Following a thorough review of all the evidence, Guinness World Records has now officially confirmed Hilda Effiong Bassey, better known as Hilda Baci, has broken the record for the longest cooking marathon (individual), with a time of 93 hours 11 minutes.
The 26-year-old Nigerian chef began on Thursday, 11 May and continued through to Monday, 15 May, cooking over 100 pots of food during her four-day kitchen stint in an attempt to set a record of 100 hours. However, after a rigorous review, The Guinness World Record has awarded her a time of 93 hours 11 minutes. Making her the official new record holder, having broken the previous record of 87 hours 45 minutes was set by Lata Tondon (India) in 2019
The GWR said: “Hilda was not awarded 100 hours because almost 7 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.”
Hilda said: “I attempted this record to put Nigerian cuisine on the map and inspire young African women to chase their dreams.”
“I also decided to break this record to push my limits and test my abilities truly,” she added.
The GWR holder also said: “I ensured that I had the necessary ingredients to make each recipe, with my 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.
“Hilda’s cook-a-thon was so popular that our website crashed for two days due to the immense volume of traffic we received from her legion of loyal fans.” GWR.
Several high-profile Nigerian figures visited Hilda to support her during her record attempt, such as the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu; and award-winning singer Tiwa Savage.
There must be at least two items being prepared or cooked at any time. A sous-chef is permitted to assist in prep work, washing up, and cleaning the kitchen area, but the individual attempting the record must do all the cooking.
One of the essential rules of our food-related record attempts is that all items must be consumed after cooking. To this end, Hilda invited all Nigerian public members to come and eat her freshly made meals. All leftover food was donated to the Festus Fajemilo Foundation.
My team’s goal for this event was to make it accessible to all and to feed the less privileged,” Hilda said.
According to Hilda, each pot she cooked was big enough to serve 30-35 people, and “appropriate stock control was conducted” to avoid food wastage.
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, also a chef.
Hilda went from success to success, hosting the 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.