Monday, 24 October 2016

The people need more experts. Introducing #BakeWithALegend

In the age of social media – everyone’s an expert. I know exactly what a girl I met briefly on a course seven years ago thinks of last night’s episode of BBC Question Time and I know that  my ex-work colleague just made and snapchatted some 'homemade' sausage rolls. But what does it all mean? And how can we glean value from content overload without actually experiencing things first hand? Do I have to keep taking people’s word for it – for example, is that hot new vegan-pick n’ mix-coffee shop-owl-petting-zoo pop-up really as good as it sounds just because it got 107 likes on Instagram?

The answer it seems, is simple. We need to do more things in real life that have experts in their field at the helm, sharing their wealth of knowledge first hand. During his campaign for an EU exit, Michael Gove famously said: ‘The people have had enough of experts’. This astonishing quote was extremely short-sighted. Would he have said this if he’d had the chance to #bakewithalegend? I think not, and as such, Brexit may never have happened.

I had the time of my life at new social event concept ‘BakeWith a Legend’ – the ingenious event format perfect for groups of friends – be it hen do revellers, corporate team building events, milestone birthday celebrants or indeed a group of friends looking for an alternative way to spend a weekend afternoon other than the obligatory‘bottomless brunch’. It would also be the perfect ‘experience’ gift for Christmas. It was like I was in the TV. I was a contestant on the Great British Bake Off (let's go for a northern Candice), flung right into the show’s very essence - and it was Pastry Week.

Not only do you get access to minds from the Great British Bake Off’s glory days at the BBC – I got to absorb the baking words of wisdom from Howard Middleton and Glenn Cosby – you really do have a lot of fun creating delicious baked goods you never thought you could make. I had a good go at glamourous chocolate eclairs, which we got to decorate with gold leaf and glitter. The kind of indulgence on a Thursday evening I’d imagine only Kimye have attained in the past. The prosecco helped too – my chocolate frosting glided onto the ├ęclair with an imbued confidence.  Just being in the same room as Howard and Glenn allowed me to find out exactly where I'd failed in the kitchen previously, with little tips the recipe doesn't tell you. For example, how to bring your praline back from the brink, and how your choux mix should be smooth and dried out, and not too wet and resembling cellulite (this was an actual pre-piping tip that ensured golden buns).

It was like an all-star "pimp my bake-off" celebrity version of my home economics class (highlights of the latter which haunt me include frying fresh parsley, forgetting to switch the oven on and having to crack eggs for my 'cooking buddy' as he'd never cracked an egg in his life) – and the best part – you don’t have to do the washing up!
Cracking eggs like a pro

Series 4 GBBO contestant Glenn Cosby, who's a consultant for Bake With a Legend, says “I am so excited to be a part of such a great concept bringing people together to do something new and entertaining. Bake With a Legend lays on everything, so all you need to do is turn up and be ready to get involved and have fun!”.

I also had a great chat with Howard, who told me he'd thought Benjamina for the win, which unfortunately isn't meant to be....he also told me he swears by butter in cakes. I'll steer away from the Stork in future.

The concept is the brainchild of Josh Landy, founder of Play With a Legend, a sporting concept that enables fans to play sporting events with their idols. Landy says "Bake With a Legend, is all about trying something new and having fun with friends, family and colleagues. The feedback from our initial events has been that people love the chance be taught by some of their TV baking heroes. As baking shows get ever-more popular we are expecting demand to rise and rise so anyone who’s interested should get in touch and let us provide them with an event to remember ".

Prices starting from £95pp. For more information, go to

To see what it’s like to Bake With a Legend, watch Bake With a Legend's promo video here