FLASHBACK: Nothing About Being A Chef Is Small – Hilda Bacci

"There is nothing about cooking that is small. There is nothing about being a chef that is small. Whether you are a female chef or a male chef, you need to own it."

Hilda Baci at the venue of the cook-a-thon, Amore Gardens in Lekki, Lagos State


Nigerian chef Hilda Baci has urged aspiring chefs not to be belittled in believing that starting up a career as a chef is miniature.

Baci had set the goal a long time even before the boisterous crowd cheered her on to a historic cook-a-ton in Nigeria’s bustling commercial city.

Prior to embarking on this lofty goal, the Guinness World record holder Lata Tondon cooked for 87 hours and 45 minutes in the Indian city of Rewa.

But for four days at the Amore Gardens in Lekki, Bacci broke the record on Monday and reached the 96-hour mark at 4:00 pm on the same day. However, the Guinness World Records body said it was still reviewing her feat.

Baci had told Channels Television’s Rubbin’ Minds on March 14, two months before she became a national sensation that one of the reasons she embarked on the cook-a-thon was to prove that the art of cooking is not mediocre.

“I feel like now in this space that we are, we need to be more proud and vocal about what we are doing. There is nothing about cooking that is small. There is nothing about being a chef that is small. Whether you are a female chef or a male chef, you need to own it.

“There is enough space in the sky for us all to fly. You need to be loud and proud about it. You need to let people know that what you are doing is not small, even if one million people are doing it, there is something special about you and there is a difference,” she stated.

Baci who was formerly the host of “Dine on A Budget” for a Tv station said that cooking was something that she has always been engaged with even while she was a show host.

“I still hosted cooking segments on my breakfast show. Despite the fact that I had the talent and capacity to be a presenter, the part of me that is the cook and chef didn’t go away, so I just married but of them together. Along the line, I transitioned into full-time cooking,” she said.

The celebrity chef stated that she had wanted her lifestyle to be classy but had to realize that there is profit in utilizing her culinary skills.

She added that motherly figures groom their children how to cook for sustaining the home without showing them the possibility of earning a living from it as a skill.

“I saw my mother make money from cooking. My mother trained us in her cooking business. Somewhere along the line, I also saw that there is money in this thing (cooking) while I was at it,” she said.

She lamented that newbies in the cooking business do not grow properly due to the sentiments attached when leveraging on price and cost.

“It is important to understand that you are in the business to make money. People are so scared to let their clients know that I am cooking for them and I have to be paid, I have to make a profit from this. So, they are just trying to cook and that is not how it works.

“You are not doing them a favour and they are not doing you a favour. You are providing a service. Just as a presenter or a doctor or a lawyer needs to get paid, you also need to get paid,” she added.