TEN days after Hilda Baci broke the world record for marathon cooking by an individual, the Guinness World Records (GWR) is yet to officially recognise her accomplishment.
It would be recalled that, on May 16, a day after Baci set the new record, the GWR took to Twitter to state that it would need to thoroughly review the evidence before making an official announcement regarding Baci’s achievement.
The GWR’s clarification came in response to concerns expressed by Nigerians regarding the perceived delay in acknowledging Baci’s accomplishment.
Also reacting to the concerns expressed by Nigerians, the current record holder, Indian chef Lata Tondon, appealed to Nigerians to remain patient while waiting for the GWR to confirm if Baci had broken her record.
She made this appeal via her Instagram story on Tuesday, May 16.
“A humble request🙏 to all my sisters and brothers in Nigeria 🇳🇬 & India 🇮🇳 to maintain peace and wait for Guinness to officially announce if the current record is broken or not. Please don’t make it a competition, it’s just a record my friends. I am a peace loving person and wish same for you🌻🧘🏻♀️”, she said.
Baci cooked for 100 hours and 40 minutes to complete her bid to break the Guinness World Record for longest individual cooking.
The aspiring record holder originally intended to cook for 96 hours in order to surpass Tandon’s record of 87 hours and 40 minutes.
However, fueled by determination, she pushed herself further and managed to extend her culinary feat to an impressive 100 hours and 40 minutes, shattering the previous record by over 13 hours.
The Cookathon commenced at 4:20 pm on Thursday, May 11, and ended at 8:40 pm on Monday, May 15. All through this period, the chef prepared more than 200 meals, which were generously served to a crowd of over 4,000 people.
Baci showcased her culinary prowess, preparing delectable Nigerian dishes including party jollof, coconut rice, native rice, asun rice, fried rice, native pasta, jollof pasta, porridge eyam, porridge plantain, mashed potatoes, white rice, among others.
Not stopping at just rice-based dishes, she also offered an exquisite selection of soups, including chicken curry, edika ikong, egusi, oha, afang, fisherman soup, nsala, goat meat pepper soup, seafood, okra soup and ofe akwu.
She also made a variety of cold dishes including akara, pancakes, burgers, chicken wraps, abacha, and African breadfruit sauces/meats. As side dishes, she served goat meat stew, buka stew, peppered turkey, peppered chicken, fried fish, peppered fish, turkey stew, and ofada sauce.
Speaking at a press conference, she said she cooked all the food alone and God stood by her all through.
“I knew it was a good dream and it was viable but I never knew it would get this big. It was important to me that everything was done well.
“We followed all the rules. I didn’t cut corners in creating the experience I wanted to and God made it bigger than I could imagine.”
She has also been featured on I SAID WHAT I SAID Podcast, The Rise Up episode where she talked about her Cookathon journey.
She said the first 24 hours was the hardest for her as she felt like giving up.
“If you put your bet on when I was going to give up, it would have been the first day,” she said.
Before the Cookathon, she had a 24 hour dry run to prepare her for the D-day. She added that she worked tirelessly with her team to ensure everything is put in place.
The chef said she had thought about the Cookathon give years ago but didn’t do it because she couldn’t afford it then.
“I thought about this five years ago and set my mind to do it about a year ago. I started talking to my executive producer more seriously seven months ago,” she said.
Baci went further to explain that she worked on her body for about six months and also invested so much money to achieve the feat and thought she would go bankrupt.
She appreciated the brands that supported and helped to cushion the cost.
The Cookathon was sponsored by her brand, My Food By Hilda, GB Foods, makers of Gino, Gino Max, Bama and Jumbo, Woodscope, Arla, Baigewallet, Filmhouse, Uber, Monty Suites and Culinary Arts Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAPA).
Baci was a TV presenter, aspired to be a BBN housemate
Still speaking on the podcast, Baci said she was a TV host and had wanted to do something else.
“I was a TV girl, trying to act, trying to go to Big Brother. Even as at the time I opened my restaurant, I still wanted to go to Big Brother.”
She further said she knew she has so much potential and a lot to offer to the world and that pushed her to attempt the record.
According to her, after she announced her bid to break the Cookathon record, a lot of people texted her friends telling them she can’t achieve the feat.
“There were people texting my friends like ‘who does she think she is, she can’t do it.”
Baci confident of getting Guinness World Records recognition
Asked how she will feel if GWR did not award her the record, Baci said, “To me, my record has been validated, what is coming is just the certification. I did everything by the books, didn’t leave a single stone unturned and I’m confident that I would get it.”
“We put in the work, were live the entire time and anyone that watched it would know we did the work,” she added. NoCurrent record holder Indian chef Lata Tondon.
Regarding the possibility of her record being surpassed, she stated that she doesn’t mind, as records are meant to be broken.
“Someone else would want to do this after me and I’m happy that I’ve provided the template.”
Kenyan chef warming up to break Baci’s record
Meanwhile, a 40 year old Kenyan chef, Maliha Mohammed, is preparing to surpass Hilda Baci’s record later this year.
She made this known via a video she shared on her Instagram page and has also appealed for donations in cash or kind ahead of her trial scheduled for May 26.
“Kindly donate in cash or kind. Through mpesa no. 0706349213. All cash will help in preparation and overall expenses of the 45 hours cooking trial.
“Let’s donate and show some love. Food will be donated and distributed by @rehanabaluch empowering the African woman company (0113031976) and ofcourse for my fans, friends and family, who will come to see me cooking live in my home kitchen in Tudor Mombasa,” she stated in her post.
An explainer published by The ICIR highlighted the procedure for breaking or setting a world record as well as the process involved in verifying a record.
The Guinness Book of Records attempt will receive official validation upon the verification of proceedings by the Official World Record Office.
This process will involve ensuring that the attempt is meticulously measured, adheres to standardised criteria and can be easily verified.