Get your whisks and spoons at the ready – The Great Kiwi Bake Off is back for a flan-tastic new season! This year, 10 keen bakers from across New Zealand are preparing to dish up some un-dough-tedly brilliant plates from the bake barn on Auckland's stunning West Coast, in the hope of measuring up to judges Peter Gordon and Jordan Rondel's standards.
Under the watchful eye of hosts Hayley Sproull and Pax Assadi, our amateur bakers will do their best to butter everyone up and win the ultimate baking battle. Who will fall flat and who will rise to the top? Let's meet the bakers to find out more. Batter up!
Baker Brooke Walker took out the top prize in 2022's season.
He ate all the pies – then lost 80kg and discovered a sweet tooth! An avid runner, health-conscious Josh says baking helps him relax, and it's his way of showing his love and appreciation to his family and friends. We're told to expect some gorgeous presentation from Josh – but apparently time management isn't his strong point…
Aucklander Anna, who lives with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), wants to inspire the kids she teaches to follow their dreams. A keen baker since she was little, Anna is fascinated with the concept of playing with recipes to see what happens. A fan of creating cooking videos for TikTok, Anna's signature bake is her cinnamon buns.
Auckland-based Devoney and her husband own a creative agency, but she's got a guilty secret – she'll do anything she can to dodge work, to go home and bake! She's even got an Instagram account dedicated to her pie-making. A lover of music, art and animals, Devoney reckons nothing would be sweeter than taking home the crown of New Zealand's best baker.
Nelson resident Aidan is no stranger to Bake Off challenges – he was just one hurdle away from making it onto the British version in 2012. Aidan's strengths include attention to detail and creativity, and he's happy baking anything from a scone to a croquembouche.
She's taken to the stage as a model for the World of Wearable Arts in 2022, but this time, Chantelle wants to blow everyone away with her baking skills. A self-confessed perfectionist, she describes herself as Jade Thirwall from The Great British Bake Off meets Martha Stewart! Chantelle says showcasing her baking skills on the show fulfils a childhood dream.
After losing her leg in an accident in 2022, Lillian says it's about time the Bake Off kitchen has someone with a disability. With a vast baking repertoire, Lillian isn't afraid to try anything – once, at least! When the Amberley homemaker isn't baking, she loves sewing, gardening, crafts and socialising.
With a degree in food science, Josephine is skilled at creating her own recipes – which means, for better or worse, they're always unique! The Palmerston North-based baker makes some interesting creations, including caramel soy sauce seaweed. But her personal favourite is caramel popcorn, which she reckons has a balanced sweetness and is super-crispy too.
Baking is a stress-reliever for Paul, whose charity, Oke, provides Kiwi kids with the opportunity to learn life and social skills through gardening at school. Paul bakes with his son and is planning to bring a bit of "Brummie flavour" from his UK birthplace to the show. He's also planning on squeezing out a smile or two from the judges – good luck with that one!
A baker since childhood, Wellingtonian Sally's creations certainly take the cake! She adores decorating the results and believes that unlike a painting, which is designed to last, her creations are made to be eaten, so she'll decorate as if there's no tomorrow – which for many of her bakes, there isn't! Her favourite task is to hand-paint a cake.
As a coeliac, you'd be forgiven for wondering why Danielle has chosen baking, but the Aucklander says she's happy to make things without tasting them. Danielle is also a big Dungeons and Dragons fan, so expect some wild creations here! Doughnuts are her signature bake.
The Great Kiwi Bake Off screens Thursday, January 25 at 7.30pm on TVNZ 1 .
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