Nigerian chef Hilda Effiong Bassey has become a national sensation after cooking for 100 hours non-stop in a world record attempt.
The chef, popularly known as Hilda Pacey on social media, started cooking on Thursday and continued until Monday – creating more than 55 recipes and over 100 dishes in a marathon kitchen session designed to showcase Nigerian cuisine at its best.
The Guinness World Records team must confirm that all their criteria have been met and that Bassey is the record holder.
The record was broken in 87 hours and 45 minutes by Indian chef Lata Dontan in 2019. Support message to Bassey during her attempt.
Bassey told CNN he was inspired to try the record because he wanted to put Nigerian food on the map.
“Nigerian food is the best out there,” he said. “The more recipes are propagated, the more people will be willing to try it. Nigerian food is a very comfort food,” he added.
Despite being sleep-deprived throughout his cooking spree in Lagos, Bassey was in high spirits and could be seen dancing and swaying in support of his fans.
One man, Uduak Obang, told CNN that he took an overnight bus ride and traveled hundreds of kilometers to reach his destination in Lagos.
“I drove 12 hours to be here to support my sister, my friend. She’s amazing,” he said.
Enioluwa Adeoluwa, a media personality who doubles as MC for the Cookathon, told CNN: “Whenever a Nigerian does something we all come out to show support… We are very excited. She is doing an amazing job.”
“He is opening the door to the African food market and showing all the youth here that if you can dream it, you can achieve it,” said actor and Nollywood star Damilola Ogunsi.
Celebrities including musician Diva Savage and local politicians visited Bassey during the cooking challenge.
Bassey told CNN he gave up on the first day, but decided to aim for 100 hours after beating the previous record.
“The first day was very difficult. I was willing to give up 6 hours. It feels like a miracle happened, somehow I got through this. The support has been incredible,” he said.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”