It’s finally time to hear those magic words: “On your marks, get set, BAKE!” In September 2022, The great British pastry fair (opens in a new tab) will return to Netflix for another fall season to immerse fans in the world of intricate, beautifully decorated patisseries and uniquely kind and supportive bakers. As always, the pastry fair crew found a group of bakers with some super interesting hobbies and experiences in addition to their unique baking philosophies. Read on to meet the cast.
Abdul, 29 years old
Electronic engineer Abdul was raised in Saudi Arabia by Pakistani parents and got into trouble as a child for dismantling household gadgets. A self-proclaimed space nerd, salsa dancer, and plant lover, he started baking in grad school with his co-workers, who whipped up treats to brighten up their coffee breaks. He now applies his precision thinking to baking chemistry, and matcha is one of his favorite flavors.
Carole, 59 years old
Carole is a supermarket cashier and an avid gardener who shares her gardening know-how in a segment of a local radio show, called “Compost Carole”. Her first serious baking was a first birthday cake for her eldest granddaughter Maisie, and she’s since honed her decorating skills, thanks to YouTube. She’s a classic baker who applies the artistry she uses in her garden to her baking, creating fruity and impactful pastries inspired by her passion for horticulture.
Dawn, 60 years old
Dawn is a mother of three, step-mother of two and grandmother/step-grandmother of four, who lives with her partner Trevor (he took care of cleaning up the kitchen after his baking). A former project manager and self-proclaimed artist in and out of the kitchen, Dawn enjoys near-impossible challenges like illusion cakes, as well as wacky, intricate designs where she can put her creative talent to good use. She prides herself on her steady hand and attention to detail, and her favorite flavors are lemon, salted caramel and all things nutty.
Jack, 33 years old
A nuclear scientist and “proud kilt-wearer”, James grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to England after college. After starting to burn pancakes in his mother’s kitchen, he now enjoys the technical side of baking and makes his own baked goods with adorable decorations in his “kid-friendly horror” style. Besides loving 70s and 80s horror films, he is a music enthusiast and a self-proclaimed board game geek. Her favorite flavors are anything autumnal, which is a mix of spices, apples and caramel.
Janusz, 33 years old
Janusz’s love of baking, originally from Poland, was inspired by his mother, who always baked on Saturdays; he continued the tradition when he moved for college. The internet culture enthusiast moved to the UK 10 years ago and now lives with her boyfriend, Simon, and their sausage dog, Nigel. He describes his baking style as “cartoon-like, colorful and country” and loves incorporating Polish ingredients into traditional British baking, as well as his favorite favourites, ginger and chocolate. Additionally, his passions outside of baking include collecting movie props and watching drag (he even bought his boyfriend a statue of Ru Paul).
Kevin, 33 years old
Kevin, a Scottish animal lover, started cooking at the age of 17. He is a working musician and teacher who plays saxophone, flute, piano and clarinet. He is also devoted to his loved ones and spends a lot of time eating and playing board games with his wife, Rachel, his sisters and their partners. He loves interesting combinations of fruits, herbs, nuts and spices, and his cooking philosophy is to spend time refining his technique using the best seasonal ingredients, after which “the presentation will take care of herself”.
Max, 29 years old
Maxy, originally from Sweden, studied fine art and earned a master’s degree in architecture, taking a break from her graduate program to raise her daughters, Tyra and Talia. She started baking after her first daughters arrived and she uses her artistic talents to create beautiful birthday cakes. She also applies her sense of design to her apartment; she has done DIY in every corner, from laying the floor and resurfacing the balcony to painting and hanging her own artwork. Her favorite flavors are tied to her Scandinavian upbringing, including the sweet, delicate spice of cardamom and saffron buns and cinnamon buns.
Maisam, 18 years old
Maisam, born in Libya, has lived in the UK since the age of nine and speaks five languages (English, Arabic, Amazigh, Spanish and Turkish; she aims to speak seven by her 20s). She’s been baking since she was around 13 and loves the science of baking, often trying a bake multiple times until she’s perfect. Besides baking, the design student spends her free time photographing still lifes and the world around her. Her favorite flavors are inspired by her Mediterranean heritage, including the tanginess of olives, the sweetness of dates and the nutty taste of sesame seeds.
Sandro, 30 years old
A keen boxer and full-time nanny, Sandro was born in Angola but fled the Angolan war with his mother when he was two, later settling in London. When he was 21 his father passed away and he turned to baking as a form of therapy. Now he lives and breathes baking, either baking casual bakes while the TV is on or hosting virtual baking classes for children with autism. He likes to infuse his pastries with flavors from his Angolan heritage, including the spice of paprika paired with tangy cheese, and also favors sweet pastries smothered in sticky dulce de leche.
Syabira, 32 years old
Born in Malaysia and one of seven children, Syabria moved to the UK in 2013 to study for her PhD in cardiovascular research. The gaming enthusiast now lives in London with her boyfriend, Bradley, and spends a few evenings playing an online World War II simulation game, which she credits with teaching her real-world leadership. She started baking in 2017 with a red velvet cake, which reminded her of the treats she shared with her friends back home. Her favorite pastries are giving Malaysian flavors to British classics; Cornish chicken rendang pies are particularly popular.
Rebs grew up in rural Northern Ireland and loves all things Irish culture, including Irish dancing and flute playing. Her earliest memories of baking are helping her mother in the kitchen at the age of three and eating her grandmother’s famous lemon meringue pies. She is getting her Masters in Commerce and has recently taken up baking to unwind from her hectic life in the tech world. She is also passionate about flavors; Lately, she’s started toying with Middle Eastern ingredients, as a nod to her boyfriend Jack’s Turkish heritage.
Will, 45 years old
Will grew up just outside Bristol, went to Liverpool University and now lives in London with his wife, three children and cat Tiggy. When he’s not hanging out with his kids, the charity director likes to apply his architectural background to DIY and carpentry. His love of baking began at the age of 2, when he transformed his mother’s pastry fillings into little jam pies. Now a technical baker, he’s a big fan of using yeast even in breadless pastries, and his favorite flavors are salted caramel and paprika (but not at the same time).