Mark Tilling and team crowned winners of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th May 2016

Mark Tilling and team crowned winners of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème

Mark Tilling's team showpieceAfter eight weeks of intense challenges and incredible showstoppers, last night Mark Tilling, Samantha Rain and Helen Vass were crowned the winners of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème.

Having secured a place in the finals via a wild card, Mark and his team had a lot to prove winning over the judges with their final showstopper, a banquet piece needing to feed at least 100 whilst reflecting them as a team. Encapsulating the brief, the chocolate showstopper incorporated various kitchen utensils and dishes such as pots and pans, chopping boards, spatulas, etc. whilst also showcasing a variety of tasty desserts including rhubarb and custard tarts, gin and lemongrass panna cottas and coconut and rum dacquoise opera slices.

On speaking about the win, team captain Mark told The Staff Canteen: "It felt great, it was obviously very hard work but it’s very rewarding when you win.”

He added: "We had a high score in the first round but came second so we had to wait for all the other episodes to be filmed to know if we would be the higher runner up. So every couple of days we were waiting to hear from the production team to see if we actually got through, you don’t know what to do in that time, do you continue practicing or get ready? It was a bit of a waiting game.”

Hosted by two-Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, the series followed several pastry teams whose technical abilities and skills were judged by Benoit Blin, executive pastry chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Cherish Finden, executive pastry chef at The Langham, London and Claire Clarke MBE, who is widely regarded as one of the finest pastry chefs in the world.

Commenting on why they won, judge Cherish Finden said: “Such an amazing team, amazing showpiece, amazing cake, lots of technique, amazing, amazing , amazing.”

Fellow judge, Benoit Blin added: “I would say crème de la crème, crème de la crème, crème de la crème. That’s it, nothing more.”

Entering competitions as an individual, Mark found the competition to be a learning curve in having to deligate resposibilities and working with others.

He said: "I haven’t done a competition for a while and I’ve never done a team competition before so it was quite interesting to see how I would work with a team as I’ve only done individual competitions.

“I think with the pressure we had I can now work better under pressure because I know I can do it and how to get around things if something doesn’t work.”

Mark also told The Staff Canteen that he thinks competitions like Creme de la Creme are important to showcase the professional side of the industry and to help inspire others.

“I think it is amazing and I think it has helped the industry, and I think it has shown people what we can do. I think it is the first programme that has shown what professional pastry people can do under pressure and what we can do with sculptures, sugar, chocolate, etc.

“I think it has inspired a lot of people to go out there and learn and I think people want to know the next step, they want to know how to make entremets gateaux’s and finer pastry.”    

Mark is the Squires Kitchen’s Master Chocolatier and resident tutor teaching others the skills needed to succeed in the world of pastry. He met his teammates Samantha Rain and Helen Vass whist they were at Squires Kitchen where Mark is the resident tutor.

Bake Off crème de la crème will be returning for a second series following this year's success.

>>>Read: Mark Tilling, Squire Kitchen's Master Chocolatier

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th May 2016

Mark Tilling and team crowned winners of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème