Alan Fisher (Ireland), an owner and chef of a restaurant in Japan, has broken two cooking-related Guinness World Records titles.
First up, he’s claimed the longest cooking marathon (individual) after clocking in a time of 119 hours 57 minutes. That is more than 24 hours longer than the previous record held by Nigerian chef Hilda Baci.
Alan 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
In order to channel his frustration and negativity into something positive, Alan decided to take on the record-breaking journey himself.
The record attempt proved to be extremely challenging, even during the preparation phase. In particular, Alan had to make a food distribution plan so that there would be no wastage of the food he cooked. “Everything must be for human consumption. My attempt would only be successful if the people of Matsue got behind what I was doing and showed up to support the challenge.”
In addition, Alan needed to film the record his attempt for evidence. He was thankful that TSK, the local TV provider, came to help. “I know that they needed to allocate staff and resources to support this challenge. This costs time and money and is definitely not lost on me. I’m incredibly grateful to them.”
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.
Despite the challenges, Alan says it was the people of the town who supported his record attempt who gave him the push to carry on
After nine days of baking and cooking, Alan had made 357 kg worth of soda bread and 590 kg worth of dishes (3,360 portions consisting of 32 recipes). But it was all worth it when he received his two world record certificates.