Chef breaks cooking and baking world records back to back
If you’re dreading the prospect of a long day in the kitchen preparing that Thanksgiving turkey, here’s a bit of perspective. However long it takes you, it’ll be nothing compared to the hours that Irishman Alan Fisher put in over a hot stove last month as he broke not one but two Guinness World Records — for longest cooking marathon and longest baking marathon.
Fisher achieved the feat at the Kyojin Stewhouse in Matsue, Japan, between Sept. 25-Oct. 3. He has been the owner of the restaurant since 2014, which has the mission of sharing Irish cuisine abroad. To achieve the world’s longest baking record, he fired up the ovens for 47 hours and 21 minutes in his successful run.
Incredibly, he then took only a day off before attempting the world’s longest cooking marathon record. According to Guinness World Records, Fisher cooked for 119 hours and 57 minutes.
According to his Instagram post at @alan.kyojin.stewhouse, he ended up baking 481 loaves of a variety of soda breads by hand, creating nearly 800 pounds that he gave away from his restaurant. For his cooking marathon, he created nearly 3,360 portions, or 1,300 pounds of food, using 32 traditional Irish recipes such as beef and Guinness stew, lamb stew, boxty, colcannon, bacon and cabbage and Dublin coddle.
He announced the achievement on the restaurant’s Facebook page:
Fisher hatched the plan for this impressive achievement in March of this year, while his restaurant was still reeling from a loss in business brought on by the latest wave of COVID-19.
“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,” Fisher told the Guinness World Records organization.
Fisher’s achievement certainly seems to have brought attention to his restaurant, which (according to its social media) will be closing the Matsue location on Dec. 17, with new plans pending.
A break might be a good thing. During his marathon, the chef peeled more than 650 pounds of potatoes, which was one of the more challenging tasks to endure.
“As fatigue started to take hold I would find it more and more difficult to stay awake whenever I sat down to start peeling,” Fisher explained. “The rhythm of the peeling would almost hypnotize me.”
Fisher’s cooking run shatters the record of 93 hours 11 minutes previously held by Nigerian chef Hilda Bassey, who goes by Hilda Baci online. Bassey was a class act, giving props to Fisher on social media.
“Huge congratulations to Alan Fisher! 119hrs 57mins is a huge achievement, and I wish him all the best as the new world record holder!” she posted.
Huge congratulations to Alan Fisher! 119hrs 57mins is a huge achievement, and I wish him all the best as the new world record holder! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 https://t.co/Ph2x4TqqNg
— Hilda Baci (@hildabacicooks) November 7, 2023
She also changed her bio to recognize her change in status, saying in a separate post, “I have only the greatest admiration for the hard work it took for Alan to reach such heights.”