Last night, The Great Canadian Baking Show (a Canadian licensing of The Great British Bake-Off) premiered with its first episode ever!
The judges are pastry chefs Rochelle Adonis (born in Québec and now runs a bakery in Perth, Australia, so that explains her accent) and Bruno Feldeisen (born in France and has worked a bit in Vancouver, so I guess that's the Canadian connection?). Hosts are Dan Levy (Canadian and son of SCTV alumnus and all-around hilarious actor Eugene Levy and creator/star on CBC's Schitt's Creek) and Julia Chan (born in the UK, so that's our British connection, raised in Hong Kong, and lives in Los Angeles, she's acted in a few Canadian TV shows including Saving Hope and Rookie Blue).
- Julian D'Entremont (Halifax, N.S.) — Contractor who learned how to bake from his grandmothers and loves foraging in the wild for ingredients
- Sabrina Degni (Montreal, Que.) — Loves nothing more than baking for her big Italian family
- James Hoyland (Richmond, B.C.) — Born in the UK, James discovered baking at the age of 36 while he was living in New Brunswick (He seems a bit more ambitious with his bakes, so I think he knows what's expected on GBBO and trying to bring it here)
- Vandana Jain (Regina, Sask.) — A proud Prairie girl, inspired by her East Indian roots, Vandana brings international flair to her baking (She's one of my faves right now)
- Linda Longson (High River, Alta.) — A devoted grandmother to eight grandkids, she goes through at least four pounds of butter a week
- Pierre Morin (Cantley, Que.) — A self-taught baker who learned to bake by working his way through recipe books and mastering the trickiest French pastries
- Corey Shefman (Toronto) — A human rights lawyer, he continues to draw inspiration from the traditional Jewish baking his family has passed down (Shows him with his partner, so yay LGBTQ representation!)
- Sinclair Shuit (London, Ont.) — A super-nerd at heart, he loves listening to hip-hop and mash-ups while in the kitchen
- Jude Somers (Victoria, B.C.) — A retired animator, Jude injects whimsy and fun into her baking, especially in the decorating (She's kinda fun but her carefree attitude to measurements and technique make my inner precision nerd panic)
- Terri Thompson (Sherwood Park, Alta.) — A mother of three daughters, when her fiancé was injured five months before their wedding, her passion grew as she baked for him every day to comfort him and help him through his recovery
Week 1: Cake Week
Signature Bake: Cupcakes (24 in two different flavours)
Technical Bake: Battenberg Cake
Showstopper Bake: Chocolate Layer Cake (at least two layers and at least 2 different kinds of chocolate)
And the baker going home is...
Bakers Info Source
So, ONTD, what did you all think? I think the tent is absolutely lovely! It's weird to watch this show without it being so British. The judges need to be more specific in their feedback (I can't count how many times I heard 'Well done!') and the hosts desperately need to up their pun game. (Really? No pun for Battenburg? 'Bakers, batten down your hatches, you've got 30 minutes left!' and that's just off the top of my head.) Hoping the bakers' personalities start coming out more as the show goes, as that's really what makes or breaks Bake-Off.