Bake Off winner talks to Freetime ahead of Thame Food Festival

Bake Off winner talks to Freetime ahead of Thame Food Festival

Edd Kimber. Photography © Georgia Glynn Smith

Edd Kimber. Photography © Georgia Glynn Smith

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

WITH the Great British Bake Off back on our screens chat turns to cakes and all things sweet. And for Edd Kimber it brings back a lot of memories as he was the first winner of the series in 2010. He is coming to Thame Food Festival next month.

When the popular baking series started on BBC2 in 2010, no one really knew what to expect.

Contestants were given baking challenges each week, as judged by Penn resident and celebrity cook, Mary Berry, and baker, Paul Hollywood.

It has been such a success that this year it moved to BBC1 for the new series, which started over three weeks ago.

Edd triumphed in the first series and has since released cookbooks, The Boy Who Bakes and Say It With Cake.

He has just finished his new book, Pâtisserie Made Simple, which is being released on October 16.

Edd said: "I have been doing a lot of baking. It is a lot of fun for me as it is what I love doing the most.

"I get to spend my days in the kitchen."

He started working on it last year and has been honing the recipes in his kitchen, baking everyday.

The focus is, of course, on pâtisserie and he said he has been keen to make sure the recipes are for a mix of ability.

It took three to four weeks to take photographs of all the bakes for the book, but who gets to eat it all?

He said: "When I was living with my ex- he works for the BBC and took it all in the BBC every day.

"I am currently living with my brother and he takes a lot of it to his work. It never goes to waste.

"It always gets given out- always with the assumption I will get feedback."

And what was it like when he saw his first published book, which was released in August 2011- about 11 months after the final of GBBO was aired.

Edd said: "I went on to do an afternoon tea up at Hampton Manor Hotel for about a month. I didn't know anyone there and I was the only chef there. It was quite a lonely time.

"I was on my own. Near the end of that time the receptionist came in and said they had a parcel for me. I thought, no one knows I am here.

"I had just finished service and finished for the day and I was cleaning down and doing a bit of prep for the day after. And I thought this looks like a book and it was my book.

"I did have a little cry. That was very special."

He started his career in banking but despised it, as he used to sue people for a living.

Edd said: "I realised if I was going to do a job I wanted to do something that made me happy, rather than earn lots of money, and do something I really love."

He got himself any professional cookery book he could find and began baking almost every day.

Then his friend suggested he applied for this new show called The Great British Bake Off.

He said of the show: "For us it was a bit of an adventure. We travelled around the country. We didn't stay in one location.

"Every weekend we would travel to a different part of the country.

"It was an awful lot of fun- a bit stressful. We had no idea what to expect.

"I don't think the producers of the show really knew what to expect."

Edd, who is known for his macarons, said he never aimed to be famous but just wanted to bake everyday.

He said: "When we filmed the show we really didn't have much support. The show finished and I was kind of left to decide what to do."

Edd said he made mistakes and bad decisions at first but life has been good since: "I have got a career I love. I get to do what I love every day. It is very rare. I couldn't be happier."

He will be doing a cookery demo at Thame Food Festival on September 27, alongside 2012 Bake Off winner, John Whaite.

Tom Kerridge will also be doing a book signing at 12pm and having a chat with Lotte Duncan on the festival stage.

Other chefs who will be there are Adam Simmonds, who was formerly at Danesfield House, Raymond Blanc, Sophie Grigson and many more.

Edd said: "Thame is a lovely festival. Often the festivals in smaller towns have a really nice atmosphere."

There will be hundreds of food stalls and it is completely free to attend. Go to www.thamefoodfestival.co.uk

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