A SOLIHULL-based pastry chef is upbeat after narrowly missing out on winning Britain’s ‘toughest’ baking competition.
Darryl Collins and his sous chef Bharat Chandegra from Resorts World competed in the final three of Bake Off: The Professionals on Channel Four last night(Sunday, July 8)
Mr Collins said he believes they could have won had disaster not struck when his grand showpiece smashed.
In the final the teams had to create a lavish banquet for 80 people with four desserts and a towering showpiece.
Darryl said: “It was extremely tough. We had nine hours over two days to get everything finished in that time period.
“The sugar showpiece fell to pieces unfortunately. It was a shame because all our flavours were great.
“Had it held up – we would have definitely won I reckon.”
The pair went head-to-head against hotels, restaurants and cafes from across the country in the elimination round and despite almost leaving the competition in the first episode they made it into the final three.
Mr Collins said he was he was self-taught and developed a natural ability with pastry cooking – perhaps owed to his roots in Cornwall.
He said: “I started off as a kitchen porter and kind of fell into pastry and now it seems to come naturally.
“I seem to have a Midas touch for desserts.
“Most of the stuff I have learned I had to teach myself.”
Mr Collins said his success in the competition was a victory for his company Tuk Cakes, Birmingham and the West Midlands – with many more recognisable names trailing in the wake of the pastry extraordinaire.
Over the past three weeks the 12 teams were whittled down to just three for the final showdown.
He said: “Hopefully we will carry on with the Tuk shop but my ambition is to open up a patisserie in the resort and create something special.”
He said the competition can only be a good thing for his future and wants to build momentum.
“The competition has pushed us to the limits. But it has also opened our eyes to more opportunities in the pastry world”, he added.
“We believe in ourselves and we found new passions that we didn’t know were there.
“Anything is possible now, because we know we can do these things in crazy time limits and still come up with something great.”