Celeb chef Paul Hollywood cannot wait to be back in Bolton
CELEBRITY chef Paul Hollywood has said he is looking forward to the Food and Drink Festival this weekend — and he has a hankering for a chip butty.
This is the second time the Great British Bake Off judge is coming to Bolton with his sidekick Mary Berry to demonstrate some simple baking techniques.
The pair hit our screens in 2010 on the baking show, which selects the best amateur baker from a group of competitors.
Paul, aged 46, also reveals that he met “Bezza” in a rather unconventional way — and believes his harsh but constructive criticism on the show is justified.
Talking of the upcoming festival, he said: “I was involved in the Food and Drink Festival last year and I had so much fun that I had to come back. The crowd were a great laugh, we all had a giggle and the atmosphere was great.
“We are doing demonstrations again. This year we’ll be doing a quick strawberry cake and kneading dough. Bezza will be there with me too, of course.
“I’m not sure until I get to Bolton what I’ll want to do or what I’ll want to eat, but as I’m from the north anything from here is good enough for me. A chip butty with bin lid sized bread will do nicely.”
The baker, from Wallasey, Merseyside, is best known for his formidable judging technique on the baking show, which returned to our screens on Tuesday.
He said: “I’m quite harsh on the show but that’s just a fact of life. If something is wrong with a cake I always constructively criticise it.
“If the people don’t listen to the judge they will end up leaving the show. The ultimate winner is the one that listens to the judges.
“We never thought the show would be as big as this. It’s been such a pleasure working with Mel and Sue too. It really is a dream job — it’s not work.
“We used to argue a little in the first series about the cakes on Great British Bake Off but the standards got much better and now we are really telepathic with what we think.”
The pair have very different backgrounds — but Paul says this means they “complement each other.”
He said: “I come from a pastry background and I’ve worked in some of the best hotels. I started in my father’s bakery before moving on to hotels. I have worked in France, Italy and Cyprus before coming back to this country.
“Mary comes from more of a home baking background and I’m from a professional background so we complement each other.
“We met each other when we were at a darts match about eight years ago. She had a pint in one hand and a dart in the other. It was a great.”
He believes the show is successful because anyone can bake — and advises that scones are a good place to start.
Paul said: “It all comes down to the fact that baking is simple and everyone has the ingredients and equipment to do it themselves. It all may be in the back of their cupboards at home, but it’ll be in there somewhere.
“It’s all about chucking things into a bowl and making something. As long as you have scales, you’ll get it right.
“I could shave a chimpanzee and give him a recipe and some scales and he would be able to come up with something without a doubt. I might even try that.
“If you’re not confident, try baking scones. It’s really simple. Make your own jam and whisk up some cream and you’re done.
“Baking is a life thing for me — you carry on and get better. Bread is the hardest thing to master. If I woke up one day and thought I’d mastered it then I would be wrong. I love making bread but also puddings and pies and pastries. Baking is what life is all about.”
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