No-nonsense judge Cherish Finden on why this year’s Bake Off: The Professionals is one of the toughest yet
Another batch of nervous pastry chefs will be put through their paces by formidable judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin in the new series of C4’s Bake Off: The Professionals.
Here, Cherish Finden tells us what to expect from Bake Off: The Professionals…
Have the teams impressed you this year?
Cherish Finden: “Yes, I think they raised the bar. We have a mixture of competitors from different establishments ranging from those with their own patisserie to those working in a five-star hotel. I was blown away with some of their new techniques.”
Has anything surprised you?
Cherish: “Yes there were things I was intrigued by and different types of ingredient I never expected to taste in this competition like Jerusalem artichoke.”
In the opening episode, you ask them to add a new spin to miniature classics – fruit salads and strawberry tarts…
Cherish: “You might think that a strawberry tart is easy. But I can assure you that the simplest thing is the most difficult to achieve. It is hard to make it perfectly for us!”
Have you had any memorable moments this time on Bake Off: The Professionals?
Cherish: “I liked the showpiece based on the world of magic where some of the contestants dressed up and put on a show. But another time, one of the showpieces smashed down to the floor even before we judged! My heart went out to the contestants and I really felt for them. I wanted to put on an apron and jump in to help!”
Do you find it hard when you have to be tough with the contestants?
Cherish: “Well, we like to be mentors so that hopefully they pick up as many tips from us as possible. But we do understand that the truth really hurts!”
Bake Off: The Professionals returns on Tuesday 26 May at 8pm on C4