Paul Hollywood returned to Wirral this week
GREAT British Bake-Off star Paul Hollywood came home to cast an expert eye over Wirral families’ culinary efforts.
The TV baker joined top chefs Claire Lara and Brian Mellor for the Hillside Bake-Off, leading schoolchildren and their relatives in producing an array of cakes, scones and sweet treats.
The event, funded by Wirral Council’s Love Food, Hate Waste campaign and GrainChain.com, took place at Ridgeway high school on Thursday afternoon.
The bake-off was organised by Paul’s brother Jason, who is headteacher at Hillside primary school.
Also on hand to help was third Hollywood brother Lee, who runs Wirral-based artisan bakers Born and Bread.
The experts judged families’ baking efforts and helped with a speed test to prepare a complex dough against the clock.
Rory Taylor from TV’s Superstar performed throughout the afternoon with his band 5,4,3,2,1.
Paul, who grew up in Wallasey, said: “When you make something you enjoy it more and kids are learning about what goes into their food.
“At this age they are like sponges – if you feed them information they will soak it in.
“Teach them how to bake and that will carry them right the way through their lives. It is a building block.
“And it does not have to be expensive – you can make biscuits for about 3p each.”
The celebrity baker, who is now based in Kent, said he hoped more children would discover a love of baking through the BBC show he judges with Mary Berry.
The success of Bake-Off, as it’s been dubbed, means he cannot return home without being recognised – and increasingly by Wirral’s younger residents.
He laughed: “I was driving around Wallasey the other day and there were kids calling my name!
“It’s the power of Bake-Off – there are 7.5 million people watching it now.
“The parents are watching it so they will let their children see it too. There is not a bad bone in it.”