Bake Off Creme de la Creme: meet the new judges

Say farewell to Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry and hello to Cherish Finden, Benoit Blin and Claire Clark

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Who? Finden is Executive Pastry Chef at The Langham in London 

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What are her credentials? She has over 25 medals, including 18 Golds, from international culinary competitions. She’s won Dessert of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and was part of the Singapore pastry team who won 1st place at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2000. 

Is she on Twitter? @cherish_finden 

Finden is one no-nonsense chef. The first episode sees her criticise one competitor for the lack of love she demonstrates while slicing and let’s just say she isn’t a fan of food stains on shirts…  She is described as “single-minded in her pursuit of innovation and precision – and competitive by nature.” 

She’s also not entirely a Bake Off newbie. Here she is on An Extra Slice: 

Who? Blin is Chef Patissier at Oxfordshire’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, where he has worked closely with Raymond Blanc for over 20 years.

What are his credentials? He achieved the title of MCA (Master of Culinary Arts) in 2005, the highest accolade in the industry, awarded only every four years to the best pastry chefs in the UK. The hotel where he works has also held two Michelin stars for over 30 years. An impressive feat.

Is he on Twitter? Nope. 

Blin is enthusiastic, reasonable, complimentary when the competitors deserve it and quick to offer up constructive criticism when things haven’t quite gone to plan. But he is no stranger to high-end pastry competitions and has been on the jury of many competitions, like UK Pastry Open, UK and European Sugar Championships, National Chef of the Year, British Culinary Federation Chef Competition and the prestigious Master of Culinary Arts Finals. 

Who? Clark consults for supermarkets and restaurants and runs a catering company, with clients including Buckingham Palace and many A-list celebrities.

What are her credentials? She has been the only female recipient of the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de la Grand-Bretagne (Best Craft Worker of Britain) award and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list of July 2011.

Is she on Twitter? @Claire_Clark

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Clark’s worked at The Ritz, Claridges and more. She opened the famous Wolseley restaurant with Head Chef Chris Galvin, and also did a three year stint as senior pastry lecturer at the Cordon Bleu culinary institute. She’s a stickler for the technical stuff. Formulation of layers and things us amateur pastry-eaters don’t notice…