Thursday 22 March 2018

'All I ever wanted was to be part of the 12 bakers', says contestant

By Eleanor Bley Griffiths, Press Association
By Eleanor Bley Griffiths, Press Association

Great British Bake Off's Alvin Magallanes has revealed it was actually watching the show which inspired him to take baking seriously, after he became "hooked" on watching the BBC One series.

But though he made the cut to become a contestant on the sixth series, tonight he became the sixth contestant to be expelled from the show, after he failed to conjure up the baking "miracle" co-judge Mary Berry said he would need to survive elimination.

"I always wanted to be on the show, I just got hooked and my interest in baking grew even more as I watched it," he explained.

"I bought everything from books to baking equipment and different spices and flavours.

"When we arrived on the coach for the first day of filming, I could see the top part of the tent in the field and I couldn't believe it," the Bake Off fan said.

"All I ever wanted was to be part of the 12 bakers and there I was.

"It was so exciting, and no-one can ever take that feeling away from me."

The 37-year-old, who works as a nurse in Berkshire, revealed he had become a bit of a celebrity among his patients.

"The show has been fantastic and has brought people together at work," he said.

"The patients refuse to go to sleep until they have seen the show, and some of them ask me to drop in and see them on the ward."

According to Magallanes, nursing and baking have a lot in common.

"You have to give a lot of care and attention in nursing the same as you do in baking," the father-of-two explained.

"Nursing is who I am, it defines me and is my way of life.

"Sometimes when it's stressful at work it is good to come home and bake and then you can unwind."

The sixth round of the competition was pastry week, with the bakers making short-crust pastry tarts, Cypriot flaounes, and vol-au-vents - all of which proved a challenge to Magallanes, who struggled with timing.

His plum frangipane tart did not go down well with co-judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, while his second-from-last position in the technical challenge put him in danger.

Berry commented that he would need a "miracle" to save himself in the final challenge.

No miracle was forthcoming, and his chicken a la King vol-au-vents were "raw" in places, according to Hollywood.

Berry complained she was "not getting much flavour" from the salmon en crout mini-pastries, cementing his position at the bottom of the heap.

This was not the first time the amateur baker struggled with timing.

During episode two, Magallanes ran out of time while making a 3D biscuit box, and ended up presenting its component parts.

"My worst moment in the tent was the biscuit box, I just couldn't finish it and I was so emotional," he said.

"I thought at the time that if I push on finishing the box I will be going home, so I had to make a decision.

"I chose to fail on the box and make the brandy snaps, which I knew my daughter loves and I wanted to finish them for her, and at the end of the day abandoning the box actually saved me."

But Magallanes decided not to give up on the biscuit box idea, and presented it to his colleagues and patients after the show aired.

"From the first week I have made bakes from every episode and brought them into work. I get my orders!" he said.

"I even managed to finish the biscuit box and took it in the next morning, and they all said I had redeemed myself."

The amateur baker revealed his plans to keep learning - though he will not give up the day job.

"I am carrying on with my nursing, but would also like to take a patisserie course and get some kind of qualification working with chocolate," he said.

Press Association

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