She’s putting Nigerian cuisine on the map!
Hilda Effiong Bassey is a popular Nigerian chef known on social media as Hilda Baci, CNN reports. Motivated by her Naija roots, Bassey set out to set a new world record for her home country, hosting a marathon to cook the most consecutive nonstop hours by an individual. Hosted in Lagos, Bassey worked to beat the previous record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set in 2019 by Indian chef Lata Tondon. Tondon sent in her well wishes via social media as Bassey began cooking on Thursday, finishing up on Monday and setting a new world record with a whopping 100 hours of nonstop cooking.
Bassey said her motivation for the challenge was putting Nigerian food on the global radar, creating over 55 recipes and more than 100 recipes throughout the cookathon.
“Nigerian cuisine is the best out there. The more recipes are propagated, the more people will be willing to try it. Nigerian food is such comfort food,” Bassey told reporters.
Many showed up in droves to support the chef as she danced and waved at fans from her kitchen. Popular Nigerian artist Tiwa Savage visited Bassey to encourage her along with politicians, the Governor of Lagos state, reporters and locals, including Udak Obong who traveled through the night to come out.
“I drove 12 hours to be right here to support my sister, my friend. She’s just amazing,” said Obong.
Enioluwa Adeoluwa, an influencer who served as MC for the cooking marathon said this type of community is common in Nigeria and they were all supportive of Bassey’s efforts.
“When a Nigerian is doing something we all come out to show support…We are super excited. She’s doing such an amazing job.
Bassey admitted that the journey was laborious, saying she even thought about quitting, but with the massive amounts of support shown, she pushed through and was happy to accomplish such a major feat.
“The first day was the most difficult. I was ready to give up 6 hours in. I feel like a miracle happened and somehow I got to this. The support has been incredible,” said Bassey.
She is still waiting for the Guinness world record committee to confirm that all criteria has been met before officially naming Bassey as the new record holder. But all of Nigeria and the diaspora agrees that after cooking for 100 hours straight, Bassey has just blazed a trail that will open doors for generations of chefs to come.
“She’s opening the door to the African food market and showing all the youth out here that if you can dream it, you can achieve it,” said actor Damilola Ogunsi.
Congratulations Chef Bassey!
Chef Hilda Bassey breaks world record after cooking for 100 hours/Photo Courtesy of Tobi Loke/@HildaBaci/Instagram