Hilda Effiong Bassey, widely recognized by her culinary alias Hilda Baci, is a distinguished Nigerian chef, restaurateur, actress, and the current holder of the prestigious Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon (Cook-athon). Hilda’s remarkable journey from a small town in Akwa Ibom State to a Guinness World Record holder exemplifies the potential for greatness that lies within every individual. Through her hard work, unwavering determination, and the power of her culinary skills, she has become a symbol of inspiration and hope for aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs across the globe.
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Early Life and Background
Hilda was born on 20 September 1996 in the Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. After completing her studies in sociology at Madonna University in Okija, Rivers State, Hilda embarked on a culinary education program to hone her skills and expand her culinary repertoire.
Career and Achievements
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Hilda’s culinary journey began with a deep-rooted inspiration from her mother, a skilled culinary chef. Her passion for cooking led her to become the host of “Dine on a Budget,” a popular television show broadcast on Pop Central TV. In August 2021, Hilda showcased her culinary prowess by emerging victorious in the highly acclaimed Jollof Faceoff competition, solidifying her reputation as an exceptional chef in Nigeria. However, her ambitions extended far beyond winning competitions and gaining recognition. Hilda set her sights on breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon, previously held by Indian chef Lata Tondon.
March 2023 marked the beginning of Hilda’s audacious endeavor as she announced her intent to attempt the record-breaking cooking marathon. On 11 May 2023, she commenced her remarkable journey, aptly titled “Cook-a-thon.” Over the course of her arduous challenge, Hilda cooked tirelessly, surpassing the previous record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set in 2019 by Lata Tondon.
Supported by a diverse audience including high-profile figures like Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Lead Pastor of Harvester International, Bolaji Idowu, and renowned Nigerian singers Tiwa Savage and Ice Prince, Hilda captivated the nation with her unwavering determination and culinary finesse. The overwhelming support she received from both attendees and an online fanbase further solidified her place as an inspiration for Nigerian youth. Hilda cooked for an astounding 93 hours and 11 minutes, surpassing her original goal and etching her name in the annals of culinary history. Her achievement resonates not only with her fellow chefs but also with the Nigerian population at large, serving as a testament to the indomitable spirit and resilience of the country’s youth.
Beyond her culinary accolades, Hilda is also a talented actress, having appeared in notable films such as “Dreamchaser” and “A Walk on Water.” Her captivating performances on the silver screen further illustrate her versatility and artistic prowess.
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As the CEO and head chef of her renowned establishment, “My Food by Hilda,” she has built a reputation for creating delectable and healthy meals using locally sourced ingredients. Her innovative cooking techniques and creative presentations have garnered a loyal following of customers and fans.
Hilda’s success as a chef and entrepreneur has not gone unnoticed, with her estimated net worth reaching an impressive $320,000. She continues to expand her culinary empire through various ventures, including hosting cooking shows on different television platforms and operating her own catering business. Her influential presence on social media and YouTube has also contributed to her growing popularity and financial success.
Impact and Legacy
In recognition of her contributions to the culinary world and her philanthropic efforts, Hilda has received numerous accolades and honors. She was awarded the Nigerian Chefs Association’s “Culinary Trailblazer Award” in 2022, acknowledging her innovative approach to Nigerian cuisine and her commitment to culinary excellence.
Looking ahead, Hilda has ambitious plans to further expand her culinary empire and make a global impact. She aims to open additional branches of “My Food by Hilda” across Nigeria and eventually venture into international markets. Her goal is to introduce the rich and diverse flavors of Nigerian cuisine to a global audience, fostering cultural appreciation and culinary exchange.
Moreover, Hilda’s impact extends beyond her culinary endeavors. Recognizing the importance of giving back to the community, she actively participates in philanthropic initiatives and uses her platform to advocate for social causes. Hilda has been involved in campaigns promoting food security, nutrition education, and empowerment programs for underprivileged youths.
Through her cooking demonstrations and workshops, Hilda aims to inspire individuals to explore their culinary skills and embrace healthy eating habits. She has collaborated with local schools and organizations to teach children about the joys of cooking and the benefits of nutritious meals, empowering them to make positive choices for their well-being.
Hilda is also in the process of publishing her first cookbook, which will feature a collection of her signature recipes, personal anecdotes, and tips for aspiring chefs. The cookbook is expected to be a bestseller, offering readers an opportunity to recreate Hilda’s mouthwatering dishes in their own kitchens.
As she continues to break barriers and inspire others, Hilda remains grounded and committed to her roots. She frequently returns to her hometown in Akwa Ibom State to engage with the local community, support local farmers, and promote sustainable agriculture.
In her spare time, Hilda enjoys exploring different cuisines, experimenting with new ingredients, and seeking inspiration from diverse culinary traditions. She believes that continuous learning is crucial for personal and professional growth, and she actively seeks out opportunities to expand her culinary knowledge and skills.
Hilda Baci’s remarkable journey from a small-town girl with a passion for cooking to a Guinness World Record holder, renowned chef, and philanthropist serves as a testament to the power of determination, hard work, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. Through her culinary creations, she has not only delighted the taste buds of countless individuals but also ignited a sense of pride and appreciation for Nigerian cuisine.
As Hilda continues to leave her mark on the culinary world, her infectious enthusiasm and unwavering commitment to excellence will undoubtedly inspire aspiring chefs, entrepreneurs, and individuals from all walks of life. With her unique blend of talent, compassion, and entrepreneurial spirit, Hilda Baci is poised to shape the future of Nigerian cuisine and make a lasting impact on the global culinary stage.