Bake Off: The Professionals kicks off tonight (30 April), with Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden returning as judges and Liam Charles and Tom Allen as presenters.
As in last year’s show, the teams of professional chefs will be split into two heats of six each. The line-up is as follows:
Richard and Bernadett - Dreamland Cakes Patisserie
Having met while working together at Nadell Patisserie, Richard and fiancée Bernadett have gone on to relocate to Newcastle and start their own patisserie. Previously, Richard spent a year working with Graham Newbold, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s personal chef. Bernadett once made a cake for the Duchess of Cornwall.
Reshmi and Daisy - Anges de Sucre
Reshmi started Anges de Sucre from home, first making and selling macarons via post, and then expanding into making cakes for all occasions with a small team, eventually becoming an official cakes supplier to Selfridges. Daisy specialises in cake sculpting and collaborates with Anges de Sucre on occasion to create bespoke orders.
Hannah and Martina - Chiltern Firehouse
Hannah is head pastry chef at Chiltern Firehouse, and often spends her holiday time working at other high-end establishments to gain experience. Martina is currently studying Food Science at university while working at Chiltern Firehouse with Hannah. Martina previously worked at various high-end restaurants in Sydney.
Adam and Sam - Palé Hall Hotel
Head pastry chef Adam has been responsible for the design of the dessert menu as well as developing the à la carte menu, afternoon tea menu, guest chocolate boxes and luxury birthday cake service, all by the age of 23. Sous chef Sam, who is deaf, studied professional cookery at college. He hopes that by taking part in the series he can inspire other deaf people to pursue the career of their dreams and not feel limited by their disability.
Nelson and Evaldas - South Place Hotel
Nelson is the head pastry chef at South Place, with Evaldas working under him as sous chef. Nelson started his culinary career as a kitchen porter and has worked his way through the ranks to become head chef. Evaldas came second in the ‘Best Lithuania Chef’ competition and was then selected to compete in the Young Chef Olympiad competition in Luxembourg, as part of the Lithuanian National Culinary Team.
Steven and Connor – 1884
Steven was named head pastry chef at 1884 aged just 23. He has competed in multiple international competitions including World Skills in Abu Dhabi. His specialty is sugar work and chocolate showpieces. 19-year-old Connor has competed successfully in a number of competitions, the highlight being winning a bronze medal in the World Skills competition.
Thibault and Erica - Kimpton Fitzroy London
Originally from France and Italy, both Thibault and Erica moved to London to pursue their passion for pastry and met working at Dominique Ansel’s Bakery. Thibault is a seasoned competitor, most recently competing in the World Chocolate Masters Junior.
Sarah and Leyre - Pennyhill Park
Sarah is the head pastry chef at the five-star Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa in Surrey, leading a team of 10 pastry chefs. Leyre, who previously worked at Pennyhill under Sarah, is head pastry chef at South Lodge Hotel. Previously, she worked at Ladurée in London and high-end Spanish patisseries like Mama Framboise in Madrid and Escriba in Barcelona.
Jake and Kevin - Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square
Jake is British but was raised in Paris, which is where he discovered his love of pastry. After completing a diploma in culinary arts at Ferrandi school, Paris, Jake worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants such as Epicure in France and Celeste in London. Kevin has also worked in several Michelin-star restaurants and hotels. He moved from France to the UK to find a new challenge.
Sanjam and Exose - The Courthouse Cheshire
The youngest team in the competition, Sanjam and Exose feel they have a lot to prove. Both these young chefs have a huge amount of drive and passion, with Sanjam becoming a head pastry chef and Exose starting his own business, both before the age of 21. Exose enjoys experimenting with flavours, whereas Sanjam has an eye for decoration.
Pauline and Robert – Tigerlily
Pauline, the head pastry chef, initially trained as a chef but her passion for pastry prevailed. She loves bold flavours and is inspired by her travels. Robert, head chef, enjoys trying out new imaginative ideas and he is confident with sugar blowing and pulling.
Gaetano and Mark - Honore Patisserie
Mark has worked at Honoré Patisserie, which in supplying fine patisserie and cakes to premier sporting events, for 14 years, while Naples-born Gaetano has worked there for 17 years. The oldest of the teams, they are hoping to get recognition and to prove they can