Guinness World Records (GWR) has confirmed Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey aka Hilda Baci as the new record holder for longest cooking marathon by an individual.
“Following a thorough review of all the evidence, Guinness World Records can now confirm that Hilda Effiong Bassey, better known as Hilda Baci, has officially broken the record for the longest cooking marathon (individual), with a time of 93 hours 11 minutes,” GWR said in a statement released on Tuesday, one month after Baci’s adventurous cooking.
During her waiting period, another Nigerian chef based in Ekiti State, Damilola Adeparusi, announced a 120-hour cook-a-thon but her attempt has been met with a mixture of applause and criticisms.
According to GWR, Baci attempted to set a record of 100 hours, however, almost seven hours were deducted from her final total because she mistakenly took extra minutes for one of her rest breaks early on in the attempt.
“As with all ‘longest marathon’ records, the participant is permitted a five-minute rest break for every continuous hour of activity. These rest breaks can be accumulated if not taken. They were the only times Hilda could use the bathroom or sleep during the attempt,” the statement partly read,
The previous record of 87 hours 45 minutes was set by India-based chef, Lata Tondon in 2019.
Hilda attempted 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 ensured that she had the necessary ingredients to make each recipe, with her team procuring further food items while the cook-a-thon was underway “based on what was needed to be topped up.”
Hilda’s record attempt took the world of social media by storm, with millions in Nigeria and beyond following her progress via an Instagram live stream.
GWR stated that Baci’s cook-a-thon was so popular that its website crashed for two days due to the unprecedented volume of traffic.
Several high-profile Nigerian figures visited Hilda to support her during her record attempt, such as then President Muhammadu Buhari. then Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu; and award-winning singer Tiwa Savage.
GWR added, “After graduating from Madonna University, Nigeria, with a degree in sociology, Hilda decided to embark on her culinary career. She was inspired by her mother, Lynda Ndukwe, who is also a chef.
“Hilda went from success to success, hosting television show Dine on a Budget in 2020, before winning the Jollof Face-off competition in 2021. Representing her native Nigeria, Hilda beat Ghana’s Leslie Kumordzie to claim the victory.
“Now, in 2023, she is officially a Guinness World Records title holder. Congratulations, Hilda!”