INTERVIEW with Great Canadian Baking Show judges BRUNO & ROCHELLE
Baking for world class pastry chefs is definitely as stressful as it appears on TV. You know there is really nothing you can slide past them because they will call you out on it every time. Even though Bruno and Rochelle had us bakers shaking in our boots when it was judging time, I certainly learned a lot from them and really enjoyed getting to know these two wonderful people!
It’s been a year since our time in the tent for season 1 and I had the pleasure of chatting with Bruno and Rochelle a year later to ask them my own burning questions…time to put them on the spot now!
Here we go….Ready, Set, BAKE!
OK Bruno & Rochelle, its ‘Cake Week’ and you have 4 hours. What would you make for a showstopper?
Bruno: I would have done a Black Forest cake. A classic, but it does deliver amazing flavours, great texture, and also leaves a lot of room for creativity in term of structure and decorations.
Rochelle: I would make a 6 layer chocolate cake layered with a light chocolate buttercream, adorned with fresh roses.
Has there ever been a time when you both disagreed on which baker to send home or be star baker while judging the show? If so, how did you handle it? (…Please don’t say a coin toss!!)
Bruno: I don't believe we have ever disagreed. We bring different opinions and view points based on our more than 50 years of combined professional experience. We weigh a lot of options from what we taste, see and observe. We keep track, making a lot of notes, and we are both very good with sensorial memory.
Rochelle: Actually, we rarely disagree! I think this speaks to our professionalism - there is no room for our personal opinions in judging, just our technical expertise, and since we both have similar backgrounds, we judge from a shared professional platform.
Why do you think the baking show concept is so popular all over the world?
Bruno: Its simple in its approach: you bake to share with family, friends and co-workers. However, baking is still full of mystery for a lot of people. Baking is when magic meets chemistry and delivers awesome moments to remember.
Rochelle: We bake for love, and love is a tangible ingredient you can taste. Any format that encourages baking, spreads love! It just feels so good!
As a season 1 baker I’m still amazed by the amount of Canada-wide support there is for The Great Canadian Baking Show, what has your experience been as a judge?
Bruno: It amazes me to discover so many talented bakers who are not professional. I have discovered flavours (Thanks Vandana!) that I never knew existed; I have been so enriched by this experience.
Rochelle: I have thoroughly enjoyed the national pride that Season 2 has continued to cultivate!
How does Season 2 of the show compare with Season 1 so far? How does it feel being back in the tent?
Bruno: I was a bit sad not to see anymore the season 1 bakers. I think we forged together the baby steps of this amazing show.
Rochelle: It was like coming home! Season 2 certainly felt more comfortable for me!
What was your favourite Great Canadian Baking Show moment of season 1?
Bruno: For me it was the discovery of new flavours!
Rochelle: The finale was a nail biter and we were genuinely excited to watch the journey that you, Linda and Sabrina embarked on!
Do you have any advice or tips for bakers who are thinking of applying for a future season of the show?
Bruno: Bake to inspire, not to impress.
Rochelle: If you love, love, love baking - apply! If you want to start a career in baking, invest in some professional training, find an investor, and be prepared to work bloody hard!
OK one last question ...since we are out of the tent now. Overall, what do you really think of my baking...what are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? (Be honest, don’t worry I can handle it!!)
Pluses - unique flavours, beautiful balanced synergy of colours and design. You were amazing at selling your and your families’ stories, it rally captivated me. I really felt your flavours took me on a journey to a new land.
Minuses - It is hard to say because you were so unique in what you baked. Seriously, it was so tight between the final three bakers, it was just a matter of making the slightest error in the final bakes.
Rochelle: Dear Vandana, your approach to baking was refreshing and your generosity in sharing your heart and heritage with us through your bakes remains so memorable for me! XRA
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, Bruno and Rochelle! I love seeing you both back on the show for season 2!
For more thoughts on my experiences on The Great Canadian Baking Show read Why I love the Bake Off Franchise!
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