Guinness World Records officially awards Nigerian chef Hilda Bassey for world’s longest cooking marathon

Francis Akhalbey June 14, 2023
Nigerian chef Hilda Bassey officially holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest cooking marathon -- Photo Credit: Guinness World Record

Guinness World Records has officially awarded Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey, the record for the longest cooking marathon (individual) after attaining a time of 93 hours 11 minutes. 

The chef, who is also known as Hilda Baci, went viral across social media in May when she attempted to break the record that India’s Lata Tondon previously held. The Indian set the initial record of 87 hours 45 minutes in 2019.

The 26-year-old chef spent four (May 11 to May 15) days in the kitchen preparing over 100 pots of food, the organization said on Tuesday. Hilda’s initial target was to set a 100-hour cooking record, but Guinness World Records subtracted almost seven hours from her time because “she mistakenly took extra minutes for one of her rest breaks early on in the attempt.”

The organization explained that participants in such marathons are allowed to take five-minute rest breaks for every hour of uninterrupted cooking. Those rest breaks were the only periods Hilda could use the bathroom or sleep during the cooking marathon. However, a participant can accumulate the rest break time if preferred.

Hilda shared that she embarked on the record-breaking challenge because she wanted to “put Nigerian cuisine on the map” and also “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.

The chef received support from millions of Nigerians and other people during her cook-a-thon, with Guinness World Records reporting that its website even crashed for two days due to the “immense volume of traffic” they received from her fans.

The Nigerian chef was eventually awarded the record after she met specific requirements, including cooking or preparing at least two items at any time and having people consume all the meals she made. Though a sous chef was also allowed to help her, all the cooking was supposed to be done by her. 

“My team’s and my goal for this event was to make it free to all and to feed the less privileged,” Hilda said.

She also expressed her gratitude to Nigerians for their support in an interview with CNN. “I also want to thank Nigerians. They are so awesome. The support was so great. We really did something amazing,” Hilda said.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: June 14, 2023


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