Stu on meeting Paul and Mary…
What’s inspired you to bake?
My first inspiration was my mum. I grew up in a farm by day and was in my parent’s restaurant business at night. Early memories of my mum’s creme brulees sparked everything off but it wasn’t until I was having to cook for myself that the fire really started. Not literally obviously (actually I lie), a fair few tea towels have met smoky ends.
What has been your biggest baking disaster ever?
Pastry has been a torment. Especially on hot days. On a number of occasions there have been screams into a tea towel. Poor tea towels. They haven’t had the easiest time in my house.
And your baking triumph ever?
Whenever there is a happy face it feels like a triumph.
How does the presence of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry affect your nerves in the kitchen?
First and foremost I am a massive fan and one of the main reasons I applied was just to meet these two icons and Mel and Sue too. Those ladies are just as you’d expect. Totally awesome and welcoming. They really put your mind at ease. Then Paul and Mary come around turn you into a jibbering wreck. Seriously though, Mary is more scary. I thought she’d be scared of me.
Which past Bake Off contestants have impressed you the most and why?
The audition process was so full on that anyone that has made it to the tent has my upmost respect. Dig them all.
What is your biggest fear in the kitchen?
Making someone ill or something inedible. Hasn’t happened yet but everyone has bad bake days.
Tea or coffee? Mug of tea for hydration and then a cup of coffee to set you up for the day. Both essential.
White or brown bread? White with added bran to ease the guilt.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla all day long
Paul or Mary? They are like the eggs and the flour. A cake isn’t a cake without the both them. Mel and Sue are the butter and sugar that bring the whole thing together.