Bake Off: The Professionals is coming, taking precision with pastry to a whole new level. Joining 12 teams of professional pastry chefs battling it out for the approval of judges Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden will be hosts Tom Allen and Liam Charles (who Bake Off fans will no doubt remember from series eight of The Great British Bake Off). Here they are to give us a run-down of the show and a heads-up on what to expect.
One thing is for sure: there will be tears over tiers and broken hearts over split custard.
Hello, and welcome to Bake Off: The Professionals! Sorry… that’s your line. How are you enjoying your new jobs as co-hosts?
Liam: “Co-hosting with Tom Allen has been sick, sick, sick. Even though it’s a competitive environment there’s always room for a laugh. It’s our job to help the chefs with that.”
Tom: “It’s been great working as a team – we make each other laugh.”
Describe Bake Off: The Professionals in a nutshell.
Tom: “It’s Bake Off’s older sister who’s been away at university and come back with a lot of knowledge and a bit of attitude.”
Liam: “I would call it the Willy Wonka of the pastry world.”
How does it compare to The Great British Bake Off?
Tom: “Bake Off: The Professionals is a heightened version of Bake Off – the standard is much more exacting. The teams put themselves under so much pressure because they’re doing something that they’ve build their whole careers and lives around. It’s lovely to watch their journey – it has all of that warmth and human interest in Bake Off, and also the humour, which is a coping mechanism. Passions run high – there’s an added edge and drama.”
Liam: “Bake Off: The Professionals is a similar format to Bake Off, but with professional chefs who are all from completely different walks of life. They all bring something to the show. The teams are at the top of their game and they produce insanely amazing pieces, which brings an added spectacle to the series.”
What’s been the most memorable part for you?
Tom: “Before I started filming I didn’t even know what an entremet was. I was inspired by the chefs and learned from their dedication – even when they’re up against the wall they still keep excelling themselves, pushing onto the next stage. They really shine.”
Liam: “I knew the teams were going to be really good as they’re professionals by trade, but some of the things they came up with were unbelievable. One week, I spent a good five minutes staring at a single showpiece as it was so spectacular. In the first week it did seem strange being on the other side of the workstation, but I’ve loved both sides of it, and for sure I can relate to what the chefs are going through.”
Join Tom Allen and Liam Charles for Bake Off: The Professionals at 8pm on Sunday 6th May on Channel 4. Soggy bottoms will not be tolerated.