Bake Off: The Professionals is back for an eighth series with a fresh batch of pastry chefs competing to be named Britain’s Best. The Great British Bake Off alumni and Junior Bake Off judge Liam Charles returns to Firle Place in Sussex to issue a new raft of challenges. And, this year, he has a new co-host: comedian, actress and writer Ellie Taylor. Benoit Blin, Chef Pâtissier at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and Cherish Finden, formerly Executive Pastry Chef of the Pan Pacific London Hotel, judge once more.
Our talented twosomes hail from across the UK including Norfolk, Essex, Birmingham and Darlington. There are teams from luxury hotels such as The Dorchester, The Landmark and St. James’ Court in London and Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire. There are patisserie pairs from Manchester’s Bisou Bisou, Wigan’s Harwoods and London’s Meraki Baking Studio. And contract caterers, Lexington Catering.
Family favourites bread and butter pudding and Banoffee pie are reinvented in Ordinary becomes the Extraordinary showpiece challenges, while pavlova, Peach Melba and mille-feuille are Reimagined. Themes include: Safari, Archaeology, Land of the Giants, Life of Amphibians and Reptiles and Mad Science. And, for the first time, teams are asked to create a fully suspended showpiece on the theme of Take Flight.
First up, each group of teams face a fiendish secret challenge: either Opera aux Fruit x 36 or individual Prinsesstårta x 36 and Chocolate Amenity. Then, the duos must reinvent those family favourites bread and butter pudding or Banoffee pie in a stunning showpiece.