Pastry tutor Mark Tilling and two of his former pupils have been crowned the winners of BBC2’s ‘Bake Off: Crème de la Crème’.
Mark, Head of Squires Kitchen International School, and star pupils Helen and Samantha, beat 14 other teams to the top spot to be named the crème de la crème of British pastry in the finale on Tuesday (May 19).
Hosted by celebrated chef Tom Kerridge, the début series of the show featured teams of professional pastry chefs going head-to-head to create elaborate patisserie and desserts for expert judges Benoit Blin, Claire Clark and Cherish Finden.
Scraping into the semi-finals on a wildcard as the highest-placing runner-up, Mark’s team won their semi-final with a chocolate egg sculpture which earned high praise from the judges. They then showcased their skills in the final with a fine dining dessert banquet for 100 guests.
Twice winner of the UK Chocolate Masters, Mark, said: “We were up against two very good teams and I was worried that we hadn’t done enough to show the judges our skills for the final. We were right down to the wire on the day with what we had to do. It felt great to win but it took a while to sink in as we were so tired! It was fantastic and I still can’t quite believe it now.”
Squires Kitchen International School is a leading independent school of cake decorating, sugarcraft and baking, welcoming students from around the world to attend professional courses.
‘Bake Off: Crème de la Crème’ is returning to BBC Two and is on the search for teams to take part in the next series. BBC Two said: ‘We’re looking for passionate and creative pastry chefs to make up a team of three and compete to impress our judges with their patisserie skills. The team will be representing its place of work, whether that is a five-star hotel, a renowned restaurant, an events team or high-end patisserie supplier. The team captain must be a head or senior pastry chef.’
‘Bake Off: Crème de la Crème’ is produced for the BBC by Love Productions. To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to ‘Bake Off: Crème de la Crème’, Love Productions, 43 Eagle Street, London NW10 5JG. The closing date is Sunday June 12.
l-r: Samantha Rain, team captain Mark Tilling, Helen Vass