With Britain’s Best Bakery returning to our screens for a second series this January, BAKO spoke to expert judges Mich Turner and Peter Sidwell to hear their thoughts on what makes a stand-out baking business.
“Often local bakeries can be the real hub of the community,” commented Mich Turner, who has baked cakes for the Queen, David Beckham and countless other famous names through her business, Little Venice Cake Company. “They play a very, very important role and our role on Britain’s best bakery is to find the very best.”
“The high street is a pretty tough place at the moment,” adds fellow judge Peter Sidwell, celebrated cookbook author and long-time chef. “Any bakery that’s still out there, still trading, still doing business is worth its weight in gold and deserves to be celebrated.”
“These are bakeries who are really putting their community, their seasonality, their local ingredients and their town on the map for being the very best,” Mich continues, “It’s really championing the wonderful work our independent bakeries are doing.”
Peter also believes the show, which sees bakers from each region of the UK compete to be crowned Britain’s Best Bakery, challenges bakers to go beyond their comfort zone and hone their baking skills even further.
“It’s really interesting to see the bakeries and see how they evolve throughout this competition,” he shares, admitting, “They’re quite competitive, bakers, and once they get stuck in they really want to go for it!”
Of course, beyond the competitive element of the show, Britain’s Best Bakery also provides a rare opportunity for contestants and judges alike to meet others who share their passion for baking.
“For me the food industry is absolutely the best thing in the world,” Peter told BAKO, “For me the creativity is the one thing I absolutely love.”
Creativity is also one of the main reasons Mich enjoys working in the industry so much, enthusing, “I can create new and exciting flavours, design some combinations instantly and for me that’s one of the greatest joys of having the flexibility and the creativity and the entrepreneurialism of running Little Venice Cake Company.”
While both acclaimed bakers wouldn’t trade their job for any other, they do offer a word of warning for anyone looking to launch their own baking business.
“Don’t enter into it without expecting to sacrifice a huge amount,” states Mich, continuing, “You have to be prepared to give up an awful lot in order to really make a success of the business and you have to stay focused.”
“It’s very important to make sure that when you’re developing products you’re developing for the right customer in the right environment,” Peter adds, concluding, “At the end of the day you’re there to create for them: it’s not about baking for egos, it’s about baking for customers.”
Have Peter and Mich’s words of wisdom inspired you to start preparing to enter the next series of Britain’s Best Bakery? Contact BAKO for all the ingredients you’ll need to whip up the perfect choux, perfect your piping technique or take the humble biscuit to new heights.