Monday 18 August 2014

Live Blogging for a Record Breaker

Ask anyone what I'm like on no sleep and they'll tell you immediately how much of a nightmare I am.  I'm a girl who very much likes a good solid 8 hours sleep a night, any less and it's probably best you stay out of my way.

So I really can't even begin to imagine what it's been like being Gareth Kyle this weekend!

Local boy, food fan and Masterchef Live winner Gareth took on an ultimate challenge as part of Newcastle's Eat Festival by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking demonstration.

When Gareth initially took on this mammoth task he was planning on cooking for 38 hours, giving him a comfortable win over the current record.  Unfortunately what poor Gareth didn't realise was that a few months later the record would be broken again meaning that suddenly he was faced with an additional 5 hours, resulting in a 41 hour challenge.

Setting up camp in a tent under Gray's Monument in the centre of Newcastle, Gareth began his cooking demonstration at 4:30 am on Friday morning.   

When attempting to break a world record you have to make sure you stick carefully to the rules.   That meant only having a 5 minute break per hour, two people officially witnessing each dish, a domestic kitchen set up and every piece of food prepared being eaten.

Luckily Gareth had an army of supporters popping in to the tent to check on him including tourists, the local constabulary, friends, family and, as the early hours of Saturday morning approached, the odd slightly tipsy party goer looking for some food after a night out on the Toon.

As Gareth served up dish after dish, his progress was being recorded and broadcast on the Eat website, complete with live blog commentary.  After a rather hilarious night of updates and embarrassing photos courtesy of Mr Steven Lynch it was the turn of the local bloggers to join Gareth in the tent as some of us took shifts to report on the last few hours of the challenge.

I headed down to the tent at 10:00 am on Saturday morning and was pleased to see that Gareth had a big smile on his face and was happily cooking up some curry.   He showed me the carefully written list of dishes that he'd originally planned to stick to but explained he'd quickly scrapped that idea and was now cooking whatever he fancied.   When you've been awake for 30 hours, cooking curry at breakfast time feels perfectly normal.

Aside from a few "dark moments" in the early hours of the morning Gareth was feeling pretty good and said he'd enjoyed his night cooking in the Toon.

It has to be said, I was very impressed at his ability to chat away whilst preparing fresh pasta for his next dish having not slept in so long.  He did have a few "bit tired now" moments when he completely lost the cheese grater and confessed that when his timer went off he wasn't entirely sure what it was for but that was only to be expected.

As each dish was prepared they were set out on the Chef's Table for people to eat, everything was free with people making contributions to local charity, The People's Kitchen

Personally I was waiting on the pasta dishes and after practically sticking my face into the pan it was finally time for me to sample some record breaking food.

I've never had fresh pasta directly out of the oven before and to have it stuffed full of gorgeous spinach and feta after having watched the chef make it from scratch was amazing.

All too soon my shift was over and it was time to hand over the reigns to Chloe of Prosecco and Pie to carry the live blogging through into the afternoon.  I was pretty jealous reading the live blog over the afternoon and discovering I was missing out on Bakewell Tart and Trifle!

Live blogging was so much fun and it was definitely great to have the ability to waffle away to my heart's content although I will admit the perfectionist in me did worry I was talking rubbish without having my official proof reader Simon there to double check what I was writing. 

Thanks so much to Gareth for asking me to be involved and letting me play a small part in such a wonderful challenge.  

Unfortunately we are all now playing a waiting game.  Gareth completed his 41 hour challenge but we will be waiting a few weeks to get the confirmation that he officially holds the World Record.   In the meantime I think it's probably best that Gareth spends a few days at home catching up on some much needed sleep!


  1. Fingers crossed that he managed to do it what an achievement. Like you I am no good on little to no sleep, I get very short tempered. Lovely pics Lucy x

    1. I'm confident he did it .. he was so focussed!

  2. Wow amazing, I'm the worlds biggest grump after a lack of sleep so I dont know how he did it :)

    Gems x
    Fashion, Well Done

    1. I'm awful, even sitting here now I'm feeling quite grumpy cos I've only had 7 hours sleep and I prefer at least 8! Oh dear!

  3. Fingers crossed everything has gone well and he gets his well deserved world record. All the food looked delicious!

    1. The pasta dish I tried was absolutely gorgeous! I could have eaten the whole dish but had to share!

  4. I love this and the food looked so nice! What a great experience to be part of! Well done you!


    1. Thank you :) I'm so so happy I got asked to do it, such a lovely experience x

  5. Great post Chloe! Looks like there was a great atmosphere and a huge well done to (champion) Gareth too :) Shivani x

    1. Thank you :) I wonder if he'll try and break his own record next year ;)


© New Girl in Toon | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig