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Nigerian Chef Breaks Guinness World Record Completing 100 Hours of Marathon Cooking

© Photo Twitter / @mimieyoA file photo of Chef Hilda Baci
A file photo of Chef Hilda Baci - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.05.2023
The Lagos-based chef began the competition on Thursday after she turned on her cooker at 4 pm, and on Monday morning surpassed the current world record held by Indian chef Lata Tandon (87 hours, 45 minutes).
Nigerian chef Hilda Baci has ended her marathon 100 hour cooking session, setting a new Guinness World Record for "longest cooking time" by an individual.
The cook's feat did not go unnoticed: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the 27-year-old chef, calling her record a historic and "great day for Nigeria."
"I share the immense joy of all Nigerians as Hilda Bassey Effiong (Hilda Baci) makes history by breaking the world record for longest cooking marathon. A great day for Nigeria. We're all very proud of what she has personally accomplished—and placing Nigeria in the global spotlight," president commented.
It must have been a special moment for a chef: it's not every day that your country's president calls you nothing less than a "cultural icon."

"Hilda's drive, ambition and resilience have brought great interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food. She is now a cultural icon, and I believe that this feat will inspire many more young people, in Nigeria and beyond, to follow in her footsteps," Buhari said.

The president also lauded Baci for turning her talent and passion into a career, with a rippling effect on the economy as she runs a restaurant in Lagos, and trains other talents in entrepreneurship, and now "leads the world in resilience, perseverance, and consistency in cooking."
Similarly, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said Baci’s record is a reminder to the entire world that Nigerians are talented and capable of excelling in any endeavor.
"You [Baci] 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.
On why she embarked on the challenge, Baci said it was one of her biggest aspirations, adding that it also provided an opportunity to tell some positive stories from Africa through the meals.

"The journey to the marathon 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 chef remarked.

Baci is no stranger to the heat of competitive cooking. The chef won the inaugural "Jollof Face-off" Competition in 2021, beating her Ghanaian rival in the finals by cooking the best version of a West African spicy rice dish and took home a grand prize of $5,000.