At 40, Celebrated Kenyan Chef Maliha Mohammed recently became the newest Guinness World Record holder in town.
She broke the record for the longest solo cooking session by clocking 150 hours 11 seconds.
This was her second record, having endured a six-day home kitchen cooking marathon.
This is her journey as told by WoK:
Chef Maliha Mohammed was born in the coastal region, specifically Mombasa Old Town.
She attended the Alibhai Panju Primary from 1990 to 1994 and later Jaffery Academy where she sat her KCSE.
Speaking to Standard, she said she started cooking at the age of 8.
She said she loved to cook alongside her late parents and during the holidays with her grandmother.
Unsurprisingly, pilau was the first dish she learned to cook.
What is however surprising is the fact that prior to her attempt at the Guinness World record, she had never attended a culinary school.
Instead, she learned most of the recipes from watching YouTube tutorials.
Her efforts started in 2018 when she was working as a caterer.
One day during a lunch break, she stumbled across the post of a certain chef from California who had cooked for 65 hours, which inspired her a lot.
She had never seen such a challenge in Kenya, so she decided to go for it.
That evening, she set up a website, updated her socials, and signed up for a 75-hour cooking marathon challenge.
However, her ambitions hit a brick wall due to a shortage of funds.
In May 2019, she became the first African to attempt to break the Guinness World record title for the longest-cooking chef.
That was during her days at the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM).
During her first days at the university, she cooked 100 recipes in a 36-hour non-stop session during one weekend.
After that challenge, she bagged an astonishing 200 recipes in 54 hours. However, this was still 14 hours shy of the record holder at the time.
In August 2019, supported by a team of 40, she officially broke the record for the longest time spent cooking of 75 hours non-stop using 400 recipes of local and international cuisines.
However, her joy was short-lived. Barely two months later, her record was broken by Nigerian chef Hilda Baci.
On Thursday, November 23rd, 2023, she reclaimed the longest cooking marathon award after cooking for 150 hours and 11 seconds.
In the latest record, she cooked international dishes like Nigerian jollof rice.
Her recent project to break the Guinness record was sponsored by Amanda Donahue, CEO, of Proto Energy.
At some point during the challenge, she briefly fainted and was whisked away from the cooking venue by medical teams.
Mohammed, who is currently single, is a mother of two girls, one aged 10 and another one aged 19. One hopes to become a pilot while the other aspires to be a French teacher.
None aspires to follow in their mother’s culinary footsteps.
In recognition of her efforts, the Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) gave her the Woman of Excellence in Tourism Award 2021.
Chef Maliha Mohammed future plans include setting up her own culinary institute similar to Le Cordon International network of hospitality and culinary schools teaching French haute cuisine.
Some of her delicious Swahili cuisines include biriyani wa kuku, biriyani wa nyama, bhajia, chicken masala, and others.
The food she cooks while attempting to break records is donated to local orphanages and street families under the Empowering Africa program.