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Q&As with the fiesty tarts and puff pastries on The Great South African Bake Off 4

Written by TVSA Team from the blog BBC Lifestyle on 24 Jul 2023
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Locally baked goods are all the rage on BBC Lifestyle next month with the return of The Great South African Bake Off.

Season 4 premieres on Wednesday 9 August at 20h00, after a crusty six year break between seasons.

The presenting and judging crews have changed, which gives a poignant reminder of what's been lost in between this time.

Lentswe Bhengu, who co-presented Seasons 2 and 3, is no longer with us following his death in February this year.



RIP Chef Lentswe.

New presenters are Lesego "Coconut Kelz" Tlhabi and actor/director Glen Biderman-Pam, and judges are chefs Siba Mtongana and Paul Hartmann.






TVSA asked BBC Lifestyle why the whole show has been recast and this is their reply:
 

We really enjoyed working with Zola, Tjaart, Anne and Lentswe and were grateful for everything they brought to make the previous series a success.

After several years away, we have an all-new line-up to bring a new set of energy and expertise to the series. Siba, Paul, Lesego and Glen’s experience, talent and expertise made them the perfect fit for their roles.


The format remains the same: 12 amateur bakers compete in a 10-episode tray of muffins.

Here's a close-up on those who believe they have what it takes to rise to the top:

Amber Govender



Hometown: Alberton

Occupation: Prospective culinary student 

Hobbies: Baking, tennis, walking her dogs

Favourite bakes: Cakes and breads

Most challenging disciplines: Pastries

How would the other bakers describe you?
The other bakers would describe me as the stressed one. I was always stressing about everything!

What was the difference between your expectation of being on the show vs the reality?
I expected the time not to be a problem because I’m quite a fast baker but the time in the bake off tent goes so fast you don’t even realise it.
 

Chikomborero "Chiko" Chiobvu



Hometown: Pretoria

Occupation: Investment and research analyst

Hobbies: Visiting farmer's markets, golf, reading, crochet, hiking, tennis, bake blogging

Favourite bakes: Cakes and breads

Most challenging disciplines: Biscuits 

How would the other bakers describe you?
The just-in-time baker as I often left things to the 11th hour.

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
The execution of my showstoppers. One showstopper was such a huge expectation vs reality fail. I still feel the need to apologize to the whole nation of Mozambique for that one 
 

Dwight Morton



Hometown: Johannesburg

Occupation: Aircraft quality control manager

Hobbies: Hiking, swimming and reading

Favourite bakes: Novelty cakes, wedding cake, puff pastry

Most challenging disciplines: Bread 

How would the other bakers describe you?
The other bakers would probably see me as the naughty baker. Also, clueless but very technical. They may have also seen me as the easy baker because my flavours were all simple and not as exciting as theirs were.

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
I never expected the amount of work that goes into producing such a show. Everything that goes on in the background one does not see. I applaud the entire team for their hard work and determination to put together the best show ever.
 

Faizel Meyer



Hometown: Durban

Occupation: Industrial engineer 

Hobbies: Playing the piano, travelling and listening to music

Favourite bakes: Cakes, pastry: puff and short crust, cookies, biscuits and tarts

Most challenging disciplines: bread and macaroons

How would the other bakers describe you?
I definitely think that the other bakers would describe me as the sassy-jokester who brought light and laughter to the tent, completely WINGING IT at times of adversity. For the most part motivating everyone to keep on trying and to never give up and just to have an absolute blast while doing it.

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
I expected the competition to be intense and fierce; however, all the bakers were so friendly, welcoming and ready to share tips and ideas on how to make our bakes better. We formed a family-like environment that I wouldn't change for anything!
 

Johan Van Gass



Hometown: Pretoria

Occupation: Professional accountant

Hobbies: Baking and renovating houses

Favourite bakes: Bread, cakes, pudding, dessert, cookies and rusks

Most challenging disciplines: Puff pastries

How would the other bakers describe you?
The serious baker.

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
My expectation was that it was a lot of fun, but in the end it was even more fun than I could have imagined.
 

Mariza Mundow 



Hometown: Cape Town

Occupation: Homemaker 

Hobbies: Makes and sells chilli sauce, oil painting, fishing, scuba diving, travelling

Favourite bakes: Bread, cakes, tarts, cheesecakes, pies, puff pastry

Most challenging disciplines: Macarons

How would the other bakers describe you?
The anxious baker with very high expectations of herself. 

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
I knew I was going to be challenged, especially on time, but never realised how I'd be racing against the clock! It was heart-stopping / heart-racing stuff.
 

Matshele "Matty" Molaoli



Hometown: Johannesburg

Occupation: Instructional designer, podcaster, voiceover artist and business owner

Hobbies: Swimming, painting, roller-skating, chess, TikTok

Favourite bakes: Breads and cakes

Most challenging disciplines: Pastries 

How would the other bakers describe you?
Everyone knows me as the dancing and singing baker!

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
I thought I’d be as comfortable as I am in my kitchen, quite a shocker when baking with a limited time frame... man was I wrong.
 

Mia Steenekamp



Hometown: Johannesburg

Occupation: Experience Design Director

Hobbies: board games, socialising with friends

Favourite bakes: Cakes and sourdough bread

Most challenging disciplines: Pastries and tarts

How would the other bakers describe you?
The anxious baker with very high expectations of herself. 

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
I knew I was going to be challenged, especially on time, but never realised how I'd be racing against the clock! It was heart-stopping / heart-racing stuff.
 

Molebatsi Moagi 



Hometown: Randfontein

Occupation: Database and systems administrator

Hobbies: Playing the piano, listening to music and writing

Favourite bakes: Cakes, biscuits, macarons, laminated pastry and tarts

Most challenging disciplines: Bread

How would the other bakers describe you?
'The Experimental Baker" as I was always trying new and outlandish flavours and techniques. I am now referred to as "The Flavour King" in our bakers group chat.

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
One definite expectation versus reality disparity I felt throughout filming were the concepts around the time limits. Every challenge seemed to pass by in a flash!

I could attribute that to being a freestyle baker myself, but the entire environment and baking with an entire crew of production watching every move seemed to prove a lot more challenging than I had first anticipated. Albeit it was an extremely fun and boundary testing experience!
 

Nomahlubi "Hlubi" Gcilishe 



Hometown: Johannesburg

Occupation: Freelancing as an admin assistant

Hobbies: Reading and watching cricket and tennis

Favourite bakes: Cakes, biscuits, tarts and breads

Most challenging disciplines: Pastries 

How would the other bakers describe you?
I would probably be described as one of two things: the Monologue Baker or the Last Minute Baker.

The Monologue Baker on account that I'm always speaking to myself during the bake, and I’m not sure my neighbours in the tent appreciated it. LOL!

Then - “Last Minute Louisa” was another one I took on. I was scrambling till the very last minute!

Share one thing expectation vs reality of your experience?
The entire experience was a whirlwind.
 

Rizwana Adam



Hometown: Midrand

Occupation: Attorney and personal trainer 

Hobbies: Crossword puzzles, writing poetry and children’s books and gardening

Favourite bakes: Cakes, biscuits and breads

Most challenging disciplines: Pastries 

How would the other bakers describe you?
The other bakers would probably describe me as the “Helpful Dark-Humoured Baker”.

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
Things won’t go as planned no matter how much you practice!
 

Xolile Makutoana 



Hometown: Cape Town

Occupation: Work readiness facilitator and trainer

Hobbies: Drawing and hiking 

Favourite bakes: Cakes and biscuits

Most challenging disciplines: Bread 

How would the other bakers describe you?
A word that comes to mind is “wing it” - which means an Improviser. This was all of us as bakers

Expectation vs reality of your experience?
Definitely it is not as easy as it seemed - I expected it would be a cruise experience, as this is something we do or familiar with in our lives.

In reality it was a competition that required mental discipline, a huge amount of time and dedication. Definitely NOT a holiday .
 

Shows in this post: The Great South African Bake Off

Channels in this post: BBC Lifestyle



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