Victor Tartenger wins longest cooking marathon

Nigerian chef, Tartenger Victor, also known as Chef Naira Victor, has set a new Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual after completing a 135-hour cook-a-thon.

Gov Hyacinth Alia congratulated Tartenger, popularly known as Chef Naira Victor, on his successful completion of the 135-hour cook-a-thon.

Chef Naira Victor surpassed the current title holder, Irish chef Alan Fisher’s 119 hours and 57 minutes, by an additional 15 minutes and 43 seconds to reclaim the same title a fellow Nigerian chef, Hilda Baci had clinched in May 2023. She was, however, dethroned in less than six months by the Irish chef.

In line with his dreams of feeding the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and making his state proud, Chef Naira Victor reportedly commenced a 135-hour cook-a-thon attempt for the longest cooking marathon by an individual on February 27, 2024, and ended on March 3.

During the record-breaking attempt, which several other Nigerians have also previously explored, chef Naira Victor was able to pull out a large crowd daily to Tiger Bar in Makurdi, the capital city of Benue, where the cook-a-thon reportedly took place. The six-day event witnessed various Benue-born celebrities, government officials and local brands show their support for the young chef both financially and by their physical presence, depending on which was more convenient for each fan or supporter.

Some notable personalities who were at Tiger Bar to witness the event were the Benue State Governor, His Excellency, Reverend Father Hyacinth Iormem Alia, and the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Hyacinth Aondona Dajoh, who, during his visit, was accompanied by speakers of three other different state houses of assembly. Also at the venue of the most recent cook-a-thon was Mr. Terver Akase, a former chief press secretary to the immediate past governor of the state, Samuel Ortom.

Thirty-year-old chef Naira Victor, who is also the owner of Naira Victor restaurant in Delta State where he resides, also received monetary donations of 1.5million Naira from Benue-born reality TV star Kidd Waya, 100 thousand Naira from Benue-born international MC cum hypeman Big Smart Oche, as well as a 100×100 plot of land from the Chairman and CEO, IKN Habitat Nigeria Limited, Evangelist Brahms Tor-Ikuan, which is to be processed by a popular Roman Catholic priest in the state, Reverend Father Ukeyima John.

Upon the successful completion of the 135-hour cook-a-thon last Sunday, the chef was welcomed by the state governor at the government house, where he reportedly expressed his appreciation to the chef for his courage and diligence.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Alia, titled “Governor Alia Hails Chef Naira Victor On His Completion Of 135hrs Cook-A-Thon,” the Benue state governor hailed the chef “for his efforts to put Benue to the world by embarking on the longest cooking marathon code-named “Cook-A-Thon,” which he has completed awaiting to gain recognition in the Guinness World Book of Records.”

According to him, “Father Alia emphatically expresses excitement with the resilient spirit which the chef has proven that nothing can stand in his way when it comes to accomplishing his dreams,” adding that “he describes the young champion as a victor who is tenacious, determinant and a go-getter.”

Governor Alia also stated, “Chef Naira Victor’s milestone is just a steppingstone for more successes to come,” encouraging “him never to stop believing in himself but to stay focused as he pursues his career.”

Chef Naira Victor is a native of the Tiv tribe and hails from Konshisha local government area of Benue state. During the cook-a-thon, he donated over 70% of his prepared food to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the state.

Chef Victor cooking during the marathon, in Makurdi, Benue State

Gov Alia congratulates chef Tartenger