Food

Who eats all the leftovers? Stylist goes behind the scenes at The Great British Bake Off

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Katie O'Malley
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Tonight, the UK will say farewell to The Great British Bake Off series six *sobs*.

In homage to the show, we thought it’s about time we lift the lid on what really goes on in that iconic tent. Seriously, who eats all the leftovers? Does the loser do the washing up? Do the bakers drink the hotel bar dry with a group singalong to Sister Sledge’s We are family on karaoke?

So, with a little help from our Bake Off insiders, Stylist reveals everything you didn’t know about the baking drama. 

Frances Quinn: GBBO’s 2013 winner

Frances Quinn

Frances Quinn

  • Insider tip: Paul loves coconut but Mary doesn’t, and Sue hate goat’s cheese.
  • There are no dishwashers, so the poor runners have to wash everything by hand.
  • During the technical challenge, Mary and Paul would watch back-to-back episodes of Mad Men

Quinntessential Baking by Frances Quinn, is out now (Bloomsbury, £25)

Richard Burr: GBBO 2014 finalist

Richard Burr

Richard Burr

  • There’s about 50 crew legging it about at some point so there’s always a cuppa or a sarnie being shoved under the bakers’ work stations.
  • One of the bakers, Luis Troyano brought along a sheriff’s badge after he won ‘Star Baker’ in episode three which we passed to each Star Baker for luck. Nancy got to keep it as the series winner.
  • There’s always a clean apron on the work stations for each back but it became a bit of a competition on who could nick the most aprons — I got three.

BIY by Richard Burr (£20, Quadrille), out now

Luis Troyano: GBBO’s 2014 finalist

Luis Troyano

Luis Troyano

  • The Bake Off is really difficult to get into — there's at least four rounds of auditions, with lots of baking involved. There's even a technical simulated at a catering college.
  • I remember running over to Nancy's bench to help her in the semi-final as molten chocolate was literally running off her bench onto the floor — we were both in stitches. I was swiftly despatched back to my bench though as the producers don't like contestants helping each other.
  • Paul and Mary rarely give tips as they don't like to have any favouritism. Sue and Mel tried to help but they were often more interested in eating ingredients and offcuts. They always put a smile on our faces when things were stressful or going wrong.

Bake It Great by Luis Troyano (£20, Pavilion), out now

Jo Wheatley: GBBO 2011 winner

Jo Wheatley

Jo Wheatley

  • There was a few stages that  my year had to go through before you made it to the final 12. I remember my first audition — I was second in and the man before me came out crying saying Mary Berry said "my pastry has a soggy bottom". Then they called my name — I was terrified! Fortunately, Mary said my sponge was one of the finest she’d tasted. 
  • We were in the tent from about 8am till 6pm so it's a long day but we did get breaks in-between. 
  • I took my final apron home with me as a momento. It’s always the popular apron on my baking day classes. 

Jo Wheatley runs relaxed, informal baking classes in Essex, visit josblueaga.com for full details.

Edd Kimber: GBBO 2010 winner

Edd Kimber

Edd Kimber

  • The show and the contestants are much more friendly than you might think. We're in the tent so long and most of what happens doesn't end in the show  — we were sways chatting and giving each other advice and, when you had time, a helping hand. I didn't fee competitive at all.
  • Paul enjoys putting you off you game and gives nothing away. He makes you second guess everything. 
  • You eat your lunch right there on the bench but once I came back to find all my bread had gone. I was told Paul took it home and served it at a dinner party.

Edd Kimber is appearing at The Chocolate Show, 16-18 October at Olympia. Click here for more information and tickets tickets. Edd's book Patisserie Made Simple (Kyle Books) is out now.

Watch The Great British Bake-Off final at 8pm on Wednesday on BBC1

 

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Katie O'Malley

Katie O’Malley is the editorial assistant at Stylist magazine. When she’s not writing features about everything, from Suffragettes to fashion designers’ desks, she writes the Elsewhere page and contributes to Scoop and 5 Minute Philosopher. She also has a weakness for cheese, monochrome everything and films…all films.

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