The curse of the Star Baker has well and truly struck for me after winning Star Baker for the second time in last week’s episode. But I was so pleased just to get onto the show in the first place, and my wife said I wouldn’t get to episode 2! My whole aim was to get through to bread week, and as I watch it back now, I still wonder how I got this far.
My mum, dad and sister are really pleased that I am on it. This is the first time they have all watched it, and now they are committed viewers.
I was really worried about the technicals, but I ended up loving them, they were so raw and unexpected. It was a great experience, just a dream, I loved them. Also I was making things that I had never even heard of, so it was a good learning experience and forces you into a mindset.
I feel there are two half way marks on the show, on episode 5 you feel you are half way through the series, and then the second half way mark is when you realise you are one of the last 6 Bakers left in the tent, and that’s a totally different experience. I felt in episode 1 that everyone was better than me, so I couldn’t believe it when I got to the final 6, but by that time, I felt that I earned my place.
It’s a great competition, you can’t stoke up an early lead, you are only as good as your last bake. Like horseracing the favourite sometimes has a stumble and that’s how it is.
It’s such a small amount of people that actually make it to the tent. Lee said something to me in the first episode, which really sticks in my mind: If you were the richest person in the world you couldn’t buy this experience. Even when you are having a down moment in the tent, it’s a unique going wrong moment. It is a very special experience.
I will continue to watch Bake Off the way I always have. I give it due deference and respect, with no talking! My wife doesn’t let me talk through it, although from now on I won’t need a cushion to hide behind when I know it’s going to go terribly wrong.
I wanted to impress Mary the most and to get a good comment from her. If Mary says something nice you know it’s genuine, that’s the reality. When she said I made a good Genoese sponge that was a good feeling.
My best moment must be getting star baker on bread week. That meant so much to me as I love bread so much, I could live without cake. My worst moment was when Paul wouldn’t even try my Danish pastries, they were raw and I thought damn it, I wish I had left them in the oven longer!
I am still making my own salamis and cheeses to go with my breads, I make them in the autumn and the winter as they have to hang out on my balcony. My wife makes crab apple ketchup so it’s a good accompaniment.
I have just started a new job, but I want to start my own project, to get people to embrace failure particularly in baking, I want people to know that it’s ok for things to go wrong. I embraced that on the show, it’s important to take risks and sometimes I pulled it off and sometimes I didn’t. But if you don’t try new things then everything stays the same. Creativity is a risk, and I come from the land of the Rochdale pioneers!