Hilda Bassey

The organizers of NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival have announced that Nigeria’s Hilda Effiong Bassey, the current world record holder for the ‘Longest Cooking Marathon’ will be participating in the food festival on Saturday, the 17th of June 2023, at the Abuja International Conference Centre, from 10am.

This year’s Gastronomy Festival is the third consecutive food and beverage exhibition and sampling event, initiated and annually organized by NIHOTOUR, since 2021.

The Gastronomy Festival is one of the largest of its kind in Africa – with public exhibition and free tasting of hundreds of culinary masterpieces from Nigeria’s 300 ethnic groups and the international communality including cuisines from China, Spain, Senegal, Trinidad & Tobago, and Cote D’Ivoire.

Gastronomy Festival is organized by National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), a parastatal of the Federal Government established by an Act of Parliament to train, certify and register personnel in Nigeria’s hospitality, travel, and tourism sector.

Speaking on the invitation of Hilda Bassey to the Gastronomy Festival in Abuja, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, Nura Sani Kangiwa, said that “by law, NIHOTOUR, as Nigeria’s lead hospitality and tourism occupational skills development Institute is required to mitigate the skills-gap challenges of personnel in the industry and to equally drum-up support for practitioners that are, despite the odds, achieving measurable success the tradecraft and Hilda Bassey is one of such rare cases of gastronomic success Nigeria has attained.”

He explained that “Besides the new world record of cooking achieved by Hilda, as adjudged by the committee of the Guinness World Records, for us, in NIHOTOUR, we recognize that her success has become a beacon that is now encouraging more Nigerian youths to take up careers in the hospitality and catering sub-sectors. You see, as an occupational skills development Institute, our primary mandate is to enable people to acquire requisite skills to become self-employed, by adding value to the hospitality and tourism industry, and Hilda Bassey exemplifies that! So, like most Nigerians, NIHOTOUR is impressed with her commitment to excel.”

NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival is conceptualized and programmed to upskill Nigerian gastronomes and culinary artists on the technicalities, and emerging global best practices, of processing, preparing, presenting, packaging and promotion of foods, especially Nigerian traditional cuisines. The theme for the 2023 NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival is “Culinary Arts: The Gateway to Growing Tourism Destinations”.

The Embassy of Spain to Nigeria has brought in chef Alex Marugan, a celebrated Spanish chef to train and share best practices and emerging global trends of culinary arts with some select culinary schools in Nigeria.

The trainings will holds on 15th and 16th of June in Abuja. Moreso, Chef Alex will prepare and display the best of Spanish cuisines at the Gastronomy Festival on Saturday for visitors to the event to engage him and taste his meals.

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