Good Bye 2013…..Hello 2014

It would be difficult not to look back at all the events of 2013 and wonder…..WOW how did all that happen?

Though the filming of “The Great Australian bake Off” was over a year ago now, 2013 truly was an amazing year, but it all started in 2012. No sooner did the new year begin when I received notification to be part of a taste test team for the “Australian Good Taste Magazine” in January, March and April. Not having ever entered any type of competition before June and July “Cook The Issue” was advertised, now I was cooking with gusto, writing up my take on recipes and taking photos of the food I had cooked. Posting photos on line and reading the amazing comments and meeting extraordinary home cooks along the way. I loved every minute of it. I was home cooking in my own kitchen over two months and 90 recipes later also equated to many cold dinners because unfortunately as I attempted to take the all important picture just before serving diner every time. I began a new facebook page and then my blog “Food from Home Blog” social media was all around me twitter was next.

The day of the cooking competition finals held in Sydney, I received a phone call. An invitation to my application to audition for “The Great Australian Bake Off”. I have to tell you all that I applied to be on the show as a favour to my dear cousin in law Patricia and now Im so glad I took her advice. After two auditions and a nervous wait filming began in November 2012. I feel like Ive entered the twilight zone Im going backwards just to go forwards….Hmmmm! After waiting almost seven months the show finally went to air in 2013, my phone went into meltdown as I didn’t tell any family or friends what I had been up to and the first commercial, which went to air on my birthday, caught everyone by surprise (and me) which I admit was fun listening and reading text of their reactions. With my nearest and dearest we all gathered at a local pub/restaurant to watch the first episode. The owners of the premisses had no idea why a large group of people were cheering and clapping while all gathered around watching a Baking Show! Now football they could understand, but this was cupcakes. Oh the confusion it must have caused. I even received messages that my home town in country South Australia was watching the show with fingers crossed.

As the weeks went by, I watched the person on TV, the other me! I felt the heartbreak and the joy all over again along with a few little anomalies which as time goes by you understand as “Some things make for good TV” little moments that Im sure never happened or did they? I was and always will be proud of every moment end every recipe I baked on the show. My three goals were met firstly 1: Don’t burn down he kitchen 2: Beat the clock and always have something lovely to present to the judges and 3: Get to the final three.  Getting into the final three was the pinnacle moment I could have walked away at that moment because I was happy. To everyone that wished I had won all I can say is thank you from the depth of my heart. I have always vowed not to over use this word but it has been a “JOURNEY” and I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people.

During 2013 I have judged at competitions, given talks, and answered your wonderful questions. I have demonstrated some of my slightly unorthodox baking methods and drawn amazing crowds at the Royal Melbourne Show and Cake Expos. Meeting Julie Goodwin, Marion Grasby and Anna- Maria from Planet Cakes and filming with Paul Mercurio and listened to their very valuable advice, were a few of the highlights, but the best is still yet to come. I was asked to make cakes for special charity events like “Red Cake Day” and support kids with cancer “Camp Quality”. I have even managed to enter a cake decorating competition and my prize is a meet and greet with one of Melbourne’s best pastry chefs Pierrick Bower at “Le Petit Gateau”.  I am teaching my very own baking classes, and baking at the local Cafe and loving every minute of it. Im on a quest with the “Band of Bakers Australia” to rediscover recipes and uncover flavour sensations from amazing home bakers, bringing together the baking community in the city and the country. Promoting the benefits of home economics taught as a subject at schools not just an elective a valuable life lesson not to be underestimated. Im looking forward to 2014 and looking forward to catching up with you all again. Cheers and Happy New Year to all the Home Bakers, Cooks and household restaurants Chefs everywhere. 🙂

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