Emmy GriffithsFrom a retired midwife to a Criminology student, meet the bakers that we will be falling in love with for the 2021 series
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Great British Bake Off is almost back on our screens, and Channel 4 has finally announced the line-up of bakers - and they look like they are going to be as amazing as ever! From thrill-seeker Chigs to Italian engineer Giuseppe, meet our new line-up of bakers here…
Quadrilingual Crystelle is a baker who brings her wonderfully diverse heritage – born in northwest London to Kenyan born, Portuguese-Goan parents – to the flavours in her baking. Growing up, she would help her mother prepare their family meals and is always in charge of finding the best places in eat when going out with pals. Crystelle is also an enthusiastic singer, and joined an online choir in lockdown.
Originally from Italy, the dad-of-three now lives in Bristol. His love for baking comes from his father, a professional chef who did all the cooking at home as Giuseppe was growing up, including making a cake every Sunday. Giuseppe loves using Italian flavours in his bakes, while he also brings his engineer’s precision to the results. When he’s not baking, Giuseppe loves indulging his passion for design and architecture, and with his wife has renovated their family home. He also loves gardening.
Chigs is relatively new to baking, and started taking it seriously as a lockdown 2020 challenge. He taught himself through online videos, and loves a challenge. Chigs is a self-professed thrill-seeker, and enjoys bouldering, skydiving and trekking - and has his sights set on conquering Kilimanjaro. When he’s not baking or climbing, you’ll find him spending time with his nephews who he adores.
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With a big Jamaican family on both sides, Rochica bakes in a way that reflects her Caribbean heritage: with flavour, passion and love. She always is especially proud when her nan and aunties tell her she has baked a cake that reminds them of the treats they grew up with. A dancer from the age of two, Rochica’s interest in baking developed when she was left unable to dance due to an injury.
Although he proudly remembers his place as the only boy in his primary school baking club, Tom discovered his true passion for baking a mere four years ago, when he made his dad a sticky toffee pudding cake. His mum describes him as the ‘midnight baker’ – before – he moved out of the family home, she would often wake up to a sweet treat… and a pile of washing up! Tom likes to take the foundations of a recipe and make it his own, creating bakes that are fun and often follow a theme. Away from his stand mixer, Tom works for the family software company and loves amateur dramatics and singing. He is also a keen runner.
Freya has been watching Bake Off since season one! Studying for a psychology degree, she lives at home with her parents, where she looks after her horse, Winnie. A year ago, Freya began making plant-based versions of classic bakes for her dad – now it’s her goal to bake so that no one can tell the results are vegan.
Londoner George grew up in a close-knit Greek-Cypriot family where food was always a big part of family life. The dad-of-three was taught to bake by his mum) and he loves all the Greek classics. He loves a shabby-chic, vintage vibe and has a keen eye for detail, looking for perfection in the finished presentation. When George isn’t baking, gardening or looking after his miniature zoo, he will be in the great outdoors with his family, on bike rides and walks.
Lizzie and her partner live with their dog, Prudence, in an annex in her parents’ garden. Lizzie may look like she’s frantic and messy on the outside, but she is usually calm and collected within - which is reflected in her gorgeous bakes! She loves experimenting with flavour… as long as it doesn’t involve putting cheese in bread, which she thinks can only spell disaster. When she’s not baking, Lizzie can be found on the dance floor doing the samba, or investigating the lives of serial killers – a fascination she developed during her study for her criminology degree.
For Trinidadian-born Jairzeno, ‘baking is like breathing’! Jairzeno moved to the UK from Trinidad & Tobago 15 years ago and now lives in London. He loves running, and has taken part in half marathons across Europe and ran the London Marathon in 2012. When he’s not baking or running, he and his partner can be found cooking up a storm in their kitchen, or on walks, looking for shapes in nature to inspire Jairzeno’s next bake.
Maggie finds that baking comes naturally to her, and owns an impressive collection of classic recipe books. Her favourite thing to bake is bread, and as a retired midwife, Maggie believes the excitement of delivering a baby can only be excellent preparation for taking part in Bake Off! She loves canoeing, kayaking and sailing, and regularly takes off in her campervan, heading for adventure. We love her already!
Originally from the Black Forest in Germany, Jürgen moved to the UK in 2003 and now lives with his wife and son. He became interested in baking after he was unable to find traditional German bread in his adopted home - so he should be a hit with Paul! He is particularly well-known for his Jewish challah bread, and for the celebration cakes that he loves to bake for friends and family. Jürgen is also an accomplished trombonist, but of course!
Amanda studied graphic design and worked in advertising before joining the Metropolitan Police, training as a detective. She learned about Greek baking from her paternal auntie, and grew up baking with her mum. She loves painting directly on to her cakes - so we expect some dazzling creativity for her! Since all Bake Off contestants tend to have at least one unusual hobby, Amanda, of course, loves to start her day with an outdoor swim – the colder, the better!