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The Great South African Bake Off 2: contestant Q&A's

Written by TVSA Team from the blog BBC Lifestyle on 18 Oct 2016
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Season 2 hosts Anne Hirsch and Lentswe Bhengu

The second season of The Great South African Bake Off premieres on BBC Lifestyle tonight (18 October) at 20h00 with 12 bakers in the line-up, minus 1. The show hasn't even started yet and already one of the bakers has flopped.

Contestant Asfeyah Mia (who you'll meet below) left the show after "questions were raised" about her amateur baking status. This from BBC Lifestyle about it:

Partway through the competition, an online article from 2013 surfaced that raised questions about whether Asfeyah met the programme’s criteria for an amateur baker.

Although the production team were aware of the article before filming began, and were satisfied that Asfeyah did meet the criteria, it was agreed the article had the potential to be a distraction, and Asfeyah volunteered to step down in fairness to her fellow bakers and viewers.

Asfeyah left the programme before the final, therefore her departure did not impact either the make-up of the final or the overall series winner.

It was a doughy mess because they let Asfeyah film numerous episodes before it suddenly became a problem, which isn't fair on her because the production knew about it beforehand. Seems no-one on the show bothered to Google it until it surfaced during filming!

Alternatively other contestants might have suddenly found it during filming, had a hissy fit and complained. We haven't worked out why they would have Googled Asfeyah though. BBC Lifestyle's been silent about the details and the article but we assume this is it: Interview with Dessert Queen Asfeyah Mia

Here's a Q&A with her followed by the 11 other hopefuls on the show:



Asfeyah Mia
Hometown: Johannesburg
Occupation: Housewife
Age: 52

What’s your signature bake?
Venetian Cake.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
My experience and age.

How would other people describe you?
I like to experiment with new ideas, equipment, inspiration. I’m not complicated.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
Technical challenges, time management.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
A birthday cake for the late President Mandela.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
Bake from your heart.
 



Avontalent Tanhera
Hometown:
Durban (originally from Zimbabwe)
Occupation: Domestic Worker
Age: 29

What’s your signature bake?
My signature dish is chocolate mousse cake, ooh its heaven. Soft, sweet and mouthwatering.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
What sets me apart from the other bakers is l am still new to baking. It’s all exciting and l want to try everything and learn new techniques. I don’t back off easily and l am good with my flavours. I’m fast, determined and optimistic.

How would other people describe you?
People describe me as hardworking, kind, caring, loving and passionate.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
The thing I’m most nervous about is not being able to get things to work out the way l want, due to being in a different environment.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
People will describe me as a wonderful chocolate cake. Sweet, soft and very comforting.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
l want to bake a cake for Arnold Tanzer. He is a damn good chef and he is also very patient. l want him to say this is the best thing he has tasted in years. And at that moment l will know that l am on the road to success.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
A day without baking is a day wasted.
 



Cait McWilliams
Hometown:
Cape Town
Occupation: Restaurant Manager
Age: 18

What’s your signature bake?
Anything to do with chocolate and salted caramel.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
Probably my love of bringing together exciting flavours and classical techniques.

How would other people describe you?
Driven but maybe a little too calm.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
It would have to be a dark chocolate cake with salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream and raspberries. Because I adore chocolate, can be light and sweet, but can have some surprises too.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
Darren Purchese - I cannot get enough of his work and would love to hear his feedback.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
Never lose your temper.
 



Carol Ndovela
Hometown: Johannesburg
Occupation: Promo Producer
Age: 35

What’s your signature bake?
Vanilla and chocolate cake with custard cream filling.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I always plan ahead.

How would other people describe you?
Rebellious, I don’t like to be put in a box.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
Pie week (pastry making).

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
Red Velvet, it has a mysterious taste which you can’t really put your finger on.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
My late mum. She was a hopeless baker and she would be very proud of me.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
Work hard. Bake good. Play hard.
 



Earl Mark Morrison
Hometown:
Durban
Occupation: Electrician (Electrical Contractor)
Age: 48

What’s your signature bake?
My dark moist chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and caramel centre

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I bake with passion and perseverance. Failure is not an option.

How would other people describe you?
Dedicated father who tries his best in everything that he sets his mind to.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
Not finishing on time or having my bake fall to the ground with no time to start over.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
Chocolate fondant baked to perfection. Firm on the outside, but liquid on the inside.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
I would bake for my mum because she has given her all for me. She has taught me to appreciate the little things in life.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
Thanks mum for believing in me.
 



Hillary Arries
Hometown:
Johannesburg
Occupation: Accounts Payable Clerk
Age: 32

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I have overcome quite a number of challenges throughout my life, and through that I have developed a very strong mindset. I think this will definitely come in handy on the show, as all of us will be faced with our own unique challenges. But I believe that I am prepared for it all. I’m a focused individual, and this will give me the edge above the other bakers.

How would other people describe you?
A fun-loving and affectionate person. Considerate and generous. Always eager to listen and give advice when needed. Very adaptable to situations and change. Adventurous and always looks neat and presentable.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
I will definitely bake a cake for my late parents. I know my mum and dad are watching over me and I would be so delighted to take them through my journey in my own words. What better way to do this, over a cup of tea, served in fine china with a beautiful big slice of Chocolate Cake?

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
LIVE + LOVE + LAUGH
 



Jason Miller
Hometown
: Johannesburg
Occupation: Urban Design Student
Age: 24

What’s your signature bake?
Sourdough bread.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I can do the moonwalk whilst baking.

How would other people describe you?
Eccentric, energetic and creative. What are you most nervous about in the competition?
The dreaded technical challenges.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
It would have to be a croquembouche. Partly because it is super fun to bake but mostly because well, it looks like a hat and I love wearing hats. Bingo!

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
It would definitely be Lady Gaga. She is one of my biggest inspirations. I love her music, her style and everything she stands for. Also because I would really love to make her a dress out of cake one day.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
When life gives you lemons, make a cheesecake!
 



Leon Jansen Van Vuuren
Hometown:
Johannesburg
Occupation: Correctional Officer
Age: 50

What’s your signature bake?
Fruit cake.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I’m very calm and my uniqueness.

How would other people describe you?
Lovable and compassionate.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
Working with the mixer and oven.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
Bee sting cake, soft on the inside and hard and sticky on the top.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
For Mandela, as he was an icon.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
The best of the best.
 



Matthew Jones
Hometown:
Durban
Occupation: Scientist (Crop Modeller)
Age: 35

What’s your signature bake?
Pull-apart loaf, loaded with cheese, basil pesto and salami, baked in a gas braai.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I try to understand the scientific mechanisms underlying processes involved in baking different recipes. Rather than trying to remember to do ‘X’ when making ‘Y’, I try to figure out and then remember why ‘X’ should be done when making ‘Y’.

How would other people describe you?
Thoughtful, caring, and slightly caught up in my own world.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
Probably the unfamiliar environment – unfamiliar equipment, protocols and expectations.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
My family! For the simple reason that they are my favourite people in the whole world.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
Superhero Dad.
 



Motshidisi Mokoena
Hometown:
Johannesburg
Occupation: Economist
Age: 28

What’s your signature bake?
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I always try to tell a story through my bakes...it’s always my aim to put a piece of me in everything I make.

How would other people describe you?
People who know me would probably describe me as genuine. Those who don’t know me would most likely describe me as serious.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
I’m most nervous about being too hard on myself! I am my biggest critic and that can be to my detriment at times.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
Red Velvet Cake. It has a special combination of a sweet cake balanced by the creamy cream cheese icing. Just like me...I have a very serious side to me that is balanced by a quirky side.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
In all toil there is profit! By His grace!
 



Nasreen Chamda
Hometown:
Johannesburg
Occupation: Industrial Psychologist
Age: 28

What’s your signature bake?
My signature dish is a salted caramel and apple crumble cheesecake.

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
I think what makes me different to the other bakers is that I tend to push the boundaries of the bakes we are required to make. I think out of the box, use unusual flavours, and have an eye for detail, especially for the showstoppers

How would other people describe you?
A lover of life, cakes and all things fabulous! Someone who cares about others. What are you most nervous about in the competition? I am most nervous about being the first baker to leave the tent.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
I would be a croquembouche; it’s different, delicious and oh so fabulous. This cake or dessert describes me as it has components that are traditional and pretty.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
I would be honoured to have baked for ex-President Nelson Mandela. What an amazing man!

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
“I bake! What’s your superpower?”
 



Penny Rider
Hometown:
Johannesburg
Occupation: Housewife
Age: 57

What’s your signature bake?
Spiced plaited loaf served with guacamole

What sets you apart from the other bakers?
Experience.

How would other people describe you?
Creative.

What are you most nervous about in the competition?
The technical bakes and being eliminated.

If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
Marshmallow tea cake: hard on the outside and soft in the middle.

If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
Harry Sideropoulos, because he would totally appreciate an “over the top” chocolate creation.

What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
LEAF (Love Everything About Food)

 

Shows in this post: The Great South African Bake Off

Channels in this post: BBC Lifestyle



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