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Kenyan chef Maliha awaits confirmation of Guinness World Record status after 150 hours of cooking

Kenyan chef, Maliha Mohammed, is set to break the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking competition individual category, after completing a 150 hours and 11 seconds cooking marathon.

The chef who started cooking Wednesday, November 15 up to November 21, 2023 has beaten the record set by Alan Fisher, an Irish restaurant owner and chef based in Japan who clocked 119 hours 57 minutes.

Kenyans thronged Proto Energy headquarters, off USIU Road in Nairobi’s Kasarani to congratulate the self-taught chef from Mombasa who cooked Swahili dishes from biriyani wa kuku, biriyani wa nyama, bhajia and chicken masala and some foreign dishes.

After seven days, Ms Mohammed, barefoot and with feet swollen from standing for long hours, and evidently fatigued, lifted her hands at exactly 12.34am and the clock was stopped.

“The lion, the conqueror, the champion is here! 150 hours and the record is home. Thanks to all of you who came through, especially Kenyans who made it to witness this prolific moment in time,” Remember, [always strive to] be phenomenal or be forgotten!” she exhorted the crowd of well-wishers.

Ms Mohammed’s time will need to be certified by Guinness World Record officials before it can be official.

“I had three types of breaks. Sleep for one hour every 12 hours, visiting the washroom for five minutes, and medical checkups for five minutes,” she said.

According to the chef, the journey to cook for 150 hours and produce at least 250 recipes “was undoubtedly one of the most difficult yet fulfilling undertakings of my career.”

“Every second felt like an eternity, but also an opportunity to push the limits beyond. This has not just been a personal triumph but a celebration of the resilience within each of us. It has been a journey and labour of love from Kenyans from all walks of life,” she said.

It was no easy task. On Monday morning there was a scare after she fainted and the medics on standby whisked her away from the cooking venue.

Undaunted, the chef bounced back after 10 minutes.

“I am a conqueror and marathon runner. Nothing is bringing us down; to the finish line, we go!” she said.

During her attempt, the chef was supported by a team of 45 staff members working eight-hour shifts. The food she cooked was sampled by people in the audience and the rest was sent to several children’s orphanages in Nairobi.

According to the chef, she is only allowed to cook a maximum of two kilos per recipe and a minimum of half a kilogramme.

Sea Gas, a cooking gas company in Kenya, is supporting Ms Mohammed in her quest to make history and is also facilitating the verification process by the Guinness World Records team.

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