• Maliha Mohammed applied for a 75-hour world record in December and got approval in April to do the cooking marathon in August.
• Pwani Oil and Sea Gas are sponsoring her bid, and the food she prepares goes to charity homes and orphanages.
After 26 hours of cooking, Maliha Mohammed’s voice had already gone hoarse because of the cold night next to Mombasa’s Indian Ocean and the instructions she was giving to her team.
Maliha, 36, had been offered space at Technical University of Mombasa’s e-Leaning Block to do a 36-hour cooking marathon rehearsal with her team.
On Saturday morning, we found her pressing to complete the remaining 10 hours. Maliha has been nominated in this year’s Guinness Book of World Records for the Longest Cooking Marathon to be held on August 12 in Mombasa’s Fort Jesus.
The Guinness Book of World Records is a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.
Early morning on June 22, the Star visited Maliha and her team at Technical University of Mombasa, where they had been given space to do their cooking rehearsals. She had already done 82 recipes and was targeting 100 in 36 hours.
“This is my first trial with this team. I’m training them to endure pressure and withstand long cooking hours. We are doing 36 hours this June, next month we’ll be doing 54 hours non-stop cooking, and on August 12, I will be trying to break the Guinness Book World Record by cooking for a 75-hour marathon,” Maliha says.
The mother of two young girls says she is determined to break the Guinness World Record for most hours spent cooking.
The longest cooking marathon for an individual is 68 hours, 30 minutes and 01 seconds. It was achieved by Rickey Lumpkin II from the United States in Los Angeles, California on April 7, 2018.
400 RECIPES IN 75 HOURS
At TUM, where we found her cooking her 82nd food recipes of cauliflower and cashew nut, Maliha says she only takes an hour break after a 12-hour cooking marathon.
She began her challenge on Friday 9am and was determined to go all the way to 9pm Saturday.
“I have programmed this first 36-hour challenge in three shifts of 12 hours. In each shift, I have a target of 25 food recipes. We started on Friday 9am, rested at 9pm and began the next shift from 10pm on Friday night to 10am Saturday,” she says.
The food she is preparing goes to charity homes and orphanages.
“Each recipe can feed up to 30 children, that is a lot of food. Therefore, we have decided that all the food will be taken to orphanage homes,” she says.
In her attempt to break the World Record, Maliha, who is a trained professional chef, will be cooking local and international cuisines.
“We cook both local and international cuisine, among them Indian, Malaysian, Ugandan, Kenyan traditional, Swahili, Korean and many others,” she says, adding that her goal is to showcase what Kenya has to offer, especially Swahili dishes.
Maliha has selected a team of 36 individuals who will help her achieve her target. In a shift of 12 hours, she works with nine assistants, who help her prepare recipes as she cooks at the main cooking area.
“After 12 hours, the nine assistants go to rest and I’m joined by a team of another nine. They will be inter-changing in every shift,” she says.
Maliha says next month, they will cook 200 recipes during the 54-hour rehearsal.
“On August 12, when will be going for 75 hours. I have prepared 400 recipes,” she says.
Last year, Maliha was also nominated to participate in the 72-hour cooking challenge. However, she says she could not get enough financial support locally to support her bid.
“From friends and relatives, I could only raise Sh15,000. That was not enough for the preparations to allow me to cook for 72 hours. I wrote to Guinness Book and informed them of my challenges and they allowed me to pull out,” she says.
Last December, she re-applied to be featured in this year’s competition.
“I wrote my application in December to Guinness Book and they responded on April this year that my 75-hour bid had gone through,” Maliha says.
She got support from Pwani Oil Products Limited, who helped in supplying cooking oil and other things needed for her recipes, whereas Sea Gas Limited agreed to supply her with cooking gas.
"Last year, after I pulled out of the race, I did not give up. With the small amount of money I had raised, I decided to turn my sitting room into a kitchen and with my 20 friends, we cooked for a straight 72 hours,” she says.
She says the challenge was just to check if she could go for those 72 hours.
“We shot some small videos and uploaded them on my YouTube channel. This inspired me to take up the challenge this year, and I decided to now go for 75 hours,” she says.
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Maliha says she was inspired to join the competition as one way of giving back to the society.
The current World Record Holder, Rickey, made his record-breaking attempt to raise money to sponsor children through World Vision.
“I’m also inspired to see how best I can help to give back to the society. At 36, I want to be the best role model to my young girls and the society where I come from. I know my efforts will go a long way to help the less privileged in the society,” she says.
The Mombasa-born chef, who is determined to bring the World Title to Kenya, says she is in constant communication with Guinness Book officials, who have said they will send adjudicators to Mombasa on August 12 to monitor her progress.
“I’m happy for the support I’m receiving locally, and I’m determined to break this World Record,” she says with conviction.
Pwani Oil Product commercial director Rajul Malde says they offered to cater for Maliha’s expenses in the competition.
“The purpose of this trial is to prepare and equip Maliha and her team with skills needed for the 75-hour attempt at breaking the world record. It is our hope that the support we give helps her realise her potential as a chef and set a new global benchmark for cooking,” Malde says.
He says the company will cover Maliha’s expenses, including fees paid to Guinness World Record, equipment, food and other logistics.