Hilda Baci, a Nigerian chef also known as Hilda Effiong Bassey, has officially set a new Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon (individual) by cooking non-stop for 93 hours 11 minutes.
She surpassed the previous record of 87 hours 45 minutes held by Lata Tondon from India since 2019.
Hilda Baci started her cooking challenge on Thursday, May 11 and finished on Monday, May 15, preparing more than 100 pots of food in four days.
The 26-year-old chef aimed to cook for 100 hours, but almost seven hours were deducted from her final time because she accidentally took extra minutes for one of her rest breaks at the beginning of the attempt.
She had to follow several rules during her record-breaking cook-a-thon:
- She had to cook or prepare at least two items at any given time
- She could have a sous-chef to help her with prep work, washing up, and cleaning the kitchen area, but she had to do all the cooking by herself
- She had to make sure that all the food was consumed after cooking. She invited anyone from the Nigerian public to come and enjoy her freshly cooked meals. All the remaining food was donated to the Festus Fajemilo Foundation.
She was allowed to take a five-minute rest break for every hour of continuous cooking. She could accumulate these rest breaks if she did not use them.
These were the only times she could go to the bathroom or sleep during the attempt.
She said she wanted to break this record to “put Nigerian cuisine on the map” and “to inspire young African women to chase their dreams.”
“I also decided to break this record to truly push my limits and test my abilities,” she added.
Hilda prepared for the event by creating a 35-item menu “as a guide” for every meal that she would cook.
She made sure that she had all the ingredients she needed for each recipe, and her team got more food items while the cook-a-thon was going on “based on what was needed to be topped up.”
Hilda’s record attempt became a viral sensation on social media, with millions of people in Nigeria and around the world following her progress via an Instagram live stream.
Hilda’s cook-a-thon was so popular that the Guinness World Records website crashed for two days because of the huge amount of traffic it received from her fans.
Several famous Nigerian figures visited Hilda to support her during her record attempt, such as Professor Yemi Osinbajo, then Vice President of Nigeria; Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, then Governor of Lagos State; and Tiwa Savage, an award-winning singer.
Hilda graduated from Madonna University, Nigeria, with a degree in Sociology. She decided to pursue her culinary career after being inspired by her mother, Lynda Ndukwe, who is also a chef.
Hilda achieved success after success, hosting a television show called Dine on a Budget in 2020, before winning the Jollof Face-off competition in 2021.
Representing Nigeria, Hilda beat Leslie Kumordzie from Ghana to claim victory.