Pastry tutor Mark Tilling and two of his former pupils have been crowned the winners of BBC2's Bake Off: Crème de la Crème. Mark, Head of Squires Kitchen International School, and star pupils Helen and Samantha beat 14 other teams to the top spot to be named the crème de la crème of British pastry in the tense finale on Tuesday 19th May. Hosted by celebrated chef Tom Kerridge, the début series of the show featured teams of professional pastry chefs going head-to-head to create stunning bakes, chocolate and sugar work for expert judges Benoit Blin, Claire Clark and Cherish Finden.
Scraping into the semi-finals on a wildcard as the highest-placing runners-up, Mark's team won their semi-final with a stunning chocolate egg sculpture which earned high praise from all the judges.
They then showcased their high-end skills in the final with an impressive fine-dining dessert banquet for no fewer than 100 guests.
Twice winner of the UK Chocolate Masters, Mark, said: “We were up against two very good teams and I was worried that we hadn't done enough to show the judges our skills for the final. We were right down to the wire on the day with what we had to do. It felt great to win but it took a while to sink in as we were so tired! It was fantastic and I still can't quite believe it now.”