Renowned Chef and Foodprenuer, Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci, has announced a new date for her highly anticipated four-day cook-a-thon which is geared towards setting a new Guinness World Record for the longest hours spent cooking.
Hilda Baci is aiming to cook for 97 Hours to smash the current record for the world’s longest cooking marathon which is held by an Indian, Lata Tondon. Lata completed the task in 87 hours, and 45 minutes in India in 2019.
The event will now come up from May 11 to 14th, 2023 at the prestigious Amore Gardens, Lekki, Lagos from the earlier scheduled date of April 28 to May 1.
According to Baci, the essence of the rescheduling was to ensure that the event is properly planned to accommodate all logistic challenges that may ensue due to the importance and widescale interest shown by Nigerians to the project.
Speaking at a press briefing last week where she unveiled her plans, she disclosed that she probably underestimated how much Nigerians were invested in the project and being aware of the importance of this project, there was a need to push the event backwards for a few days.
“I probably really underestimated how invested Nigerians are regarding this project, not only virtually, but physically. I have had people reach out to me asking to volunteer, some have even promised that they will be there for the whole four days!
With over 1,200 people who have RSVP’d so far, it has just dawned on us that this is way bigger than what we imagined. And to be able to cater to these people and to make sure that everyone is comfortable and well taken care of, there is still so much work to be done.
We have to expand on the set and increase what we have already had in place, we have to get more equipment, more cooking utensils and more ingredients, there is just much more to be done!
Owing to this, it becomes necessary for us to push this event forward for a few days to enable us to take care of these issues” she disclosed.
Another factor that necessitated the rescheduling was the upcoming National Population Census coming up in early May.
Setting A New Record:
In what is expected to be a test of grit and stamina, for 97 hours, Hilda will cook. She would do so standing and have just five minutes break per hour. She could decide to accumulate her five minutes break or take it after every hour.
“Guinness has been so magnanimous to give me five minutes of every completed hour. I can choose to accumulate that break or take the break as it comes.” She told The Culture Newspaper.
The event will test her will and grit as she continues to inspire young chefs and imbibe prowess.
To test her readiness for the challenge ahead, Hilda had a successful 24-hour dry run from April 12- 13.
She also partnered with a fitness trainer and nutritionist to lose over 20kg and adjust her diet to cope with the exertion that the task ahead of her requires.
Speaking further, Hilda Baci said she has had her eyes set on the Guinness Book of Records” since childhood.
She has various local and intercontinental recipes planned to thrill guests to put Nigeria on the global culinary map.
Dedicated Towards Inspiring Young Women:
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Hilda Baci reiterated the essence of the cook-a-thon is to serve as an inspirational platform for young people.
‘‘The goal of the Cook-a-thon is to inspire every young girl about the possibility of achieving their dreams. This is why I am setting an example with this attempt. The victory of the cook-a-thon is a win for young women across the continent in breaking barriers and the capacity to impact.
For the main event, she and her team have designed over 100 recipes to be served at the event which is open to the public through registration.
Also speaking at the briefing, Lead Project Coordinator, Hilda Cook-a-thon, Nowe Isibor Segun-Ojo said:
‘‘The Hilda Cook-a-thon is a ground-breaking project geared at making an impact and providing growth opportunities. We are on a journey to setting a new narrative and bringing something refreshing to Africa. We believe this is achievable and we are banking on everyone to support a young woman with big dreams. We appreciate all our sponsors who have made this project possible’’.
Hilda Baci has showcased her plating skills on various Television Cook shows and represented Nigeria at the Jollof Faceoff Competition in 2021 emerging winner.
The Guinness World Record attempt is Hilda’s latest feat. in driving her entrepreneurial vision for impact and attracting more investors and collaborators toward the expansion of FoodbyHilda. The event will have sideline activities including games, music performances, poetry, and celebrity attendance.
The Cook-a-thon is headline sponsored by GB Food; maker of Gino Tomato Paste, Ginomax and Bama. Other sponsors include Woodscope, Amore Gardens, Vendease, AfriGlobal, Uber, Arla Foods, CWAY, Filmhouse, ORIKI, and PowerOil.
Uber will be offering discounted rides to attendees of the event. Hilda Baci is also partnering with Slum2school and Festus Fajemilo Foundation, two Non-Governmental organizations in a bid to bring disadvantaged children to the event and inspire them to pursue their dreams.
A Call For Government’s Support:
Reiterating the importance of the event and how it will impact the image of the country positively and put the country and the African continent on the global map positively, the need for governmental support has been highlighted.
The Lead Project Coordinator, Hilda Cook-a-thon, Nowe Isibor Segun-Ojo, called on the Lagos State Government and the Akwa Ibom State Government to support the project.
‘Hilda resides in Lagos State so we would be glad if the Lagos State Government can support this project, also her home state government of Akwa Ibom would do well to support the dreams of this amazing young woman who is aiming to put the country on the global map’ she stated.