Posted November 23, 2011 by Sam in Recipes

Paul Hollywood Competition win!

IMG_2058I was recently one of the extremely lucky winners of a recipe competition.

The amazing prize was to have a baking session with Paul Hollywood in London, where I would bake my recipe and he would share baking tips & tricks with the attendees!

I headed up to London with my lovely pal Lucy, both rather bleary eyed as it was early (we both said this was the earliest either of us has been in full make up!)

We arrived at Divertimenti in Marylebone High Street, the shop is totally amazing. Full of everything you could ever possibly need or want in the kitchen and a whole lot more besides.

We were taken down to the cookery school and introduced to the lovely people who sponsored and organised the day. Paul was already there and was chatty and relaxed. There were 4 recipe winners and their pals, so a lovely gaggle of baking girls.




We were given refreshments and then a brief run down of the day, then Paul gave us a demo on dough kneading and shaping. Very impressive and yes he is as speedy and muscular as you would expect!



work benchWe then set about making our own winning recipes, we each had a work station with all the ingredients weighed out and ready to go. While we were working Paul came over and chatted about what we were making and was more then happy to answer questions (baking related or not!).

We had some photos taken with the finished bakes. Paul tried everything and was very complimentary.

TV Lucy & my biscotti on the TV!

It was pure bliss having someone else clear up after me, no washing up or wiping down, wonderful!

Paul showed us some fabulous shaping techniques for bread, using different plaits, he is so good at these and makes it look easy, which it most definitely wasn’t! We all had a play with the dough with varying degrees of success but lots of fun.

biscottiWe then had a little shopping trip around the store (we were given a discount on purchases, like I needed an excuse!). Lunch was a very grand affair, with beautiful sandwiches, quiches & the most amazing bread. Lunch time wine, wonderful! So many cakes and sweet treats, lots of ‘doggy bags’ went home with us.

Paul joined us for lunch he was friendly, approachable, funny & an all round lovely guy. He chatted about other celebrity chefs & also about the Great British Bake Off & Mary Berry, who he calls ‘Bezzer’!

I had previously asked if anyone had any questions for Paul, here are the few (cleaner) ones that he happily answered.

Paul is married with a 10 year old son (sorry ladies!)

His hair is not dyed, he started to turn grey from about age 15.

He uses the all in one method for some recipes (Victoria sandwich being one) & creaming for others depending on the recipe and whether they would benefit from having the flour folded in to keep it airy.

That is his real surname, cool!

He & Mary recently filmed a celebrity version of the bake off, hence the filming a month or so ago at the same venue as the GBBO.

He doesn’t mind the nickname ‘Silver Fox’.

Paul was being interviewed by Good To Know Recipes after we left, they were lovely ladies, very chatty & friendly. If you haven’t already, check out there Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/goodtoknowrecipes



We all left with our bakes (in brilliant storage boxes), some dough to make bread when we got home, our aprons, lots of cooking bits (cases, sprinkles) and some books, including one of Pauls, which he signed.




A truly wonderful, memorable day. Wonderfully organised by The Flour Advisory Bureau http://www.fabflour.co.uk/, Good To Know Recipes & the lovely Mars who coordinated with us all and helped in the smooth running of the day.

I would like to thank all involved, all of the above plus the lovely girls who prepared our ingredients and cleared & baked, the venue & staff and of course the Silver Fox himself!