Two chefs from the London Hilton Park Lane hotel were crowned winners of Bake Off: The Professionals last night.
Executive pastry chef Emmanuel Bonneau and junior sous chef Sam Leatherby beat Hideko Kawa and Théo from Sweet Art Lab, and Darryl Collins and Bharat Chandegra from Resorts World Birmingham on the final of Channel 4 show.
The three remaining teams following 10 intensive weeks were challenged with creating a lavish banquet display for 80, with four different desserts and a towering showpiece telling a story and reflecting their passions in a nine-hour final.
The winning team created a showcase called ‘L’Entente Cordiale’, named after the series of agreements made between the UK and France at the beginning of the 20th century to improve Anglo-French relations, reflecting their own English-French teamwork.
The desserts included a raspberry and pistachio sphere dessert, with citrus meringue, pistachio buttercream and raspberry confit; and a strawberry and lime mousse with strawberry jelly and vanilla sponge.
Judge Cherish Finden, former executive pastry chef at the Langham London, described it as “a joy” to watch the pair working together; while judge Benoit Blin, executive pastry chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, praised the colour scheme and challenging techniques.
Bonneau said: “There’s no way I could have done it with anybody else… It’s been a real pleasure to compete.”
Leatherby added: “Our journey has gone from strength to strength. Now we’re friends as much as he [Emmanuel] still is my boss.”
Hilton Park Lane executive chef Anthony Marshall said: “We are extremely proud of Emmanuel and Sam’s achievement. We are so pleased for them, it is a testament to the hard work and high standards they show every day here at London Hilton on Park Lane. It is great to see them rewarded for the quality of their baking.”