Hilda Bassey Effiong popularly known as Hilda Baci, is a young Nigerian chef from Nsit Ubium LGA in Akwa Ibom State. She owns a food brand in Lagos called Myfoodbyhilda ” and she is 27yrs old.
In 2021 she won the maiden edition of the ‘Jollof Faceoff’ competition held back in August. Recently, Hilda Baci has embarked on a mission to break the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking time by an individual. She is attempting to cook for 96 hours, using extra 9 hours to break the world record as the first human on earth to spend such an amount of time cooking a marathon.
She cooks round the clock, no sleep (Morning, afternoon, evening, and night. So, for 4 nights, she won’t sleep).
An Indian chef, Lata Tondon currently holds the world’s longest cooking marathon and she completed the task in 87 hours, 45 minutes, and 00 secs in Rewa, India in 2019.
Baci started her 4-day cooking marathon challenge on the 11th of May at the Amore Gardens, and she is now fast approaching the finish line. The 27-year-old has already cooked for 70 hours and has 24 more hours to go
Here are things to know about Hilda Baci and her Guinness World Record Marathon Cooking:
1 She will be cooking for 4 days non-stop
2. She must stand to cook, she is not permitted to sit while cooking.
3. She’s not allowed to take coffee, stimulants, or any energy drink to artificially boost her energy and bodily strength while cooking.
4. She’s allowed to eat food, drink water or fruit juice, and take glucose.
5. The cooking is taking place at Amore Gardens, Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria
6. She cooks round the clock, no sleep (Morning, afternoon, evening, and night. So, for 4 nights, she won’t sleep)
7. She has just 5 minutes rest per hour [meaning for every 1 hour, she is entitled to just 5 minutes rest or break, that’s an hour break in every 12 hours].
Other sources claim she gets a 30-minute break every 6 hours, she spends the 30mins in a medical van which is just close by, within which she can nap, use the restroom, and also get a medical assessment or checkup by the medical team available on the spot.
8. Whatever she cooks is shared with the people at the venue for FREE. She is not selling the food.
9. She cooks different meals simultaneously. She is at liberty to cook any meal she likes. There are no restrictions as to what she can cook or not cook. The World Record title is about cooking within a time frame, not about what is cooked. As long as she is cooking, she is on track.
10. Every meal cooked and every plate served is recorded. She has cooked over 115 meals so far with almost 3,000 portions if not more by the time you are reading this.
11. She started the cooking on Thursday and is expected to complete the target time frame by Monday 15th May 2023 evening.
12. To break the record, Hilda Baci is attempting to cook for 96 hours, using extra 9 hours to break the world record as the first human on earth to spend such an amount of time cooking a marathon.
13. She tagged the cooking project “Cook-a-thon”, a phrase coined from the word “marathon”
14. Uber, one of her partners is offering a 40% discounted ride to the venue for people who wishes to join and cheer her up at the venue.
15. Hilda’s mum is also a chef. She owes a food brand called “Calabar Pot”
On why she embarked on the task, Hilda said it is one of her biggest aspirations, adding that it is also an opportunity to tell some positive stories from Africa through the meals that we eat
“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. I have taken time to prepare for this psychologically and I am proud to finally take on this challenge.”
“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.”
“This attempt is also proof of the strength young people can exhibit with the right platform and support. I look forward to receiving support from people across the world to achieve this feat,” she said.
Since the day the cook-a-thon started, Baci has been trending on all social media platforms, with her progress streamed live for millions of viewers on major social media platforms. That is in addition to the crowd that continues to gather at the Amore Gardens to give her support
Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, showed his support for the young Akwa-Ibom indigene in an Instagram live video on Sunday with a caption
‘IDAN doesn’t break, she breaks records. We’re rooting for you, Hilda.”
The screenshot of the Instagram Live where the chef was seen cooking was shared on Tinubu’s Instagram story
Present on Sunday at the venue of the cook-a-thon was the governor of Lagos State, Babjide Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu said Lagosians are proud of Baci for embarking on the journey in the state and promised to follow the update until the final declaration.
“Her dedication, passion for cooking as well as her desire to put our rich culture on the map by not only exhibiting our food but also the resilience, determination, energy, and team spirit that has come to be known as the spirit of Lagos and indeed Nigeria is truly remarkable,” Sanwo-Olu added.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also hailed Baci for “standing at the crossroads of history, ready to carve your name in the annals of world records”.
Also applauding Baci’s attempt to beat the current Guinness World Record, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, said her effort shows the true Nigerian spirit of hard work and resilience.
“I applaud her determination and focus on the goal, which is inspiring many Nigerian youths to live their dreams through hard work and dedication. I wish her well on this noble journey to pen her name in the golden book of history,” Obi said.
Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili also joined the support for Baci, describing her as “evidently a woman diligent in her work”.
Other celebrities have commented on her on social media and even visited her.