Hilda Baci, a 26-year-old Nigerian chef, has achieved a remarkable feat by breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon (individual), clocking in at an astounding 93 hours and 11 minutes. Her incredible achievement surpassed the previous record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set in 2019. Hilda’s relentless dedication and passion for Nigerian cuisine propelled her to push her limits and inspire young African women to pursue their dreams.
The record-breaking marathon took place from May 11th to May 15th, during which Hilda cooked over 100 pots of food. Though her initial target was 100 hours, a minor mistake in accounting for rest breaks resulted in a deduction of almost seven hours from her final total. As per the rules, participants are allowed a five-minute rest break for every continuous hour of activity. These breaks can be accumulated and utilized for bathroom breaks or short naps.
Preparedness was key for Hilda’s success. She meticulously crafted a 35-item menu as a guide for her marathon, ensuring she had all the necessary ingredients for each recipe. Her team also procured additional food items during the event based on real-time needs. The social media world was captivated by Hilda’s incredible feat, with millions of people from Nigeria and beyond following her progress via an Instagram live stream. Such was the immense popularity of her cook-a-thon that the official website crashed for two days due to an overwhelming volume of traffic.
Several prominent Nigerian figures, including Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and singer Tiwa Savage, visited Hilda to lend their support during her record attempt. Hilda’s passion for her craft and commitment to making a positive impact were evident in her decision to make the event free and serve freshly cooked meals to members of the public. All leftover food was donated to the Festus Fajemilo Foundation, an admirable gesture to help the less privileged.
Hilda’s journey to becoming a culinary sensation began after graduating from Madonna University with a degree in sociology. Inspired by her mother, Lynda Ndukwe, who is also a chef, Hilda quickly rose to prominence. In 2020, she hosted the television show “Dine on a Budget,” followed by a resounding victory in the Jollof Face-off competition in 2021, where she triumphed over Ghana’s Leslie Kumordzie, representing Nigeria with her culinary prowess.
Now, in 2023, Hilda Baci has officially secured her place in the Guinness World Records, solidifying her status as a culinary trailblazer. Her achievement not only highlights her remarkable endurance but also puts Nigerian cuisine on the global map. Congratulations, Hilda, on your remarkable accomplishment!