Our Bake Off
South Place Hotel is brimming with talent in every single department, but two special staff members who have recently got our attention is our Head Pastry Chef, Nelson and his Sous Chef, Evaldas – our South Place stars since featuring on the 2019 series of, Bake Off: The Professionals.
After facing a tough six-week competition with ten episodes, the South Place team made it to the final, finishing in the top three. Now settling back in to their new found popularity, we sat down with the pair to find out their highlights of the series – as well as the hardest parts they faced.
The pair have worked together for over a year at South Place, with Nelson hiring Evaldas onto his team after previously working with him at The Athenaeum Hotel.
So how did you end up on this year’s Bake Off? “They actually reached out to us which is amazing and with the push of the team at South Place, we thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase our talent”. However, this isn’t Nelson’s first time on Bake Off: The Professionals, he actually competed in 2015 making it to the semi-final. We asked Nelson how this year compared to 2015, “this year it was a lot more fun, I had more control over what we created and also more experience, each year the competition gets better which ultimately makes the actual competition harder, however, we absolutely loved the challenge and had so much fun.”
We asked the pair whether they would recommend other Pastry Chefs to take part in Bake Off: The Professionals, “absolutely, it’s such a great experience, you learn a lot about yourself and make new friends, but it is a hard competition.”
Outside of Bake Off, they have different things they enjoy making the most of, Nelson’s favourite is sugar work. Before the series started he focussed his efforts on mastering sugar work and subsequently on the show, their red velvet Valentine showpiece was a favourite among the judges. For Evaldas, he likes to stick to a classic favourite – chocolate showpieces.
If you could give advice to anyone training to become a Pastry Chef, what would it be? “Definitely to be passionate, listen to others, work hard to build your reputation and always remain respectful. Also never be afraid to fail!” If you weren’t a Pastry Chef, Nelson, what would you be? “I’d like to think either a Doctor or an Architect.”
Final question, what double act would you compare yourself to? “Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny”.
If you’re missing seeing the double act on your screen every Tuesday, join us for our Radley Afternoon Tea throughout August and September and enjoy delicious sweet treats designed by Nelson and Evaldas – tickets from £45 per person and available through Design My Night.