Chef Cooks for 100 Hours Straight to Break World Record

Nigerian chef Hilda Baci spent four consecutive days in the kitchen.

Two pots on a stove

Stefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography / Getty Images

While meal kits and recipes try to convince at-home chefs that they can put dinner together in 30 minutes or less, one chef has taken meal-prepping to another level by cooking for 100 straight hours. Nigerian chef Hilda Baci’s goal was to beat the existing Guinness World Record of 87 hours and 45 minutes, and she did it by working her way through 55 different recipes, fixing 100 meals, and using a reasonable-sounding 100 dishes in the process.

For more than four straight days, Baci worked (and worked and worked) in a kitchen in Lagos, Nigeria, making dozens of different Nigerian dishes, including soups, rice, akara, and Jollof rice. According to the Associated Press, in order to meet the Guinness World Records requirements, she was only allowed to take either a single five-minute break every hour, or she could take a one hour break after working nonstop for 12 hours.

Although Baci’s 100-hour endurance event handily beat the previous record set by Indian chef Lata Tondon in 2019, as of this writing, Guinness has not confirmed her achievement. “We are aware of the record attempt and are looking forward to receiving the evidence for our Records Management Team to review, before we can confirm the record is official,” a spokesperson for Guinness said in a statement.

That hasn’t stopped everyone from (rightfully) celebrating what Baci accomplished. Thousands of people were on-hand to cheer for her in person, while Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, praised her achievements on Twitter. “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,” he wrote. “A great day for Nigeria. We're all very proud of what she has personally accomplished — and placing Nigeria in the global spotlight.” 

“Hilda's drive, ambition and resilience have brought great interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food,” Buhari continued in a second tweet. “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.”

The BBC reported that Baci’s original plan was to cook for 96 hours, but her audience encouraged her to try for triple-digits. (Their enthusiasm could’ve been genuine encouragement for her cause, or it could’ve been because Baci kept giving her completed dishes to the crowd.)

Guinness did not give a timeline for verifying Baci’s 100-hour record. In the meantime, we sincerely hope she’s sitting down — and calling in a delivery order.

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