Published 29/07/2014 | 11:12
Jordan lives in Nottingham where he works as an I.T. manager.
Jordan is a baking revolutionary and is passionate about crossbreeding bakes such as his 'pretzel-croissant' - he has lost days of his life perfecting his own version of the 'cronut.' He has been baking seriously for the last three years but has dabbled for longer than that.
Growing up just outside of Belfast, Iain’s parents were passionate about organic foods and this outlook has directly affected his style of baking.
Iain’s mum taught him everything he knows about baking and he keeps all of her traditional recipes, sending her pictures of his bakes back home. He loves to bake breads and cakes and especially enjoys using vegetables in his bakes. He baked his older brother’s wedding cake and dreams of opening a cafe in East London.
Luis was born and raised in Stockport, but both his parents were Spanish. An extremely inventive baker, Luis produces thoroughly researched and unique bakes, such as his Tequila Slammer Cheesecake or cherry brandy pipette gateaux. He uses honey from his bees and fresh ingredients from his allotment in his baking. He also preserves his own jam and his Bakewell tarts are his favourite bake to make... and eat.
Full of energy and ideas, Nancy is known for her sense of humour.
Nancy and her husband have renovated a house in the south of France and her time spent there has influenced her baking. She deliberately made friends with a French chef with whom she discusses ideas and learns new techniques, and pushed herself to improve her French so that she can read original French recipes.
Nancy bakes to feed the family and reduce costs, but also genuinely prefers the taste of homemade baking.
Chetna was born in India and moved to Mumbai for University where she became a fashion designer and started her own clothes label. Chetna used baking as a way of embracing life in the UK and has thrown herself into learning new skills, combining her mum’s traditional recipes and flavours with British bakes when she can. She is a creative yet meticulous baker and channels huge creativity into her baking, as well as painting beautiful murals on her children’s bedroom walls. She bakes for family and friends and runs a sociable curry club once a week.
Diana is The Great British Bake Off’s oldest baker so far and is armed with a quick wit and sense of seeing the brighter side of life. She is a traditional baker who has a strong base of knowledge to call on, and is confident making in pies, pastries and cakes, but feels that baking bread may be her weakest area. Diana can whip something together from the odds and ends she finds lying around in the pantry in order to feed any unexpected visitors. Making her daughter’s wedding cake was her proudest baking moment, but she describes her signature bakes as her chocolate cake, flaky pastry, Eccles cakes and vanilla slices.
Originally from Cambridgeshire, Kate now lives in Brighton with her five-year-old daughter Eloise. Community-minded, every year Kate organises a street party and she loves to bake for her family – last year she made 15 Christmas cakes!
Sparky and full of beans, Kate is a creative baker and treats every bake as an experiment. She very rarely uses recipes or weighs ingredients. She once baked a life-sized Goldfinger Bond girl for her sister’s 40th birthday and a full-sized 3D sculpture of her friend’s head – all from cake.
Kate feels that cake is her strongest area, with pastry being her weakest.
Claire lives in Cheshire, where she works as a speech and language therapist. She has been baking since she was 11 years old. Both her mother and grandmother were wedding cake decorators and her father was a chef, so they all taught her crucial techniques which should come in handy for the competition. Claire and her sister Katie were told to each choose a specialist bake that they could learn by heart as their true signature bake.
Before marrying husband Carl, Claire used to be a chaotic baker, but her chemist husband's precision has greatly influenced her in the kitchen. Claire is known for her unorthodox approach to slimming clubs, often bringing along cakes for her fellow slimmers.
Claire loves making cakes and pastries, particularly Chelsea buns, and her sense of fun and mischief shine through in her baking.
Born and bred in North London near Harrow, Enwezor is half Nigerian and half Japanese and now lives with his wife and four children in Portsmouth, where he works at the local University as a business consultant. He has taught himself to bake in the last three years and it has rapidly become one of his greatest passions, with Enwezor even doing a night shift with a professional baker, making over 900 loaves of bread, just for the work experience.
Enwezor regards baking as an inclusive and fun activity that he likes to do with his children - he'll give them a bowl of flour and let them mix it on the floor whilst he bakes. Although he started off with bread, pastry is now his favourite thing to work with.
Born in North London, Richard is a family man through and through. He is the fourth generation working in his family’s building business. Richard is as comfortable baking in the kitchen as he is building one, and likes to bake with his wife and two little girls. Richard loves bread and pastry and likes to rummage through his vegetable patch to find something to bake with. Making their daughters’ birthday cakes is as big an event as Christmas, with the girls coming downstairs in the morning to see what their parents have created for them.
Martha is the Great British Bake Off’s youngest ever baker and, at just 17 years old, she combines baking with her AS Level exams and coursework, taking revision breaks to make a tower of profiteroles or a batch of macaroons. Martha is studying Food Technology, Maths and Chemistry and wants to make a career out of food when she is older, saying: “I may be in school, but my head is always in the kitchen.” She lives with her mum, dad and younger sister and their white labradoodle Alfie - who steals Martha’s bakes whenever possible.
Norman is a true Scot and lives on the north east coast of Scotland. Now retired, Norman joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 19 where he worked as a radio operator and travelled the world. Norman’s father and brother were bakers, but he didn’t want that lifestyle for himself. However, he would like to bring back traditional Scottish recipes and has contacted some of his father’s old apprentices to revive some of the more traditional Scottish bakes that he fears are being lost. Despite being fiercely Scottish, he takes his caravan to Perpignan in France and some of his baking is inspired by French patisserie. Norman cultivates his own yeast starters to make bread and also uses it to brew his own beer and wine.
From an aspiring 17-year-old sixth former to the oldest baker to compete in the series so far, the contestants are as varied as to be expected from a primetime BBC show.
As wholesome as ever, the bakers range from allotment-loving retirees to amateur beekeepers.
Martha, 17, is the youngest contestant to join the 'baker’s dozen', and has had to find time to practise her baking skills while studying for her AS-Level exams.
Over 50 years her senior, Diana, 69, is the oldest contestant and has been baking since her teenager years.
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry have already called this year’s crop of bakers the most professional to enter the Bake Off tent so far, and judging by their character bios this year's contestants mean serious business.
Norman, 66, from Scotland, cultivates his own yeast starts to make his own bread and to brew beer and wine.
IT manager Jordan, 32, describes himself as a “nerdy baker” with a keen passion for perfecting crossbreed bakes like the “cronut” and his very own “pretzel-croissant", while Luis from Stockport likes to make creative inventions from Tequila Slammer Cheesecake to cherry brandy pipette gateaux.
The Great British Bake Off returns to a new home on BBC One this year after the last series achieved record ratings on BBC Two.
Over 9 million viewers tuned in to watch designer Frances Quinn crowned queen baker in October.
The Great British Bake Off starts Wednesday 6 August on BBC One.