Am I gutted? Not really. I do feel a mixture of letting myself down for not persevering through, and relief. It wasn’t the right race for me - for starts, I’m as competitive as a sloth having a siesta, and it was also a massive punt to have even been accepted to compete against such a high calibre of patisserie chefs from some of the UK’s best hotels and restaurants. Whilst I took months off to focus on the competition, my business was suffering, I was ravaged with the guilt from neglecting X-ray and it added an unexpected financial strain on us (eg: buying specialist equipment and expensive ingredients for practicing). But more than that, I hadn’t realised how expensive my own time was - time that I needed to spend on the business on our new products (hello Tiddly Tiered cakes!), website and production, and with my family. The stress took its toll on me, I was hacking away all unwell popping anti-biotics like m&ms, X-Ray was poorly, and the thought of having to go through another dire week of practicing and competing with a broken team dynamic was enough to deflate me like a sad soufflé. It’d be a lie if I said I wasn’t relieved to hear our names during elimination - I was free to go back to my normal life that was suddenly very appealing again!
It was certainly very cool to be part of the process though - I am so pleased to not have gone out in the first round (it was my worst nightmare for months!), but it would’ve been even cooler if I could’ve left with some dignity in the end. The challenges were hard enough - our fruit slices and lemon desserts got panned, and even though we had all our eclairs with mixed reviews, we didn’t have a showpiece to choux off...but it was even harder having to go through a 30 minute tumble dryer cycle of judging. It went on FOREVER and was brutal, as expected. But just when I thought Cherish was done dishing out cutting critique, she bizarrely made that burning comment - “If I ordered a chicken brownie I’d expect a chicken brownie”. Huh? Say what?? She then clarified that she meant “Chicken Biryani...that Indian dish”. Errr to the only brown person in the room. Yeah...that’s cool, thanks...
I did get half-baked apologies from the producers and big wigs at C4. They admitted it was inappropriate, had potential to offend even more folks (ie: my fellow biryani bros and babes...anyone remember Shilpa-poppadom a la Celeb Big Brother??) hence wouldn’t be aired. Thank fook. But the overall lack of empathy was eye-opening.
So Cherish, since you haven’t got those Big, Bold, Beautiful balls to apologise for your racist comments, here’s an open invitation for you to do so. You could simply send me an email, slide into my DMs...or if you want to send me flowers, chocolates, a cheque, take me out for a biryani...I’ll happily accept any/all of the above.
I can’t believe how much being on GBBO has changed my perspective on reality tv competitions - it’s actually...so real! For every contestant out there on any tv competition, I’m your virtual cheerleader. If I thought preparing for GBBO was hard work...I have a whole new respect for those entering Love Island (imagine living off quinoa and dust for months!!!).
So what’s next for me?? Well, I’ve never looked more forward to my normal, very pedestrian, biryani-cake-filled life. I’ve also got a whole new flavour of creative juice flowing through me and am very excited to try applying my new patisserie skills on our cakes. And I will cherish every single customer and follower we have even more - literally cannot wait to make your cakes listening to Sean Paul without having cameras on me with the clock ticking.
Lots of love,