Saturday 24 June 2017

'I don't think my age is a disadvantage,' says GIBO contestant Natasha (17)

Natasha Dawson from the Great Irish Bake Off
Natasha Dawson from the Great Irish Bake Off
Bakers taking part in the new series of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3. Picture Brian McEvoy
Tv3 - The Great Irish Bake Off Baker Natasha Dawson (17) from Donegal (Born in Wales) Picture Brian McEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Ciara Treacy

The youngest chef on The Great Irish Bake Off has said that her age didn't affect her at all in the reality show competition.

Natasha Dawson (17), from the Glenties, Co Donegal, applied to be one of 12 contestants on the show before even beginning her Leaving Cert.

"Everyone asks me what it was like to be the youngest contestant," she said.

"To be honest it was kind of exciting and didn't feel like a disadvantage at all.

Tv3 - The Great Irish Bake Off Baker Natasha Dawson (17) from Donegal (Born in Wales)
Picture Brian McEvoy
No Repro fee for one use
Tv3 - The Great Irish Bake Off Baker Natasha Dawson (17) from Donegal (Born in Wales) Picture Brian McEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Read more: Bake Off is 'nicest show on TV' compared to 'vicious' X Factor, says Anna Nolan

"It was quite nerve-wracking at the start because I didn't know what to expect, there was the fear of the unknown. The passion that all the bakers had was just as much as every other one though and I loved every minute of it."

Natasha has had a love for making pastries from a young age.

"I have always grown up with baking, with my mom and my grandparents," she said. "We're a real baking family and I just continued to love it as I got older.

Bakers taking part in the new series of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3. Picture Brian McEvoy
Bakers taking part in the new series of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3. Picture Brian McEvoy

"My love of baking never started really, it just grew.

"My mom showed me the competition and said I should enter.

"I was actually on holiday and on the way back when I found out I had got through to the audition stage.

"The man beside me on the plane ordered green tea, so I said I would have to do something with green tea for the audition.

"By the time I arrived in Belfast I decided I would make a dark chocolate and matcha green tea mousse cake."

Read more: Baking helped me through my marriage break-up, says Great Irish Bake Off contestant Sandra

A sixth-year student at St Columba's Comprehensive School, Natasha hopes to pursue her dream of baking for a living.

"After my Leaving Cert I'm hoping to do a culinary arts course in DIT. I want to get the degree and then specialise in pastry.

"I also want to go to France, because it's the country of food, and has amazing pastries."

She not only bakes for pleasure but also puts her skills to use to raise money for charity.

"My dad has Multiple Sclerosis so I do a lot of charity bakes just to fundraise," she said.

"My parents do a lot of fundraising for it, they did a parachute jump and I'm hoping to do one myself next year."

Natasha and 11 other bakers will battle it out for the title of Ireland's Best Amateur Baker 2015 on the show which begins on TV3 tomorrow at 9pm.

Herald

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