We sat down with finalist Chigs for a quick bite and a chat about his time in the Tent. Here’s what Chigs said about his Bake Off experience:
We filmed this series in a COVID-secure bubble again this year, how did it feel to be meeting and living with your fellow bakers?
I was obviously nervous about being away from my family and friends for so long but it was amazing to have met my fellow bakers and to get to know them.
What did you enjoy most about being in the bubble and what did you miss most about being away from home?
The most enjoyable part was being able to focus on the baking, the hardest part was that I missed my family and friends.
Did you pack a lucky item for your stay?
My trainers collection!
During the filming time when you were away from home, where did you say you were to friends?
I told my friends and family I was working in London on a work assignment.
Can you describe the bakers as a group this year, and are you all on a WhatsApp group?
All the bakers were amazing and I count them all as great friends and yes, we do have a WhatsApp group!
How nervous were you when Paul and Prue started judging the first Signature challenge and how does it feel when they are judging the Technical challenge when they don’t know who has baked which item?
It felt like a dream at first, after watching the show for so many years it was nerve-wracking to think they were both about to judge a creation of mine.
Having watched Bake Off in the past, was the first day in the Tent what you expected?
The amount of filming and preparation was much more than I expected but as soon as I realised what was involved it quickly became the new normal.
Are you a messy or tidy baker?
Very tidy and it was something that was commented on by the bakers and crew alike – apparently the team that did all the washing up were very grateful!
Who is your baking inspiration and what age did you start baking?
Dominque Ansel, he is an amazing baker and when we moved in to lockdown last year I used the opportunity to bake for myself at the ripe old age of 39!
The Bake Off family is a very exclusive club, how do you feel being a new member?
It’s an honour and privilege to be counted as a member of the Bake Off family – making it to the Tent has been one of my proudest achievements.
The warmth and love you get in the Tent is a very special feeling – what is the nicest thing in baking you have done for anyone or given them?
I baked my very first cake for my sister last year, she and her family lived with me while their house was being renovated and while she was with me I baked her a delicious birthday cake, inspired by one of her favourite chocolate brands.
What is the cake you get asked to make the most for friends and family?
I don’t get asked to make a specific cake (as I have only been baking since the first lockdown), just as long as it’s a yummy cake. I do get asked to make cookies very frequently.
If you were a cake what would you be and why?
Chocolate cake, because I love chocolate!
In three words how would you describe yourself?
Cheeky, adventurous, driven.
Are there any bakes or flavours that you really dislike? And why…
No, when it comes to food I really love trying everything
When baking at home what do you have on in the background – music/TV/podcast/radio?
What do you feel that you have learned the most from your experience in the Tent?
That I can actually bake and have the skills and confidence to bake at a high standard.
Overall what was your best and worst moment in the Tent?
Best moments were the handshakes from Paul and getting Star Baker twice, and the worst was seeing bakers leave each week.
What’s next for you in the baking world?
Undecided, though my love for baking has grown even more so I definitely want to delve deeper into the baking world.
Favourite challenge overall and why?
Dessert Week, as I got my first handshake and Star Baker.
Worst challenge and why?
Caramel Week Showstopper, because it started melting!
Funniest moment in the tent?
Crystelle’s walk on Week One – you have to watch the show to see what I mean!
What will you take away from your experience on Bake Off?
The entire experience of Bake Off – from seeing the set, meeting Paul, Prue, Noel and Matt, the crew and of course, the other bakers, was amazing and something I will never ever forget. I’m so proud to have made it on the show and to have competed against an amazing set of bakers.