Tue | Sep 26, 2023

Nigerian chef cooks non-stop for 100 hours to set new global record

Published:Thursday | May 18, 2023 | 12:27 AM
Chef Hilda Baci on her way to establishing a new Guinness World Record for the ‘longest cooking marathon’.
Chef Hilda Baci on her way to establishing a new Guinness World Record for the ‘longest cooking marathon’.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP):

A Nigerian chef on Monday set a new global record for the longest hours of non-stop cooking as she cooked for 100 hours, surpassing the current record.

Hilda Baci had been cooking since last Thursday, when she set out to beat the Guinness World Record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set in 2019 by Lata Tondon, an Indian chef.

At around 19:45 GMT on Monday, Baci cooked for the 100th hour in the Lekki area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, to become a national sensation in the West African nation. Thousands who gathered at the scene jubilated and sang her praises as she stopped cooking a few minutes after.

The Guinness World Records tweeted that it was aware of the chef’s attempt to break the cooking record. “We need to review all the evidence first before officially confirming a record,” the global brand said.

By attempting to beat the record, the Nigerian chef said on Thursday she wanted to show how hard-working and determined Nigerian youth are, and also as a campaign for young African women who are sidelined in society.

“Even when it comes to the brands you want to work with, it is like you have to go an extra mile to be taken seriously,” said Baci, adding that she hoped, too, that the world would learn more about Nigerian cuisines.

At 15:00 GMT on Thursday, she started to cook dozens of Nigerian delicacies under supervision, ranging from soups to stew and various proteins. Jollof rice, one of the most iconic West African dishes, also featured on the menu.

She has had only five-minute breaks every hour or an accumulated one hour after a stretch of 12 hours for everything else, from bathing to medical check-ups and resting.

As thousands of locals and celebrities cheered her on at the scene through day and night, many more monitored online via several streaming platforms.

After she surpassed the current cooking record, President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted that Monday was a great day for Nigeria. “Hilda’s drive, ambition and resilience have brought great interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food,” said Buhari.

As Baci neared the 100-hour mark, Kingsley Ofoma, at the scene, said he never doubted her to surpass the global record. “The energy here is very high and positive; everybody is having fun,” he said. “So eating her food free of charge is not even the best of it.”