Hilda Baci: Nigerian chef sets 100-hour cooking record

Thousands of people cheered her on both at the scene and online

Chef Hilda Baci. Photo: Hilda Baci / Twitter
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A Nigerian chef on Monday broke the record for the longest period of non-stop cooking as she cooked for nearly 100 hours.

Hilda Baci began cooking last Thursday, when she set out to beat the Guinness World Record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set in 2019 by Indian chef Lata Tondon.

By 3pm GMT on Monday, Ms Baci had cooked for more than 97 hours, having set up her stove in the Lekki area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub.

She has become a national sensation, with many at the scene and online cheering her on as she approached the 100-hour mark.

No one from Guinness World Records was present at the scene but the organisation tweeted it was aware of the chef's attempt to break the cooking record.

“We need to review all the evidence first before officially confirming a record,” the global brand said.

In attempting to beat the record, the Nigerian chef said on Thursday she wanted to show how hardworking and determined her country's youths are and also to campaign for young African women who are often sidelined in society.

“Even when it comes to the brands you want to work with, it is like you have to go an extra mile to be taken seriously,” said Ms Baci. She added that she hoped, too, that the world would learn more about Nigerian cuisine.

On Thursday, she started to cook dozens of Nigerian delicacies, from soups and stews to various proteins.

Jollof rice, one of the most famous West African dishes, also featured on the menu.

She had only five-minute breaks every hour or an accumulated one hour after a stretch of 12 hours to take care of medical and hygienic needs.

As thousands of locals and celebrities cheered her on at the scene throughout the days and nights, many more monitored her endeavours online via several streaming platforms.

After Ms Baci surpassed the previous cooking record, President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted that Monday was a great day for Nigeria.

“Hilda’s drive, ambition and resilience have brought great interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food,” said Mr Buhari.

As Ms Baci neared the 100-hour mark, Kingsley Ofoma at the scene said he never doubted she would surpass the global record.

“The energy here is very high and positive; everybody is having fun,” he said. “So eating her food free of charge is not even the best of it.”

Updated: May 15, 2023, 5:42 PM