Cooking Marathon: How Ghana’s Chef Failatu Outshone Nigeria’s Chef Hilda

The culinary world witnessed a fierce competition between two African chefs who attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual.

Faila Cookathon
Faila Abdul-Razak

Ghana’s Chef Failatu Abdul RazakFailatu Abdul Razak and Nigeria’s Chef Hilda Baci both embarked on a grueling challenge to cook non-stop for more than 90 hours, surpassing the previous record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set by India’s Lata Tondon in 2019.

Chef Hilda, who is known on social media as Hilda Baci, started her cooking marathon on Thursday, May 16, 2023, at her kitchen in Lagos, Nigeria. She aimed to cook for 100 hours, preparing 55 recipes and more than 100 meals¹. She said she wanted to showcase the diversity and richness of Nigerian cuisine, which she described as “the best out there” and “such comfort food”.

However, her record attempt was cut short by a power outage that occurred on Monday, May 20, 2023, after she had cooked for 93 hours. She expressed her disappointment and frustration on her Instagram account, saying that she had put in a lot of effort and resources into the challenge. She also thanked her fans and supporters for their encouragement and prayers.

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Meanwhile, Chef Failatu, who is the owner of Faila’s Kitchen in Kumasi, Ghana, began her cooking marathon on Friday, December 31, 2023, at her restaurant. She set an ambitious goal of cooking for 120 hours, aiming to beat the current record held by Ireland’s Alan Fisher, who cooked for 119 hours and 54 minutes in 2020.

Chef Failatu displayed remarkable stamina and resilience as she cooked for five consecutive days, reaching the 100-hour mark on Tuesday, January 4, 2024. She surpassed Chef Hilda’s record of 93 hours, earning praise and admiration from Ghanaians on social media.

Many users compared the energy levels of the two chefs, noting that Chef Failatu looked more lively and cheerful than Chef Hilda at the same stage of the challenge.

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Chef Failatu also received support and recognition from prominent figures, such as the Ashanti Regional Minister, the Kumasi Mayor, and the Ghana Tourism Authority, who visited her at her restaurant and commended her for promoting Ghanaian culture and cuisine.

She cooked a variety of dishes, ranging from local delicacies like fufu, banku, and jollof rice, to international cuisines like pizza, pasta, and sushi.

As of the time of writing this article, Chef Failatu is still cooking and has not yet completed her record attempt. She is expected to finish on Wednesday, January 5, 2024, at 6 pm GMT.

If she succeeds, she will not only become the new Guinness World Record holder for the longest cooking marathon by an individual, but also the first African and the first woman to achieve this feat.

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