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Pud-bye to Rowan

Paul and Prue admired his ambitious ideas, but in Bread Week it was sadly time to say pud-bye to Rowan.

Prue said of Rowan, Rowan has been such a character and I am sorry to see him go because he is so ambitious and so imaginative and he put so much thought into his baking.’

We sat down for a cup of tea and a natter with Rowan about his time in the tent:

‘I feel very content, I have had a wonderful time. It’s been exhausting but very rewarding. I enjoyed every moment of my experience, I felt like I went out on a high in a way because I had really tried my best with the Showstopper but of course you are judged overall on all three challenges. I tried to keep my timings down as that was one area I kept failing at, and in doing that I rushed the proving, and that really didn’t help. But I was pleased that my Showstopper did actually look quite good. They asked for spectacular so that is what I gave them, it’s a shame they didn’t like the taste so much.

 ‘I watch [Bake Off] with my partner Paul and friends. Each week I have made something, I made a quince dacquoise for the first week with the fruit from the garden, for week two I made rum babas, and for the third week I made an old favourite a gâteau vert, using pistachios. It was Monet’s favourite cake of course.   

‘I hope I did bring a little bit of culture to the show with my Magic Flute Battenberg in the first episode. I have a huge love of opera and I am hoping to go to Glyndebourne this year to see the Magic Flute. I was an instrumentalist as a younger man and then went on to teach music, Mozart is my first love I have to say.

‘I loved my time on the show and I just went in being myself. It’s hard to avoid being myself! I wasn’t nervous and very quickly I decided that I just wanted to enjoy it and bake and have fun. That’s my route in life, just go for it, I am not reckless but I am certainly not over cautious as a personality. I just want to enjoy life.

‘Having a bit of banter with Noel and Matt really releases the tension, a bit of a comedy moment in the day breaks it up. They were a lot of fun, and really great. And endless cups of tea of course!

Prue and Paul were both very, very kind and really supportive, and it’s true that you really want to impress them. They gave really very useful comments and you learn from them. I was touched by their care in trying to get me to do my best and make it work within the time. 

‘It was fun staying at the hotel, it felt like a bit of boarding school experience but with better food.

I would do it all over again, but having quite long naps in between, and probably wear a watch the next time, that could help! 

‘I am not sure what is next for me in the baking world, but I’d love to do something involving history, music and baking: beautiful Georgian houses, fabulous old pianos and elegant, naughty cakes… ooh, AND waistcoats! I have made a gold brocade waistcoat to wear on An Extra Slice, all hand-stitched, so I am hoping to compete sartorially with Tom Allen! He is so quick-witted and charming with it, and I am really looking forward to meeting Jo – and for me again another fabulous experience to tick off my list!’

Rowan will join Jo Brand and Tom Allen on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, Friday 9th October at 8pm on Channel 4.