If you’re eager for the next season of your favorite baking competition, then get ready to dodge even more spoilers than usual. The season of Great British Baking Show premiering on June 22 — billed as Season 5 on PBS — actually aired in 2012 in the U.K., according to Forbes, so your friends across the pond have already had the results for years. American audiences can still start fresh though, and you’ll want to be familiar with the baking connoisseurs hoping to wow the judges. Among them, John Whaite, who is a Great British Baking Show standout from the start.
Beware — because the season originally aired so long ago in the U.K., spoilers about Whaite’s progress on the show are basically everywhere on the internet, including in some of the articles linked in this piece. According to Whaite’s website, he’s a food writer and cook from Britain who studied his craft at Le Cordon Bleu, and got his first job in food at the fish and chip shop his parents owned when he was a child. Oh yeah, he also has a law degree, the website continues (no big deal), and now, several years after his Baking Show (Bake-Off in the U.K.) season, appears on programs like ITV’s Lorraine and Chopping Block.
He’s also got plenty of recipes available on the site, and cook books of his own — his fourth and most recent book, Comfort: Food To Soothe The Soul, was published in October. Others available on Amazon include Perfect Plates In 5 Ingredients, John Whaite Bakes At Home, and John Whaite Bakes: Recipes For Every Day And Every Mood.
Whaite is also pretty active on Twitter and on Instagram, where he promotes his books and often shares snaps of his recipes and vacation spots. (Spoilers for Great British Baking Show are in those social media bios, where he states what place he came in!)
And, as if the rest of his ventures didn’t keep him busy enough, he also has opened a school where others can learn to be the best cooks they can be. "Opening my cookery school is the most memorable thing I’ve done," Whaite said in an interview with House Beautiful magazine. "I’m so proud of what my partner, family, and I have created. It’s the perfect creative environment for teaching, recipe testing and welcoming new people week in, week out to essentially cook and eat together."
Whaite is heralded for his expertise in cooking, especially in the U.K., and frequently gives interviews, about everything from perfecting certain recipes to cultivating a kitchen that’s best fit for entertaining and showing off your culinary chops. He’s also been open about how cooking helps his mental health and makes him feel better when he’s having a tough time, as evidenced by a 2013 interview with Vada magazine.
"It’s just the whole process really. There will be days when you’re depressed when it’s really hard to even get out of bed, so just getting into the kitchen is an achievement in itself," he told the outlet. "But then you’ve got the baking itself which I find very therapeutic — and of course at the end of it you’ve actually made something. I think it’s just having that ability to turn something quite destructive into something creative."
It’s clear that he enjoyed his time on Great British Baking Show, as he’s spoken fondly about the experience in the past. "I had support from my friends and family but I honestly just applied for myself because I thought it would be a good opportunity and a bloody good laugh," he told Vada magazine in the same interview. "And thankfully it was a bloody good laugh!" Though U.K. audiences are well aware of how this particular season of the show plays out, American viewers will have the opportunity to live it all for the first time, and see Whaite’s delicious creations for themselves.
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