A celebrity chef in India has smashed the Guinness World Record for most consecutive hours cooking, logging 53 straight hours behind the stove – or eight stoves, actually. Vishnu Manohar smashed the previous record of a mere (cough) 40 hours set in 2014 by then-teenage chef Ben Perry. Keep in mind, 53 hours is more than two full days – just in case you thought maybe you remember a Thanksgiving in the ‘80s where you came close to spending that long in the kitchen.
Manohar reportedly said he’s used to working long hours when shooting his TV show, but preparing for this stunt took a new level of dedication. The chef – who has also penned a number of cookbooks – spent time cooking at all-night canteens at airports and railway stations to practice cooking without sleep, according to the Times of India. And Manohar supposedly cooked for 45 hours straight on three separate occasions in the month leading up to his world record breaking performance, Reuters reported. He even hired a nutritionist specifically to get him in marathon cooking shape. “Preparation for this event had begun a month back,” nutritionist Meghana Kumhare was quoted as saying. “For last three days I had put him on a protein diet and then a carbo loading cycle to maintain high energy levels…. He was also given a lot of liquids like buttermilk and plain water to prevent dehydration, considering the heat at this time. His energy levels remained superb.” Yes, remember that kitchens are really hot, lest you underestimate just how hard his accomplishment was.
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The stunt officially began on Friday, April 21 at 8am, with Manohar planning going in to best the previous record by at least ten hours. The chef used eight stoves and 15 assistants to prepare over 750 dishes, each of which had to weigh at least 100 grams per Guinness rules. The rules also permitted him breaks: just five minutes after every two hours of cooking. But thanks to an energetic crowd, many wearing Manohar masks, the chef reached his goal. “We were placing the cooked dishes on a table kept across the stage for visitors to eat. When Vishnu saw there were many who wanted to taste these recipes, he doubled the quantity. We realized this was adding to cooking time and so coaxed him to stick to initial weight,” the chef’s brother Pravin said. “His was feeling a bit low in the last two hours but he requested for some peppy music to be played that brought back the energy.”
After finishing, Manohar dedicated his record to the farmers of Maharashtra and the goddess Annapurna. He also stated, “I still have energy to go on for 10 more hours.”