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Dorcus Kirabo Smashed Alan Fisher And Hilda Baci’s Guinness Record In A Cookathon

Dorcus Kirabo breaking the Guinness Record in a cookathon surpassing Alan Fisher and Hilda Baci's previous record

Between December 23 and December 29, Dorcus Bashebah Kirabo, an Ugandan chef, demonstrated her culinary prowess by preparing an astonishing 121 different meals, ranging from traditional Ugandan foods like kigere, rolex, pilau, and beans to more complex delicacies like Katogo, offals, beef, and chicken. Prior to Dorcus Kirabo, we had Raymond Kahuma from the same country, who on November 4, 2021, broke the world record for the largest Ugandan rolex (204.6 kg, 451 pounds). The Ugandan Rolex had a length of 2.32 metres and a diameter of 0.66 metres. In a rapid-fire round of questions, Mama D shares her thoughts on everything from historical lunch dates to wardrobe essentials, providing a candid and light-hearted glimpse into her world.

FAB: Please indulge us; tell us about indigenous Ugandan cuisines.

Dorcus Kirabo: We have a few indigenous Ugandan meals. The first one is the famous Ugandan Rolex. There’s something called Luwombo; we steam it in banana leaves. It steams for about four hours. You can steam just about anything, and it will turn into a meal. There is matoke and groundnut, and we have different meals from different villages. From the north, south, west, and east, they eat different meals. When I was attempting to break the record, I tried to tap into each region and represent them.

FAB: How did you find yourself in the world of gastronomy? What’s the story?

Dorcus Kirabo: The love for food got me here. Before I got to that, I used to work in a bank. While at it, every weekend, I used to cook. I used to have at least seven customers every weekend. Each time they called me for a cooking commercial, they posted on social media, and when they posted on social media, people would ask for recipes. A friend of mine who is a lawyer was supposed to be hosting a workshop at her workplace, but the person who used to give them food did not show up, so she asked me to do the cooking. I made my salary in two days. I loved looking, I loved how people got together because of a good meal, and I loved watching people eat my meal. That was it. I started cooking at home and got the food delivered.

FAB: Let’s talk about your entry into the Guinness Book of Records. You are the second Ugandan to break a Guinness record after Kahuma. What’s the motivating force?

Dorcus Kirabo: First, I already had a business running; second, I am a chef by profession; and third, if you do something, why not let it be in the book of extraordinary people? The motivating factor was PR and also to avoid having to use influencers. I had a handful of them to help me sell my business, but in terms of PR, it wasn’t working the way I wanted it to, and I know I’m the best PR tool I can find for my business, so why not do it on a world-wide platform to let everybody know about it? It was about PR and personal achievement. 

FAB: You cooked for 144 hours and 27 seconds; I sure would have given up, max 24 hours (laughs). How did you do it?

Dorcus Kirabo: When the thought of giving up crosses your mind, you have to remember why you started and tell yourself that you can do this. When you give up, you won’t achieve your goal. There were several times I wanted to give up, mostly in the first twenty-four hours. I started at 10 a.m. on the 23rd, and by 4 p.m., I was getting tired. When I was preparing, I forgot to make enough onion birista. People came out en masse to support the dream. Half of the time, I had to look like I was dancing and giving back the vibe, just not to let them down. One of them told me, “Mama D, we love you, but we need to know that our love is very conditional. It is dependent on you winning this record.” In the hundred and forty-first hour, I knew I was tired and had to run out of the kitchen. My biggest highlight was the love that the Ugandans were showing me.

FAB: How do you feel right now, waiting for confirmation?

Dorcus Kirabo: Yes, I did. The longer it takes for them to reach out, the more the pressure heightens on my end because I keep thinking they will cut off a number of hours. It will take about twelve weeks to hear from them, so I’m waiting.

FAB: Are you nervous?

Dorcus Kirabo: I’m nervous. I have mixed feelings, but the most dominant one is that God did not put me in this kind of place to fail me. I am certain that whatever email I’ll get from them is going to be a positive one.

FAB: One of the most profound highlights for us is the charity aspect of this dream. You had a portion reserved for street children. What inspired you to feed the street children?

Dorcus Kirabo: The street is filled with people yearning for food. Somehow I have all these companies behind me that are giving me food stuff—food that I won’t take back home or to my restaurant. There’s a saying that the good you do comes back to you. Cook this meal, make sure it’s good and tasty, something you can also feed to your own child, pack it well, and have a team of people take it to the streets. 

FAB: Being in the culinary industry, how do you see Ugandan cuisine being exported? Do you see any potential for Ugandan cuisines in the international market?

Dorcus Kirabo: I see potential in the way Nigeria and Ghana banter about Jollof rice. I’ve seen how West Africans have sold jollof rice to the white, I’ve seen South Africans sell pap to the white, and of course the Italians have done their pasta. From my end, we are in talks with the tourist sector of Uganda. We want to pick a dish outside the Rolex to be made and cooked in different parts of the world the same way you go to a restaurant and ask for lasagna, bolognese, or jollof rice. Again, everything depends on the email from Guinness World Records. You can imagine the pressure. When the confirmation comes in, we’ll start with the country tour. We have different meals in Uganda. During the tour, we’ll try to make different meals from different regions.

FAB: What’s next after the Guiness World Record? Should we be expecting you to run for the Michelin star soon?

Dorcus Kirabo: God willing. The universe puts you in a position where you can reach out to other people; there are so many people. I have access to a lot of people and places, and it would be very selfish of me if I did not use that opportunity to bless the next person or put a smile on their faces. I use what I have been given for free to make the next person happy. 

Fashion, Beauty, and Fitness with Dorcus Kirabo 

FAB: What’s your ritual? How do you maintain such a beautiful body?

Dorcus Kirabo: I mind what I eat. I work out twice a week. I do cardio for at least 40 minutes.

FAB: Can you share a hack for revamping old or outdated items?

Dorcus Kirabo: I’m the most conservative dresser you’re ever going to find. I don’t know so much about fashion. Most of the time, when I have to go out, I consult stylists so that I don’t have to figure out a hack for anything. The best hack I can give anyone is to keep it simple. You can never go wrong with simplicity. 

FAB: What are your top three wardrobe essentials for creating versatile outfits?

Dorcus Kirabo: You can never go wrong with a pair of six-inch heels, a nice-fitting pair of pants or jeans, and a good-fitting shirt.

FAB: How do you keep your nails looking their best?

Dorcus Kirabo: I have a nail tech who does the gel for me. It lasts me about four to five weeks. You can never catch me on the bad side of nails; I think I got it from my mother. I don’t think I want to check out of this life without good nails. I don’t think they would receive me well.

Fun Zone: #FABFastFive

  • FAB: Which of these two smells better? Freshly cut grass or bread baking in the oven?Dorcus Kirabo: Bread baked in the oven.
  • FAB: What food should taste better than its appearance?
    Dorcus Kirabo: Pizza 
  • FAB: If you had a 5-star restaurant, what type of cuisine would you serve your customers?
    Dorcus Kirabo: Traditional Ugandan means.
  • FAB: If you have a million, what would you rather spend it on?
    Dorcus Kirabo: Travelling.

Credit: All Images, Dorcus Kirabo

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