Bake Off: The Professionals, TV toughest cookery contest, is returning to our screens very soon for a new season.
The show, a spin-off from The Great British Bake Off, sees teams of professional pastry chefs do battle as they whip up exquisite cakes and desserts, and it is heading back to Channel 4.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new season of Bake Off: The Professionals…
Bake Off: The Professionals air date
The new 10-part season will air in the UK on Channel 4 from Tuesday, May 24 at 8pm.
There is currently no air date for the US.
Bake Off: The Professionals — what is coming up?
The series sees 12 teams of two pastry chefs compete in a variety of culinary challenges involving miniature desserts and showpieces reinventing classic patisseries in a bid to impress exacting judges Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden. Each episode sees one team leave the contest.
Junior Bake Off judge and former The Great British Bake Off contestant Liam Charles returns to host the new run and and this time around, Loose Women panellist Stacey Solomon will join him, replacing comedian Tom Allen.
“It’s a dream job because I just eat food all day!” jokes Stacey. “Liam’s like an encyclopaedia because we’d tell the chefs what they had to make and then I’d go to Liam, ‘What’s that in layman's terms?!’ He’s like my younger brother and has so much empathy because he understands what the contestants are going through.
“The show is a well-oiled machine, so stepping into something that brilliant is scary. But I felt excited that they trusted me. I was nervous because I wanted to do well and not let the side down, but everyone was lovely. Cherish was supportive and such a girl’s girl and she really wants the chefs to do well. And Benoit’s the sweetest man. He made us snacks one day and they were little pieces of heaven. I ate five!”
Who are the contestants?
The first heats in episodes one to three see the following teams compete...
A Little Sweet - Jeffrey started out working in Hong Kong and now has his own patisserie in Cheshire with sister-in-law Venus.
Levens Kitchen - Robert and Mireia work together as pastry chefs at historic Levens Hall in the Lake District.
Eight Club London - Best friends Emanuele and Mariola work at an exclusive London members’ club.
Nathan and Kevin - Nathan began his career in Paris restaurants and works with Kevin, who hails from Nantes in France.
Jó Szerencsét - Hungarian couple Boglarka and Krisztian, who have two children, run a pastry kitchen in Gloucestershire.
Maison Mayci - French-born David and Cydrick have been friends for over 35 years and now David runs a patisserie in Birmingham.
The second lot of heats in episodes four to six see the following teams compete...
Prithvi - now living in Gloucestershire, Mauritius-born Dinesh won culinary contests while in British Army, and pal Ben hopes to run a patisserie.
Puddles - Jemima is the founder of a London patisserie and is competing alongside friend and fellow pastry chef Zack.
Hotel Café Royal - Taiwanese I Shan and Jojo, who grew up in the Philippines, work at the five star London hotel.
Sara and Giovanni - Italian chef Sara has worked in several London establishments and is teamed up with fellow Italian Giovanni.
Enrico and Antoine - Enrico from Italy and Antoine from France have both worked in top kitchens.
The Pink Kitchen - Brazilian friends Nina and Aline make wedding cakes and personalised confectionery.
What are they baking?
The first episode of Bake Off: The Professionals sees Benoit and Cherish give the first six teams a secret challenge of making strawberry fraisiers and a chocolate amenity and then they have to make a reinvented treacle tart with edible sculptures for the showpiece.
“I ate everything! I must have been a stone heavier by the time I finished. None of my outfits fit me! They even gave me my own box to take things home. It had ‘Stacey’s Bakes’ on it. But the first challenge was crazy because it was a secret one. And then we had something dramatic happen…,” teases Stacey.
“Yes, you will have to watch!” adds Liam. “But what was nice, they couldn’t prepare for the secret challenge, so they put all their energy into preparing for the second challenge so those showpieces are great. I love a bit of treacle tart too, so it was a good day!”
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Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.
Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.
Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.
In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.