Friday, 16 March 2012

Baking Mad with Eric Landlard - Filming

So today I made my TV debut! How flippin' exciting eh?

Now I can finally share my filming experience with you all, I have been wanting to spill the beans since January, but we weren't allowed until the show had aired. Now that you have seen me in all my baking-glory I can tell you all about my exciting day at Cake Boy! ...

The day began stupidly early, as I had to look my best for the cameras and was super excited so couldn't sleep. I was staying in the Travel Lodge just around the corner in Battersea so arrived a little early at around 7:45am. I was the first to arrive so they sat me down with a cup of tea and I felt good!

Then I spotted Eric Lanlard on the other side of the room. Suddenly the nerves hit, I mean who was I to be baking for HIM! All my nerves and self-doubt started bubbling out and I felt sick. Luckily the lovely lovely Dom from Belleau Kitchen arrived and put me right at ease. He was lovely enough to bring me some fresh rhubarb as I had some trouble sourcing some in early January.

Soon all three of us were chatting and joking about what was to come, and I felt much better. Jenny from Infinite media was milling about and was a very calming influence too.

We started by laying out our ingredients and decanting them into bowls and containers without any labels, branded packaging was a no-no.

Then one by one we were taken off to shoot our intro segments, we were given microphones to wear and I instantly regretted my wardrobe choice, the poor soundman probably saw more of my tights than he cared too and had to keep awkwardly fiddling with the receiver down my cleavage! EEP!

The intro segment was interesting as the director obviously had a good idea what she wanted us all to say so we were prompted with questions, so I ended up waffling on about my fashion degree and love of vintage pastimes; I couldn't help but feel slightly false; That's TV I guess.

Once our work stations were all set up we were given a quick lesson in how to work the various equipment and read through our recipes to make sure we hadn't forgotten anything.

Eric came through from the kitchen at this point and introduced himself and had a quick chat with us, wished us luck etc... Once he had filmed his introduction speech he headed off back to his kitchen (as the cafe was open and he had work to be doing).

We had a couple of false starts, as they wanted shots of us setting up and starting to bake from a few angles. It all got a little confusing and when we actually were suppose to start baking I thought it was still pretend so stood there dumbly for a minute or so until I realised the others were actually starting!

Once I got going I felt at ease, I knew my recipe well and was confident in all the parts. The addition of hot lights and cameras made things a little tricky. My pastry became sticky very quickly and if the camera was filming someone else you had to wait for them to finish before walking in shot to go to the fridge or oven, which eroded into the 2 hours we had to bake.

However, I managed to get it all done in the two hours with about 30 seconds to spare. I only had one small disaster involving some ganache (arguably the easiest part of the whole recipe!) but I managed to revive it with the help of the lovely Dom.

When it came to announce the winner it was really quite nerve-racking, we were all very friendly throughout so it wasn't a competitive atmosphere at all. I really thought Andrea would win as her tart was beautifully presented and sounded like the perfect combination of flavours.
However, we didn't have a clue what Eric had said in the kitchen or what he thought of our bakes; he really didn't give anything away while tasting it.

He did mention he hated my lime green food colouring (brilliant reaction face above) that I used in my lime curd. I understand where he was coming from but personally I liked the green against the dark chocolate brown.

The tension was palpable when he was giving his critique and he re-shot the speech about 4 or 5 times in total due to back ground noise and other filming problems. So it took about 15 minutes to get to the announcement of who had actually won; so by this time were were on the edges of our seats and desperate to hear who won!

So, the winner is... *drum roll* *dramatic pause*


Yay congratu... hang on... who? Queue hysterical laughter from contestants, Eric, film crew, cafe staff and extreme annoyance from director as the reaction shot was ruined! We had to break for 5 minutes just to compose ourselves!

At this point it was obvious that Dom had won as he was the only man, but we had to pretend we didn't know who won and shot it again. Needless to say a career on the stage is not for me as I repeatedly got told off by the director for my terrible acting skills. *pout*

At this point is was fast approaching 2pm and none of us had eaten yet, so we were looking forward to lunch. However, we had MORE pick up shots to film outside. We had to get out coats on and walk to and from the bakery, up and down the riverside, do after-show interviews to camera etc...
Cake-boy is directly under Heathrow's flightpath so the outside interviews took forever!

Finally by 3pm we sat down to eat a sandwich and have a chat with Eric, he was lovely and talked us through how we could of improved our recipes, offered advice and answered our million questions. What a gent!

I had an amazing experience and was really proud of what I achieved.
It seems hilarious that 7 hours of filming culminated in about 8 minutes of on camera time, but its something that I will never forget, thats for sure.

If you missed it and want to watch, you can find it on 4OD or on Youtube. (Only in the UK for now)

Did you see it? What did you think?

So now I am pretty much just going to sit back and wait for the calls from other channels to come flooding in, I'm bound to get my own cooking show right? That's what happens right? No? *pout*


  1. Ahhh, I'm so glad you had such a great time! I haven't had time to watch any of the series yet, but I'll look out your ep on OD tomorrow morning, whilst drinking my morning cuppa. Who knows, that door may just knock!!! (Joolz from Twitter)

  2. That's funny because I saw the show this morning (recorded it yesterday :)) and didn't know that the lovely girl is you!! Thank you so much for the nice 'background look' here. Have a nice weekend - Many greets from Germany!! Jo

  3. That sounds like an amazing day!! Did you sample any of the Cake Boy delights too? I haven't seen it yet but will watch it this weekend on YouTube! Well done on your TV debut!! :-)

  4. Oooh I shall watch you on 4od later when I'm having my dinner - sounds like an amazing experience! :D

  5. I watched it and thought you were great! You came across really naturally - which must have been difficult given all the excitement and everything. Thanks for the insight and photos.

  6. Haha I thought that might have been you! I love that programme :) Thought your tarts were fab :) x

  7. I saw the Ben comment on Thursday between You & Eric but then it meant nothing to me after watching the show. Now I know why...

    Thank you for your insight. I enjoyed watching you on my tellybox and as I said on twitter, you really are a natural.

  8. I did watch it on Youtube and was very impressed. I thought your tarts looked great and I'm glad you and Dom were able to support each other in such a nerve wracking set up! It was really lovely to see people I've tweeted with taking part and doing so well in a TV show. Well done, I'm not sure I would have the nerves to stand that!

  9. Love the snapshots you took from the show, you did great! Nice watching you!

  10. OMG, that's hilarious, when I read this I thought "huh? who the hell is Ben?"!

    Fascinating to hear that between bits of filming that Eric is working in his shop/kitchen! I guess that's something he couldn't have done last year when they filmed it in his house.

    Glad you had such a fun experience doing it! I know what you mean about stuff taking ages though, I had to film something outdoors recently and had to keep waiting for cars, barking dogs and aeroplanes to shut up. Then if you fluff what you're saying you have to wait for another quiet window to try again!

  11. Oh loved your write up! Gives us mortals a taste of what it's really like. Glad you had a great time with Eric etc. Vive la baking! <3

  12. What a fantastic achievement! I loved your bakes, you always have such wonderful flavour combinations! Really enjoyed the programme too. I recorded it and got to watch it at the weekend. Sounds like it was a brilliant experience too. :) x x

  13. Good to hear what it was really like, I did wonder. It was fun to watch though and I thought your tarts were brilliant. So I guess we have a new name for Dom now ;-)

  14. Sounds like such a brilliant day! Some really funny moments too, Ben?! Haha. How did you find out about that and entering/auditioning? I'd love to do something like that! xx

    1. Thanks!

      They actually emailed me through my blog to help publicise the casting, and I thought why not!
      Twitter is also a great place to hear about these opportunities. :)

  15. Wow! I'm so jealous you got to meet Cake boy! Sounds like an amazing day :) x


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