In a sizzling culinary showdown, Hilda Effiong Bassey, AKA Hilda Baci spiced up the Guinness World Records by shattering the record for the longest cooking marathon. The 26-year-old Nigerian chef, driven by her passion for putting Nigerian cuisine on the global map, cooked up a storm for a remarkable 93 hours and 11 minutes, breaking the previous record held by an Indian.
- Previously, the record was held by an Indian chef Lata Tondon, who cooked for 87 hours and 45 minutes uninterrupted.
A fiery cooking marathon
- Armed with determination and a few pots and pans, Hilda embarked on her cooking marathon on May 11. She left the kitchen only after four gruelling days; on May 15.
- During her marathon, she whipped up over 100 mouthwatering pots of food, impressing both her taste buds and the world.
- Hilda initially looked to conquer the 100-hour mark. Alas, a few long work breaks cost her a century. Hilda would have learnt the importance of keeping a watchful eye on the clock after nearly seven hours were deducted from her final total.
Cooking to inspire
- Beyond the personal challenge, Hilda set out on this epic cooking adventure to inspire young African women to pursue their dreams.
- With her culinary talents on full display, she wanted to showcase the rich flavours of Nigerian cuisine to the world.
- Breaking the record was just the icing on the cake for her ambitions.
- Inspired by her mother, Lynda Ndukwe, who is also a chef, Hilda rose to fame by hosting the popular television show Dine on a Budget in 2020.
A menu marathon
- Hilda meticulously prepared a 35-item menu and planned every meal to perfection with her team, ensuring the availability of all necessary ingredients, and restocking whenever required.
- Hilda skillfully cooked at least two items simultaneously. While a sous chef was permitted to assist, Hilda handled all the cooking herself, showcasing her culinary prowess and multitasking abilities.
- The Nigerian public flocked to the site to taste food like egusi soup, and jollof rice that she kept on cooking. The leftovers were donated to a foundation.
From kitchen to stardom
- Hilda received visits from several notable figures, including the Nigerian Vice-President, Kashim Shettima.
- The world followed her progress through an Instagram live stream, and the crazy fans caused the Guinness World Records website to crash for two days.