Ghanaian Chef Aiming to Shatter World Record with Marathon Cooking

Since New Year’s Day, Failatu Abdul-Razak, a chef from Ghana, has captivated the nation by undertaking a remarkable cooking marathon, preparing regional dishes, including the traditional banku, live on TV. The ambitious endeavor is an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for a cook-a-thon, a feat that has garnered widespread support and celebration throughout West Africa.

As of Friday afternoon, Abdul-Razak had tirelessly cooked for over 110 hours at a hotel in Tamale, a northern city in Ghana. Her goal is to surpass the existing record of 119 hours and 57 minutes held by Irish chef Alan Fisher.

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Isaac Sackey, the president of the Chefs’ Association of Ghana, commended Abdul-Razak for putting Ghana on the culinary map and emphasized the need to honor her significant efforts.

West Africa has been witnessing a surge of world record attempts in various categories since Nigerian chef Hilda Baci claimed the world cooking record last May, only to be dethroned by Fisher later. Abdul-Razak’s attempt is the latest in this captivating trend.

While the Guinness World Record organization has yet to publicly comment on Abdul-Razak’s endeavor, the chef’s marathon cooking session is expected to reach 120 hours in the early hours of Saturday. Any confirmation from the organization is likely to follow the achievement.

At the Modern City Hotel in Tamale, where the chef’s cooking stage is set, celebrities, government leaders, and hundreds of ordinary people have gathered to witness the historic event. The atmosphere is filled with dancing, singing, and the aroma of the delectable dishes prepared by Abdul-Razak.

Ghanaian Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia expressed his support for the chef via Facebook and donated 30,000 Ghana Cedis ($2,564) to further motivate her. “Go for gold,” he encouraged Abdul-Razak.

Abdul-Razak considers her attempt a “national assignment” on behalf of Ghana and its citizens. The dishes she has prepared include Ghana’s banku — fermented corn meal balls in a soup — and the flavorful jollof rice enjoyed across West Africa.

Despite concerns about the potential mental toll on the chef, Abdul-Razak is determined to succeed. Under the guidelines, she is entitled to only five-minute breaks every hour or an accumulated one hour after a stretch of 12 hours.

The excitement surrounding world record attempts often fuels participants with adrenaline, according to Annabella Osei-Tutu, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Ghana. However, she also noted that the toll on their bodies becomes apparent after the event.

In recognition of her outstanding achievement, the Ghana Chefs Association visited Abdul-Razak during her Cook-A-Thon attempt on January 5 and conferred upon her the prestigious title of Executive Chef in Ghana. Chef Isaac, representing the Association, expressed pride in her accomplishments and emphasized the Association’s commitment to showcasing Ghana’s culinary talent globally.

The Association presented Abdul-Razak with a citation praising her efforts and custom-made apparel to mark her new status as an executive chef. The citation acknowledged her promotion of Ghana’s hospitality industry through the cook-a-thon and conferred upon her the esteemed title of ‘Executive Chef.’

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Chef Failatu Abdul-Razak’s culinary journey during her marathon cooking session has been nothing short of impressive, as she has masterfully prepared over 41 different dishes and is still counting. Here is a list of confirmed dishes she has showcased so far, with updates to follow:

  1. Fufu with Groundnut Soup and Goat Meat
    A classic Ghanaian dish featuring fufu, a staple made from cassava, plantains, or yams, served with a rich groundnut soup and succulent goat meat.
  2. Boiled Rice with Spaghetti and Fried Egg
    An innovative combination of boiled rice, spaghetti, and a perfectly fried egg, creating a delightful fusion of textures and flavors.
  3. Tuo-Zaafi with Ayoryor and Bush Meat
    Tuo-Zaafi, a traditional Ghanaian dish made from corn and millet flour, paired with Ayoryor (a spicy pepper sauce), and flavorful bush meat for a taste of authentic West African cuisine.

Chef Failatu’s culinary expertise and dedication to showcasing the diverse flavors of Ghana continue to captivate audiences as she explores a wide array of dishes. Stay tuned for updates on the exciting creations she brings to life during this record-breaking cooking marathon.

As Abdul-Razak continues her marathon cooking session, the entire nation eagerly awaits to witness history being made and applauds her determination to set a new world record.