Cosy season has truly begun as The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens for 2023 – and YorkMix caught up with contestant Rowan Claughton.
The University of York student is currently competing on the 14th series of the much-loved baking show – and after the opening episode is already impressing the judges with his bakes.
YorkMix Radio breakfast presenter Leigh chatted with Rowan to find out more about his time on the show.
“The experience is just everything that I could have expected and more,” Rowan told Leigh.
“We are 12 very normal people who apply for a show and expect nothing from it – so it’s been a real surprise and I feel really grateful to be a part of it.”
Rowan, who’s watched every series of the show, has had a long-standing ambition to be on the show.
“I’ve watched it since I was I think eight or nine years old, it’s been a real dream of mine for a long time.”
And he became really close with his fellow bakers, who are all now close friends.
“We all love each other dearly. We have a group chat – we all speak on that daily. Just before the first episode aired we all did a group call. We’ve got a special bond.”
For cake week Rowan created a chocolate and raspberry vertical layer cake for the signature challenge – which was inspired by a wedding cake he had for this 21st birthday.
The showstopper challenge was to make a cake-shaped animal, and Rowan created a lobster cake with cosmopolitan flavours which he reflected to be a “funny choice, really. I was questioning myself.”
Rowan, who’s from Leeds, has just graduated from University of York with a degree in English Literature.
“York has a really special place in my heart,” he says.
During his time at York university, Rowan wrote several articles for the student-led news website The Tab, which included ‘Here are the best places in York to cry this Valentine’s Day’ and ‘Everything you only know if you lived in Derwent College’.
He also has ambitions to do more writing in the future – particularly food writing.
“I’m really into food writing. Before I even went on the show I’d written a little student cookbook – I do love cooking as much as I love baking.”
Let’s hope we see a cookbook from Rowan in the future!
The Great British Bake Off is airing on Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 8pm.