Irish cook, owner and chef of a restaurant in Japan, Alan Fisher has broken two cooking-related Guinness World Records titles, concurrently dethroning previous record-holder, Nigerian chef, Hilda Baci.
Alan claimed the longest cooking marathon individual after clocking in a time of 119 hours 57 minutes, an impressive 24 hours longer than the previous record held by the Nigerian chef. He then claimed the longest baking marathon individual, with a time of 47 hours 21 minutes. The previous record holder was Wendy Sandner (USA) with a time of 31 hours 16 minutes. What’s even more impressive is that Alan took on both attempts back to back, meaning he was at work in the kitchen for over 160 hours with just over a day of rest in between!
Alan learned about the longest cooking marathon record in March while he was participating in the “I Love Ireland” festival in Tokyo. During this festival, Alan stood inside a rented kitchen car and stayed overnight twice. During a break, he searched on the internet to find out that the record at the time was held by Lata Tondon (India) with a time of 87 hours 45 minutes. Then in May, Alan realized that Hilda Baci had extended the record to 93 hours and 11 minutes.
Meanwhile, Alan was still trying to recover from the difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When Omicron spread, a sudden dining out advisory from the local Government meant I lost all my reservations for the month of July 2022 and needed to take out a pandemic support loan just to pay bills,” he said.
“I was broke and heartbroken. To have worked so hard for so long, to give up your own savings, your own salary and then still need a loan simply to stay in business with no guarantee things will recover. That was a tough pill to swallow.”
Despite the recent easing of restrictions, Alan continued to carry this negative energy as he continued with his work.
“Lata and Hilda’s achievements served as an inspiration,” he said.
During the record attempt, Alan had to overcome different types of obstacles as time went by. During the longest baking marathon (individual) record attempt, it was his back that caused him trouble. Because Alan was mixing dough by hand, his posture got distorted, and as a result, his back got tight and sore.
Towards the end of the longest cooking marathon (individual) record attempt, Alan had to endure fatigue and sleepiness.
“I peeled roughly 300 kg of potatoes during the cooking marathon. For the first few days, I would look forward to this each evening as it gave me a chance to sit down.”
“Towards the end of the cooking marathon however, as fatigue started to take hold I would find it more and more difficult to stay awake whenever I sat down to start peeling. The rhythm of the peeling would almost hypnotize me. I had one hallucination on the second-to-last day. I turned to ask someone to pass me something, like I would on any normal day only to realize there was no one there.”
Despite the challenges, Alan says it was the support of the people in his town that gave him the push to carry on with his record attempt.
Story by: Sandra Ankomah | univers.ug.edu.gh