Nigeria has stood still for a young woman taking the world by storm for the past four days. Nigerian chef Hilda Effiong Bassey, known as Hilda Baci, has surpassed the current Guinness World Record for the "longest cooking marathon by an individual."
With an impressive time of 87 hours and 50 minutes and still going, she is set to surpass the record held by Indian chef Lata Tondon. Hilda began her cooking marathon on Thursday and achieved the milestone Monday morning at Amore Gardens in Lekki, Lagos State. Despite fatigue, Hilda received immense support from Nigerians, including celebrities, who braved the rain to cheer her on. If officially certified by the Guinness World Records, Hilda will secure her place as the new record holder, solidifying her culinary prowess.
But Who Exactly Is Hilda?
Meet Hilda Bassey Effiong, a talented young chef from Nsit Ubium LGA in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. She is the proud owner of "My Food by Hilda," a renowned food brand in Lagos. Currently, Hilda is embarking on an extraordinary culinary endeavor pushing her limits.
She is a Nigerian actress and TV presenter, born on September 20, 1996, with a deep connection to her Nigerian heritage. Hailing from Akwa Ibom State, she carries her roots proudly and gracefully. From a young age, Hilda's passion for culinary arts drove her to embark on a journey of culinary education inspired by her mother's expertise. Her unique flair in the kitchen set her apart, and she became a master in the culinary world.
While pursuing her academic interests, Hilda recognized her true calling in the culinary industry. With a degree in Sociology from Madonna University, she expanded her understanding of society and culture, complementing her culinary talents with a holistic education. Balancing her academic pursuits with her culinary aspirations, Hilda has transformed her love for cooking into a vibrant career, captivating palates and hearts with her culinary creations.
For four consecutive days, Hilda has been cooking non-stop, showcasing her culinary prowess and unwavering dedication. She cannot sit while preparing her delicious dishes for the entire duration. Instead, she must stand, demonstrating her commitment to her craft.
During this challenging task, Hilda is prohibited from consuming coffee, stimulants, or energy drinks to maintain her energy and strength. However, she can replenish herself with food, water, fruit juice, and glucose to sustain her stamina.
Hilda's cooking marathon operates round the clock, with no time for sleep. From morning to evening, and even through the night, she tirelessly cooks without a moment of rest. That means she will forego sleep for four consecutive nights.
Although her schedule is intense, Hilda is allowed a brief respite of just five minutes per hour. This means that she is allotted only one hour every twelve hours for rest and breaks. There are also reports suggesting that she receives a 30-minute break every six hours. During this break, she can seek reprieve in a nearby medical van, where she can nap, use the restroom, and receive medical attention from the available medical team.
While Hilda undertakes this extraordinary challenge, she generously shares every meal she cooks with the attendees at the venue, offering her creations for free. Her mission is not to sell food but to provide a gastronomic experience for all who witness her exceptional feat.
Hilda's culinary skills shine as she simultaneously prepares various meals without restrictions. The World Record she aims to break is not tied to the specific dishes she cooks but rather the impressive time frame in which she completes them. As long as she continuously cooks, she remains on track toward her ambitious goal.
Every dish she prepares and serves is meticulously recorded. As of now, Hilda has already cooked over 115 meals, creating nearly 3,000 portions or even more by the time you read this. She embarked on her culinary journey on Thursday and aims to complete her target time frame by the evening of Monday, May 15, 2023.
The current record holder she seeks to surpass is Indian chef Lata Tandon, who achieved a Guinness World Record by cooking non-stop for 87 hours and 45 minutes in 2019. To break this record, Hilda is attempting an astonishing 96-hour cooking marathon, dedicating an additional 9 hours to become the first person ever to spend such an incredible amount of time continuously cooking.
Though she may appear exhausted, the unwavering support and cheers from those around her fuel her determination. Her supporters stand by her side daily and night as she cooks non-stop.
As additional support, Uber, one of her partners, is offering a generous 40% discount on rides to the venue for anyone who wishes to join and cheer Hilda on throughout her remarkable journey.
It's worth mentioning that Hilda's mother, a skilled cook, has been a constant source of inspiration for her. She passed down her culinary techniques and ignited Hilda's love for cooking. Hilda aims to honor her mother's legacy through her cooking marathon and showcase the power of passion and perseverance.
Hilda's journey to break the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon is a personal achievement and a representation of young people's strength and talent. She hopes to inspire others, especially the youth, to pursue their dreams relentlessly and push the boundaries of what is possible.
As Hilda Baci continues her incredible cooking marathon, her determination, skill, and endurance shine brightly. She embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and inspires aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs in Nigeria and beyond. The world eagerly awaits the outcome of her ambitious endeavor and celebrates her for the remarkable feat she is attempting.