Why I LOVE the Bake-Off Franchise
I grew up watching baking and cooking shows with my mom (Ok, with a little Oprah in between).
Lately, the trend for these types of shows seems to be more competitive and stress filled. While still entertaining they can definitely be a little off-putting at times.
So, when I discovered The Great British Bake Off, I was in love. What a breath of fresh air!
There was kindness, good healthy stress-free competition and come on, where else are you going to see someone making lion bread? (Two thumbs up Paul Jagger!)
Soon after, this show became an absolute addiction, and I watched every single episode of every season! Even my hubby got into the show, and we would debate who would win each season, he said he watched it only because of me, but I know secretly he loved it!
Then I heard about them doing a Canadian version of the show....AHHHHH!
It was a long shot, but somehow I ended up in the tent with 9 other fantastic bakers in the most gorgeous CFC Toronto Park.
Why does this series work?
Personally, I think this series works because it's a TRUE reality show!
Other 'reality' cooking shows tend to artificially inflate the competition (with big prizes and flash) which brings on the DRAMA! (By the way, I hate drama. There are enough over-dramatic people in real life to deal with so I'm really not interested in watching it on TV).
This show is actually based on 10 bakers coming together, building friendships (yes, us bakers still chat regularly on whatsapp!) and focusing on a passion which they all share. That's the whole premise of the show: simplicity at its finest.
Yes, there's competition, but everyone is self-motivated (after all, there really is no prize). We all had the same goal to complete our baking challenges and move onto the next episode.
Some shows may dramatize the end of the show when someone is sent home, but in this case it was completely real. We were always so nervous walking up to the tent to hear which one of our new friends was going to be sent home. It was actually really sad to see anyone go, it meant a good bye dinner and off they go to catch their flight the next morning. Remember we did EVERYTHING together during the taping of the show, so it pretty much became like losing one of your camp buddies.
So again, why are so many people interested in watching the Bake Off Franchise? I think its because it's all about observing the growth journey of real human beings. After all, everyone in this world has a unique story to tell so its interesting getting to know 10 different perspectives through baking. It shows how food truly is a universal language.
I can honestly say I went into the show thinking that this was going to be a great opportunity to learn from amazing pastry chefs (and yes, the tips we got from Rochelle and Bruno were Ahhh-mazing!), but it was also amazing to see what could be accomplished when you focus on something you're passionate about. Life gets busy and you generally don't have an opportunity to be taken out of your real life and focus on something that you love doing. I had a lot of people tell me that watching our journeys on the show inspired them to bake more. The reality is, that journey was real for me and I truly inspired myself to take chances and trust my own abilities and instincts.
Human beings have the capacity to push their limits, so next time an opportunity presents itself make sure to take it. The only way to grow as a person is to push yourself outside your comfort zone, and trust me you'll probably surprise yourself if you do.