MICHAEL Chakraverty ended his time on Channel 4's Bake Off during Festival Week after having a rocky journey.
He previously received a Hollywood handshake in Bread Week, but didn't manage to turn his fortune around again. Here's his story…
Who is The Great British Bake Off 2019 contestant Michael?
Michael, a 26 year old theatre manager and fitness instructor, was taught to bake by his mother.
She gave him handwritten recipes passed down from his great-grandparents, to encourage him to take up the skill.
Despite being born in Newcastle, Michael considers himself Scottish as he moved to Scone in Scotland at age seven and studied in Edinburgh.
He has tried every discipline in baking, but his strengths lie in cakes and pastry and he is inspired by the flavours of his Indian heritage.
The fitness instructor uploads pictures of his bakes on his Instagram page here.
What has happened to Michael in Bake Off so far?
- Week One, Cakes – Michael chopped up his fingers as well as his ingredients in the Signature Challenge and he came a lowly 10th in the Technical Angel Cake challenge. But his Treasure Chest Showstopper was described as a design any kid would be happy with on their birthday.
- Week Two, Biscuits – Despite his fear about Biscuit week, Michael managed impress the judges enough with his Lemon & Rosemary biscuit bars. But Prue couldn't handle the chilli levels in his 3d biscuit sculpture.
- Week Three, Bread – He got the coveted first handshake of the season from Paul Hollywood for his stunning Keralan Star tear and share bread. And his Mediterranean camp fire scored bread went down a treat as well.
- Week Four, Dairy – Michael took a big risk in Dairy Week and it didn’t pay off at all as he watched on in horror when his sour lemon cake with raspberry cheesecake swirl split in half and got ripped into by the judges. However, he managed to bring it all back with his pistachio and lemon, rosewater and mango mishti Showstopper.
- Week Five, The Roaring Twenties – Paul and Prue loved his mango, lime and ginger custard pies with ginger shortcrust and mango gelee discs but the baker was in tears as he struggled to make Beignet Souffles in the Technical challenge, coming in one from last. His Showstopper lacked flavour despite looking great.
- Week Six, Dessert Week – To kick things off Michael created a Dark Chocolate Meringue – with Paul and Prue loving it. His Showstopper was a Black Forest Bombe which was described as looking like "the Queen Mum's hat". It got mixed reviews from the judges – they liked the taste but not the look.
- Week Seven, Festival Week – The gang said farewell to Theatre manager/Fitness instructor Michael at the end of the episode. He struggled to keep up with the pack after failing to nail the Technical Challenge of Sicilian Casatelles. While the decision to add rum to his Jamaican mule layer cake ended up backfiring.
What has Michael said about The Great British Bake Off 2019?
Michael went out on a limb and applied for the new series one night as he was “a bit bored”.
Luckily for him, he made it through the audition process and said of being accepted: “When I found out, it was a mixture of shock and blind panic!”
As for his first week on the show, he said: “We all bonded immediately as bakers, and getting to know everyone was so lovely.
After he was eliminated in Week Seven, he explained: "I enjoyed experimenting with flavours in the tent, including some from my Indian heritage.
"I was very proud of the flavour combinations that I created with mango, lime and ginger in my custard tarts in Week 5, and the coconut, chilli and garlic in my Keralan Star Bread in Week 3. That was when I got my Hollywood handshake, which was a complete shock – I didn’t know what to do with myself!
He added: "The best bit of the series for me has been meeting this new family of friends that I have made, and I’m now spending all my time travelling around the country to meet up with different bakers.
"The worst bit would be realising how sharp the knives are in the tent – even the butter knives were sharp! I’m happy to confirm that my fingers have recovered and that I lost no digits during the filming of the series."
When is The Great British Bake Off next on?
The Great British Bake Off is back on Tuesday (October 15).
You can catch the action on Channel 4 at 8pm.
Bake Off is expected to run for 10 consecutive weeks and the final is likely to be in November 2019
What is the Great British Bake Off prize?
With all the drama, sweat and tears that the dedicated bakers go through, you would expect they would be aiming for some grand cash prize, but the answer is no.
The winning prize is just flowers and a cake stand, at least that's what has happened so far.
Previous Bake Off contestant Martha Collison, who reached the quarter-finals in the 2014 series, confirmed to Barrelhouse: “Everyone is so surprised and thinks there must be some secret cash, but all we really get is a bunch of flowers and a cake stand.
“But then, you also kind of become a national treasure just by doing it because everyone in Britain loves the Bake Off so much.”
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