many people, celebrities, and even government representatives turned out to support Baci as she tried to beat the record. On Sunday, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, attended the event.
“We are proud to have Hilda embarking on this journey in our state,” Sanwo-Olu said. “I will continue to follow the updates and look forward to the final declaration.”
According to the BBC, the 27-year-old chef intended to spend 96 hours in the kitchen but had to leave early due to the exhausting effort of managing the kitchen. Food from Baci’s native West Africa made up the majority of her marathon menu. Guests were offered a variety of rice and pasta meals, including jollof rice and akara, a well-known street food made from deep-fried mashed beans. While Baci was cooking, some aid was given. She was permitted to keep one aide nearby and take one hourly five-minute break.
The chef spoke with BBC News Pidgin before stepping into the kitchen. “This attempt is proof of the strength young people can exhibit with the right platform and support,” Baci said.
Baci is no stranger to taking the heat in the kitchen. In 2021 she pocketed $5,000, winning the first “Jollof Face Off Competition.”
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