Posted 11th Apr 2014
As a youngster Paul Hollywood refused to follow in his father's footsteps and assume the baking mantle, but with a little persuasion he soon changed his mind, going on to become one of the nation's most treasured celebrity chefs. We caught up with the famous baker as he prepares the perfect recipe for his one-man show, the ‘Get Your Bake On Tour'
The baking profession may be of long and humble tradition, but Paul Hollywood was always destined for a rise to stardom. After making his name on the popular BBC show, The Great British Bake Off, Paul is now gearing up to take his talents on the road as part of an exciting UK tour.
It's been quite a journey for the man from Merseyside – from the smaller stage of the family bakery to selling out concert venues across the country with a hands-on baking show. Prior to facing crowds of adoring fans, we found out how he felt about the upcoming tour.
'I really enjoyed doing demonstrations for the BBC Good Food show, so I'm not unfamiliar with the format. This was my chance to do something on my own though, and it's like a kind of rock ‘n' roll tour!
'The whole idea of the tour is to pass on my knowledge, what I've learnt over the years, to people who are struggling or have problems with their baking.'
Paul's desire to pass on his knowledge perhaps hankers back to his own baking beginnings. His knack with a rolling pin comes from a flour-filled childhood. 'Mum looked after the pastry side – the apple pies, the biscuits,' he remembers. 'My dad looked after the yeast side. So with the two of them as my parents I became a hybrid.'
So what kind of things will the fusion baker be making on stage?
'The premise is for me to show off the recipes of my life – back from when I was a kid, right through my professional career from starting on television to dishes that I cook now. At the end of each show, four people will come up on stage and I'll set them a baking challenge to go and do their best within a set amount of time. The winner will be picked by the audience. There will also be a roving mic so members of the audience can throw questions at me.'
Although the professional chef was brought up around the craft, and cites good friend Tom Kerridge as an inspiration, not to mention Michel Roux Junior who he describes as 'quite frankly, a God,' the route to the very top of his profession was perhaps a lonely one. A younger Paul had to look to old cookbooks rather than motivating head chefs to help him break the mould.
'My family have been my inspiration throughout my whole career. But one of my problems was that when I moved into these big flash restaurants to go and work there, I was head of the tree; I was the head baker and there was no one higher than me who I could ask for advice.'
In baking, it seems that sometimes looking backwards can be the way forward.
'So I was reading the old bakery books and getting inspiration from what was going on in baking 100 years ago, or 200 years ago. That's where I'd get my inspiration. I couldn't get it from other bakers because they are almost doing the same thing.'
The king of baking has been kneading dough for around 30 years, but, when the last loaf is taken out the oven and the apron comes off, Paul enjoys nothing more than walking his dog and riding his motorbike to relax.
'I really enjoy walking the dog," he smiles. "He's a Labrador called Rufus – I named him after Rufus Hound, who's a friend of mine. That's my relaxation – walking Rufus or going out for a ride on my motorbike.'
For tickets and information to see Paul Hollywood on his ‘Get Your Bake On Live Tour' go to www.paulhollywood.com