Nigerian chef, Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci in an exclusive interview with TV3, has revealed the challenges she faced during her extraordinary journey to the cooking feat that lasted for 100 hours.
According to the restauranteur who has become an international sensation, the goal to set a new Guinness World Record, showcasing the richness of Nigerian cuisine through more than 55 recipes and over 100 meals was fraught with her experiencing her menstrual cycle and cramps.
Due to this, she had to take showers during her breaks to change and maintain personal hygiene. As she, further explained, being on her period reduced the time she had for rest, complicating an already strenuous endeavour.
“I was on my period the entire time and I think that sort of it made it extra hard. What that meant was it took away from the time I had to rest,” she told 3 Entertainment Correspondent AJ Sarpong.
Despite enduring intense cramps, Baci’s determination and willpower propelled her forward.
“Now I was trying to wrap up because I get 5 minutes after completing every one hour so if I stand for 12 hours I get one hour to rest and I still have to do all my medical checks,” she explained “Because I was on my period I had to take my shower every break I had even if I had 30 minutes I had to take a shower that time because I needed to change”
Her situation was also a source of worry to her father who knew the extent to which her menstrual cramps could affect her but she soldiered on. According to her, conquering this physical hurdle further fueled her belief that she can overcome any challenge that comes her way.
“My dad was worried because I have horrible cramps so just pushing through that I was like if I’ve conquered this I can conquer anything,” she added.
Baci commenced her nonstop cooking marathon on Thursday, May 11, 2023, and continued tirelessly until Monday, May, 15, 2023 captivating onlookers with her culinary skills and unwavering determination.
While the Guinness World Record committee still needs to verify if all the criteria have been met, Baci’s exceptional achievement has already earned her international star status.
The previous record to surpass was set in 2019 by Indian chef Lata Tondon, who cooked continuously for an impressive 87 hours and 45 minutes.
Tondon also took to social media to express her support for Baci during her record-breaking attempt, fostering a sense of camaraderie among culinary enthusiasts worldwide.
Throughout the 100-hour cooking spree in Lagos, Baci’s spirits remained high, evident in her energetic dancing and enthusiastic interaction with the crowds of fans who rallied to support her.
Her unwavering commitment to promoting Nigerian cuisine and her passion for sharing its flavours with the world has made her an inspiration to many.