Nigerian Chef Hilda Bassey has broken the Guinness World Record for the “longest cooking marathon by an individual”. The challenge which began on Thursday has united Nigerians as entrepreneurs, and celebrities, across tribes, have been rooting for her on-site and online.
Hilda plans to create a new world record by adding 9 extra hours to Indian Chef Lata Tandon’s record of 87 hours and 45 minutes, the current holder of the title.
As the crowds keep cheering her on towards the finish line, here are 7 things you probably didn’t know about Hilda and her cook-a-thon.
She learnt how to cook from the owner of Calabar Pot
Hilda who is a graduate of Sociology from Madonna University, Okija is the CEO and head chef of Myfoodbyhilda. She reportedly learnt how to cook her delicious and healthy meals from her mother, who owns a food brand called “Calabar Pot.” Situated in Abuja, Calabar Pot runs indoor and outdoor catering services based in Abuja.
Hilda lost 20kg in preparation for her cook-a-thon
Speaking ahead of the cook-a-thon, Hilda hinted that she lost 20+kg and made a lifestyle change to enable her to be fit for this challenge. She said, “There is a saying that the distance between our dreams and reality is our actions. Five years ago, I had a dream and I have decided to take steps to make my dream a reality.”
Hilda who revealed that she is putting her skills and will to the test, said “I am determined to break this record and I know that with your support I will most certainly come out victorious.”
Hilda Baci has not slept for the past four nights
Hilda’s cook-a-thon is scheduled for four days. It was initially supposed to commence on the 28th of April to the 1st of May, 2023 before it was postponed to the 11th of May, 2023 to the 15th of May, 2023. Part of the rules includes that Hilda cooks round the clock. That means no sleep because she is cooking from morning, afternoon, evening and night.
Reports say Hilda has just 5 minutes to rest per hour, which she spends in a medical van close by. In the van, she can get a medical assessment from the medical team available at the venue of the event.
Hilda Baci has been standing for over 90 hours
The Nigerian entrepreneur who is setting a new record for the “longest cooking marathon by an individual” is not allowed to sit while cooking. The rule of the challenge is that Hilda must prepare all the meals standing. She is not allowed to take coffee, stimulants, or any energy drink to boost her energy while cooking.
This means that Hilda who has not had a good sleep in four days has also been standing for over 90 hours without any stimulants. Interestingly, she has been cooking different meals and sharing them with the people at the venue without any cost.
Hilda cook-a-thon is to tell some positive stories about Africa
Looking at the sacrifice put into this challenge, almost everyone will love to know what inspired Hilda to pursue this great feat. Providing answers to why she embarked on the task, Hilda said “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. 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.”
The Nigerian chef also hinted that the challenge also spotlights the strength young people can exhibit with the right platform and support. So, while Hilda is setting a new record, she is also giving Africa a better representation on the global front.
She provided over 3000 meals to less privileged communities during covid
As much as Hilda is trying to build a new cooking record, it is also important to state that she is also doing service to humanity. Hilda who has cooked over 115 meals so far with more than 3,000 portions is giving free food to guests and wellwishers.
However, this act of service is not relatively new to her, because reports say she provided over 3,000 meals to less privileged communities for social impact. Also, Hilda has trained over 2,500 students in the culinary arts, giving prizes and incentives to the best-performing students.
She acted in Dream Chaser
Another interesting thing about Hilda is her acting prowess. She featured in Dream Chaser, which was nominated for Best Movie at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA). She is also described as a TV presenter who once hosted “In My Kitchen” on Rave TV’s breakfast show and “Dine on A Budget” on Pop Central TV.