Hilda Bassey, also known as Hilda Baci, has officially secured a remarkable achievement. Guinness World Records (GWR) has confirmed her as the new record holder for the longest cooking marathon by an individual. Following a thorough evaluation of the evidence, GWR stated that Hilda Baci successfully completed the cooking marathon, clocking in at an impressive time of 93 hours and 11 minutes. This announcement comes a month after Hilda’s extraordinary culinary endeavor.
During the waiting period, another Nigerian chef named Damilola Adeparusi from Ekiti State announced her own ambitious cook-a-thon, aiming for a staggering 120 hours. However, her attempt has received both praise and criticism.
GWR clarified that Hilda initially aimed for a record of 100 hours but had approximately seven hours deducted from her final total due to mistakenly taking extra minutes for one of her rest breaks early on in the attempt. The rules for such records allow participants a five-minute rest break for every continuous hour of activity. These breaks can be accumulated if not taken, serving as the only times Hilda could use the bathroom or rest during her endeavor.
The previous record of 87 hours and 45 minutes was set by Lata Tondon, an Indian chef, in 2019.
Hilda pursued this record-breaking feat with a mission to elevate Nigerian cuisine and inspire young African women to pursue their dreams. She also wanted to test her own limits and push herself to new heights.
To prepare for the event, Hilda created a comprehensive 35-item menu as a guide for each meal she would cook. Her team ensured the availability of all the necessary ingredients for every recipe, procuring additional food items as needed during the cook-a-thon.
Hilda’s record attempt captivated social media, with millions of people in Nigeria and beyond closely following her progress through a live stream on Instagram. The immense popularity of her cook-a-thon caused the GWR website to crash for two days due to the unprecedented volume of traffic.
Throughout her record-breaking journey, Hilda received support from prominent figures in Nigeria, including then President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and award-winning singer Tiwa Savage.
GWR highlighted Hilda’s educational background, having graduated with a sociology degree from Madonna University in Nigeria. She embarked on her culinary career, inspired by her mother, Lynda Ndukwe, who is also a chef. Hilda’s success continued to soar as she hosted the television show “Dine on a Budget” in 2020 and emerged victorious in the Jollof Face-off competition in 2021, representing Nigeria and defeating Ghana’s Leslie Kumordzie.
Now, in 2023, Hilda officially holds a Guinness World Records title. Congratulations, Hilda!