Life Food & Drink

Wednesday 18 September 2019

'Every day I pinch myself... I was a home baker with a hobby' - Former GBBO winner Candice Brown (33) on following her dream

Candice Brown, winner of the Great British Bake Off
Candice Brown, winner of the Great British Bake Off
Andrew (centre) and Jane Beedle (right) congratulate Candice Brown at the GBBO 2016 final (Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA)
Candice Brown (Lauren Hurley/PA)
Candice Brown
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Former Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown is one of the personalities headlining the Taste of Dublin festival next month.

Brown (33) won the Great British Bake Off trophy 2016, having impressed the judges with fare including her gingerbread pub.

Before she applied for GBBO, she was a PE teacher based with a passion for home baking. Now, she has become a TV personality, appearing on This Morning and Loose Women.

“Every single day I pinch myself, I’m so lucky, I always say ‘thank you’, I’m just go grateful, and the opportunities I’m getting have been incredible.”

“I’m just a home baker who did it for a hobby, and I was very lucky and got an incredible opportunity with a platform. I think if you enjoy doing something, then you should carry that through, I think it’s great and important that people do what they enjoy… just go with it.”

Brown, who wrote her own baking book Comfort Food, counts Ireland’s Rachel Allen and Robin Gill as her food heroes.

“I really like Rachel Allen, she’s very welcoming and I think I’d have a good chat with her. And Robin Gill who is an amazing chef and all these people who have incredible restaurants as well.”

The 33-year-old says she plans to use local produce when she visits Dublin for Taste next month, to make an Irish version of one of her signature bakes.

“I do a black pudding sausage roll, and white pudding is popular here as well, so I want to do a white pudding sausage roll while I’m here. Using your local meats.”

“I will be here over the weekend, demonstrating on stage some of my favourite home cooked things and having a good old chat. What an incredible opportunity to come to Taste in Ireland. I love the idea that it’s a playground (this year's theme for Taste), thinking about playing with food and learning and understanding. I’m sure I’ll be taking home lots of ideas and produce.”

Brown is engaged to be married to Liam Macaulay this year. Will she make her wedding cake?

“No way. I’ve made a couple of wedding cakes over the last year, and one for my best friend’s wedding in August and it was up there with the stress of bake-off… I know 11 very talented bakers (fellow GBBO contestants) so I’ve passed it all on to them.”

“They asked me what I wanted and I said ‘I don’t mind at all’. I know they’ll make something amazing.”

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