Nigeria is celebrating its culinary prowess as home chef Hilda Baci embarked on an epic cooking marathon, surpassing a staggering 90 hours non-stop at the stove. Over 100 varied dishes later, Baci is waiting for confirmation that she's toppled the previous record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set by India's Lata Tondon in 2019.
Baci's culinary journey, which began at 15:00 GMT on a Thursday, was not a lonely one. Politicians, celebrities, and an enthusiastic audience have been cheering her on in Lekki, an upscale neighbourhood in Lagos. Although Guinness World Records officials were not physically present, they were kept well-informed and updated. A tweet from their official account confirmed that they were closely monitoring Baci's attempt, assuring that the evidence provided through installed CCTV cameras would be thoroughly reviewed before making an official announcement.
Baci, 27, initially set her sights on a 96-hour cooking spree. However, the thrill of the crowd and their support encouraged her to aim for the 100-hour mark. Her menu predominantly featured Nigerian meals like jollof rice, numerous rice and pasta dishes, and street food favourite, akara.
While Baci could have an assistant and was permitted five-minute hourly breaks, the challenge took its toll. Medical checks and cold compresses became routine, but the spirit of the young chef remained undeterred.
This record-breaking attempt has turned Baci into a national sensation. VIP visitors included Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Prior to this feat, Baci was already renowned for her victory in the inaugural "Jollof Faceoff" in 2021, where she claimed the title for the best version of West Africa's spicy rice meal.