Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci, made a historic feat on Monday when she broke the Guinness World Records for the longest cooking time by an individual.
As of 11:22 am on Monday, Baci has cooked for 91 hours and 21 minutes to surpass the previous record set by an Indian chef, Lata Tondon in 2019. The previous titleholder cooked for 87 hours, 45 minutes, and 00 secs.
Baci started her four-day cooking marathon challenge on May 11 at the Amore Gardens.
The 27-year-old will keep cooking to extend the record till the 96th hour.
On why she embarked on the challenge, Baci said it is one of her biggest aspirations, adding that it is also an opportunity to tell some positive stories from Africa through the meals that we eat.
“The journey to the cook-a-thon started five years ago. It is one of my biggest aspirations and I am glad that I took the bold step to embark on this adventure. I have taken time to prepare for this psychologically and I am proud to finally take on this challenge.
“The cook-a-thon is also an opportunity to tell some of the positive stories that come from Africa through the meals that we make.
“This attempt is also proof of the strength young people can exhibit with the right platform and support. I look forward to receiving support from people across the world to achieve this feat,” she said.
Her quest to make history has generated so much buzz among Nigerians who are still rallying support for her both on social media and at the venue of the cook-a-thon, Amore Gardens in Lekki, Lagos State.
Already, congratulations have started pouring in for the chef.
Many dignitaries including the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) have shown support for Baci’s quest and lauded her resilience and grit.
On Sunday, Sanwo-Olu visited the chef at the Amore Gardens in the Lekki area of the state and cheered her up. Also, the lead pastor of Harvesters International Christian Centre Lagos, Bolaji Idowu; and Actor Charles Okocha, amongst others visited the chef.
Baci Places Nigeria On Global Spotlight — Buhari
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commended the young chef for finding her way into the Guinness Book of Records and placing Nigeria on global spotlight.
In a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President lauded the young culinary expert for turning her talent and passion into a career, and for resilience, perseverance, and consistency in cooking.
“The President notes the antecedents of the restaurateur, who dazzled at the Jollof Face-off Competition, 2021, preparing mouth-watering dishes that won the choice prize, and settled an age-long rivalry with Ghana on which African country should own the trademark for cooking better jollof- rice,” the statement partly read.
“President Buhari believes Hilda Baci’s drive and ambition have brought more interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food, as another cultural icon, with huge tourism benefits, hoping more young people will follow in her footsteps.
“The President thanks the sponsors of Hilda Baci Cook-a-thon, government officials, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, celebrities from the bubbling music and movie industry, and fans of the chef for all the support that has brought glory to the country.
“President Buhari wishes Hilda Baci more grace for a prosperous career.”
Nigerians Capable Of Excelling In Any Endeavour — Lawan
Similarly, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said Baci’s feat is a reminder to the entire world that Nigerians are talented and capable of excelling in any endeavour .
“I celebrate Hilda Baci for breaking the Guinness World record in ‘longest cooking time.’
“You have made us proud by again showing to the entire world that we have all it takes to excel in any task we set our hands-on,” Lawan said in a statement by his spokesman, Ola Awoniyi.