Spoiler alert! How Wisbech lecturers got on in Bake Off: The Professionals
- Credit: Channel4/All4
Two catering lecturers from the College of West Anglia may have been sent home on the first round of Bake Off: The Professionals – but they described the experience as “amazing”.
Alex Harrison and Stacey Martin both work at the college’s Wisbech campus and competed in the show’s new series which aired last night (May 25).
They were up against some of the country’s best patisserie chefs - but struggled to maintain the high standards needed to remain in the competition.
At the end of the show, Stacey said: “We’ve had a fantastic few days. The experience has been eye opening, stressful, hard work... but amazing.
“We want to show our students that we are not afraid of failure, that you can only rebuild, pick yourself up and get better from your mistakes.”
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Judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin tasked the teams to create their own versions of two miniature desserts: a tarte piémontaise and the jaffa cake.
Tarte piémontaise is an Italian classic and consists of hazelnut tart crust, hazelnut cream, topped with dark chocolate ganache and caramelized roasted hazelnuts.
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The judges encouraged the chefs to elevate their jaffa cakes and create contemporary versions.
For the competition’s showstopper round, teams had to create sculpture centrepieces around the theme of strawberries and cream.
But Alex and Stacey struggled with timings and admitted they had been over ambitious with their creations, affecting the overall look of their desserts.
The duo have worked together at the college in Wisbech for the past decade and have shared their knowledge and expertise with scores of Fenland students.
Alex trained at the college and worked in pub and hotel kitchens - including some time in Australia - before returning to where it all started to lecture.
Meanwhile, Stacey, who began baking with her mum at the age of four, spent many years working in the hospitality industry before joining the college in 2011, where she runs the pastry section.
At the College of West Anglia, she has previously mentored students in competitions, including the finals of Young Chocolatier of the Year.