I'm Jon Gottfried, and I work in tech education in NYC but baking is my hobby! I competed on Season 6 of The Great American Baking Show, which is coming out on May 5th on the Roku Channel.

Baking in the Tent for Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith was one of the wildest and best experiences of my life so I thought it could be fun to do an AMA about what it was like to participate in what I think is the most heartwarming of competition TV shows alongside some of the kindest (and most talented) fellow bakers I've had the pleasure to know.

Proof: Here's my proof!

Comments: 172 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

emilynna70 karma

How long does Paul really stand over your shoulder, watching you in quiet yet nerve wracking contemplation?

jonmarkgo80 karma

A disconcerting amount.

addictivenature47 karma

Were you given the assignments in advance in order for you to prepare and do a few test runs?

jonmarkgo63 karma

Obviously you only learn about the Technicals when they announce it in the tent and you immediately have to start baking. For Signatures/Showstoppers - Some recipes I created or adapted specifically for the show, and some were staples that I made many times before. You're encouraged to practice in the lead up to filming so that you know it will work in the time allotted. We did not get to do any test runs in the Tent though.

sowellfan3 karma

How far in advance do you get the info on signatures/showstoppers? Do they give them to you all at once, like a month before filming starts? Or is it more like you learn about each signature/showstopper 2 weeks before you've gotta make it happen?

jonmarkgo4 karma

Some other bakers have described the process before: https://people.com/food/the-great-british-baking-show-every-question-answered/

HutSutRawlson42 karma

What's the dish washing situation like? I've always been curious what happens with the pans when people do things like ruin caramel 5 times in a row.

jonmarkgo61 karma

There's a lot of crew you don't see on TV. People do indeed wash your dishes for you and bring you new ones when you need it. I think it'd just be too disruptive and too much of a time sink if you had to do it yourself.

HutSutRawlson16 karma

Is there a commercial/industrial kitchen facility somewhere else on the grounds?

jonmarkgo43 karma

There was definitely an off-set area for dishwashing and similar stuff, but I never got to see it. I can't imagine it was very big or fancy though given that we were literally in a tent in the middle of a field.

Xavdidtheshadow40 karma

Hey Jon!

This is very cool, feels weird seeing someone I know in The Tent.

My question is about the vibe. GBBO is known for being friendly and cooperative, despite being a competition show. The vibe is noticeably different than most American competition shows. Did you have that same experience on the American version? Was everyone really that nice?

Also, how much quiet work time did you have? The editing makes it seem like the hosts are always talking to people, but I assume that's just to keep the home audience engaged.

jonmarkgo56 karma

Hi there! It was equally surreal being in the Tent, I assure you.

I do believe that this season in particular is trying to get back to its roots in terms of that feeling, and that it'll likely feel more like the British version than other American competition shows. It felt exactly as if I walked onto an episode of GBBO. The hosts, judges, crew, and other bakers are all just..really nice and supportive and friendly. It's honestly weird how well all of us bakers got along and became friends given that we were sort of just thrown together from around the country. I would gladly let whoever picked this cast pick future friends for me again 🤣

You have surprisingly little quiet work time. The hosts or judges aren't at your table the whole time, but you almost always have a camera in your face or a producer asking you to explain what you're doing or why. It is a difficult skill to both bake, and talk about it at the same time. I have a lot more respect now for food/cooking celebrities who do that so smoothly.

nquinlan20 karma

What feels more weird is to see the person I’m going to with dinner tonight having a conversation on Reddit with the person I spent last week with.

jonmarkgo10 karma

It be like that sometimes.

crazyoldbagz33 karma

Were you allowed to try everyone's bakes as well?

jonmarkgo84 karma

Yes, we were! Typically the crew would bring us a plate of samples after everything was over so that we could try everything. The craziest thing to me is that like..they were all delicious. The most highly praised ones and the most highly critiqued ones would all be things I'd pay good money for in a bakery.

NotEasyAnswers17 karma

That makes me so happy 😭😭😭 please say they let the crew try everything too

jonmarkgo18 karma

I think they do!

themeatbridge23 karma

I always wonder if contestants are given many recipes to learn in advance, because sometimes they challenge you with something esoteric and a lot of the bakers are nervous, like "I've never made a Mirrored Hungarian Tea Crisp before" but then half the bakers are like "the trick is you have to microwave the yak's milk before you whisk in the sopophorous beans."

Do they give you a list of potential recipes to learn beforehand?

jonmarkgo28 karma

Pshh, obviously you're supposed to microwave the BEANS and mix that into the yak's milk, not the other way around.

They do not give you potential recipes, but on the application form they do ask about all sorts of different things you've made before so I assume they screen for some sort of breadth of knowledge. The other thing is that a lot of different types of baked goods share similar techniques - so maybe I've never made a Mirrored Hungarian Tea Crisp but I made a Slightly Shiny Turkish Coffee Cookie..or something

themeatbridge5 karma

Thanks, I know it already happened, but since it hasn't aired yet, good luck!

jonmarkgo5 karma


XAV_mn21 karma

Were there any British-isms from the show that needed translation for American bakers/audiences?

Also, was the American cast able to duplicate the kindness and positivity between competitors that the British version has?

jonmarkgo31 karma

Ellie and Zach were SO SO nice and just fun to have around, even if it is slightly distracting to have someone interviewing you or talking to you while you're trying to do some detail-oriented baking... From where I was standing, it definitely felt warm and positive and verymuch like stepping into GBBO in real life.

In terms of British-isms, all of the bakers were American but I certainly heard some folks on the production side having to correct themselves to say cookies instead of biscuits, or similar things every once in a while. Since the two hosts were American too, I can only assume that what they say will be very understandable to an American audience.

BrazenBull18 karma

Did you get paid? If so, how much?

Did they put you up in a nice hotel?

jonmarkgo50 karma

No, you do not get paid and famously there is no prize money. You do receive a per diem and some ingredient reimbursements.

We lived in a long-term stay hotel with kitchens in each room. I would not say it was 'nice' but it was very functional and the folks who worked there were very kind and welcoming about having a group of people making HEAVY use of their facilities for a long time :)

VociferousQuack8 karma

How much was "heavy use"?

Were you practicing & researching every hour you weren't in front of the cameras?

jonmarkgo18 karma

I practiced as much as possible, especially to make sure all of my recipes worked with British ingredients. Though to be honest you have limited down time around filming and mentally sometimes you really just need the rest.

VociferousQuack6 karma

What is the hurdle of "a British ingredient"?

0.5% different protein in the brand of flour?

jonmarkgo28 karma

Different fat percentages in cream or milk or butter, different types of chocolate, different types of flour (it's not just protein level but also things like..they don't really have Cake Flour readily available in the UK), and many other unexpected and weird things. Sometimes ingredients have different names, sometimes they're just..very American and hard to source in the UK.

VociferousQuack8 karma

My brains havnt been functional enough to even bake for years. Really appreciate the vicarious experience.

Converting "food" recipes into "liquid & dry" equivalents so you can manually rebalance everything from how much white sugar replaces water, or if lemon and vinegar combo is best to adjust pH to balance the baking soda, truly mad science.

jonmarkgo9 karma

Yes! Baking is as much an art a it is a science

Edub39212 karma

Maybe this got asked later, still catching up, but what did you do with all the practice food while in the hotel? I imagine you all baking and having tons of food in this place.

jonmarkgo3 karma

I ate too much of it or shared it with hotel staff or even random guests/strangers sometimes to get rid of it!

candycarrie8 karma

Did you continue your day job while filming? Did you only film on certain day(s) of the week? And did the entire cast stay in the UK the entire time of filming, even if they got “out” in an early week?

jonmarkgo17 karma

Yes everyone stayed in the UK the entire time. We usually had on-days for filming and off-days to rest and recuperate. I took the time off from work, as did I think everyone else who had a full-time job. It was definitely the longest vacation I've ever taken, but well worth it for the once in a lifetime experience!

onioning-4 karma

No, you do not get paid and famously there is no prize money.

What? That's blatant exploitation. So you do it for the exposure? That's awful.

jonmarkgo2 karma

It was one of the most unique and enjoyable experiences of my life, so I respectfully disagree. I did it for like..the fun and journey of it more than the exposure or any kind of financial reward - 10/10 would do again.

FewNewspaper790513 karma

What was an unexpected challenge you faced while baking in the tent?

jonmarkgo45 karma

So we actually filmed in the UK. Which meant we had to revise/adapt our recipes to be made with UK ingredients. You'd think that something like flour or butter or sugar or whatever would be the same, but it is noticeably different... I did not at all expect to have to learn to work with Double Cream vs Single Cream vs whatever other crazy British creams there are.

Incantanto4 karma

You filmed in the uk? How much of a gap did you get between "weeks"?

jonmarkgo1 karma

I answered this in another comment but we all lived in a hotel together and had on days for filming and off days to rest up

whatsaphoto2 karma

Speaking of hotels, what's the prep/test bake situation look like on off-days when you're not filming? Surely it must be chaos trying to get signature challenges tested and studied in a tiny studio hotel room kitchen!

jonmarkgo2 karma

It's a long-term stay hotel so there's a small kitchen with an oven. It was interesting working in such small quarters for sure given the limited counter space. There were times I practiced and had cooling racks on the couch, on the counter, on chairs, all over the place.

DimplesMcGee13 karma

Do they do your laundry for you overnight so you can wear the same clothes on the second day of filming each show? It always seems so strange that they're wearing the same outfits when they showed how hot and sweaty it can get in the tent some days.

jonmarkgo14 karma

They did not do our laundry for us (aside from aprons, which I always needed), but perhaps they do on the British one? I'm not sure. We definitely got a little smelly. That's part of the magic bonding that the contestants get to share with each other 🤣

maxrick11013 karma

Hi Jon! What did you find more difficult, the creative or technical aspect of the show? The best bakers always seem to have both, so what did you do to elevate the part you felt was lacking, either going into it or during filming?

Fun question: What's more stressful, preparing for a challenge in the tent, or preparing a weeks worth of meals/programming for a week at Unirondack?

jonmarkgo19 karma

The creative part was certainly difficult, but honestly the most challenging aspect is combining technically complex baking with aesthetically complex creative elements. It's really hard to balance both and do them at a very high level consistently. After the first time I applied for the show (and did not get cast) I put a lot more time into leveling up my decorative and creative abilities before applying again. The pandemic certainly made that easier..lots of free time on my hands.

I'd say that planning (and running) a really good one shot program every day for a week for high energy 9 year olds is more work and perhaps more tiring than baking in the tent, lol. But it's like a sprint vs a marathon, I suppose. The Tent is more like a Sprint, being a camp counselor is more like a marathon.

maxrick1106 karma

Thanks for the awesome response!

A fun follow up then: if you had to bake a Unirondack-inspired showstopper, what would it be?

jonmarkgo6 karma

An edible peanut butter flavored Hydrofax, duh!

Hungry_Traffic284110 karma

Do you get extra time to hang out with the judges, at least after the episode or shows are over? I've heard the judges from Top Chef really only get to see the contestants during judges table, so I'm curious how much that differs on GBBO

jonmarkgo18 karma

Sadly we do not. I think they like to maintain objectivity by not getting to know the contestants in a way that might bias them. Or they're just busy people, who knows. They were all very nice though in my brief off-camera interactions with them.

kentuck-knob9 karma

I'm guessing you haven't seen the final cut yet of what will be on TV, but based on what you know from watching previous episodes, does the experience of living through it match what is broadcast? Is it more or less a realistic show?

jonmarkgo29 karma

All I've seen is the trailer :)

Oh it is intensely real. I've watched every British season, and a handful of the American ones, and when they tell you that you have two hours to make something, that is literally how much time you have. So all of the competitive elements are true to what you'd expect.

The things you don't see, which really are irrelevant to the competition, are how they get beautiful shots of everyone's bakes after you're done, or how they march you in like multiple times to get different angles of everyone walking to the tent, etc. I'll also say that the judging process is longer and more in depth than what you see on TV. You might get a bunch of feedback on each bake from Paul and/or Prue but then only like one little bit gets edited into the show.

thelonelygod8 karma

You are shrunken down to the size of nickels and dropped to the bottom of a blender. What do you do?

jonmarkgo15 karma

So theoretically, if you get shrunk down you might end up maintaining your relative muscle strength, which would allow you to jump out like a super strong ant. That is what I would do.

thelonelygod12 karma

Ok, let's increase how personal this question is then.

In what way have baked goods let you down as a friend and or colleague.

jonmarkgo16 karma

lol baked goods are like your favorite distracting office mate. Really fun to be around, but if you eat too many of them it can have negative health effects. or something like that

Jbota16 karma

How many of your office mates have you eaten?

jonmarkgo14 karma

You know, I now see how that comment could be misinterpreted. But zero, for the record.

jna_sh8 karma

What’s a Paul Hollywood handshake really like?

jonmarkgo35 karma

👀 tsk tsk trying to trick me into spoilers

dsli7 karma

So fellow seawolf here if you know what I mean, who just happened to hear. Congrats Jon, and I have to ask seeing all the comments why you guys were producing in the UK and brands were prominent in the ingredients you used (Waitrose, e.g.)?

Also go Yanks, and LFGR tonight.

jonmarkgo9 karma

I do indeed, and thank you! Though I am a Mets fan...

I believe we produce in the UK because that's where the tent lives! I visited many UK grocery stores in my time there - Asda was actually the most convenient one but I also went to Waitrose, Tesco, M&S, and a few other random ones.

dsli3 karma

Follow up Jon, but was production based in London or elsewhere in the UK? Def have visiting London on my bucket list so was curious as to how your experience being in THE UK if you haven't been there before.

jonmarkgo2 karma

I honestly don't even remember the name of the town we filmed in, but it was near London. It was not my first time in the UK but it was quite a bit different from visiting as a tourist! Either way it is a very fun place to visit. Incredible history, culture, and even great food from all over the world

listless_in_seattle7 karma

Will you be following social media reactions when your season starts airing? Did anyone offer advice for how to deal with commentary from judges or from viewers?

jonmarkgo16 karma

I'm excited to see what people think, for sure. Honestly, I'm just excited to see it period! You do get access to a psychologist for support (like on most unscripted shows) and they do provide some coaching around how to deal with viewer reactions. In terms of dealing with commentary from judges, no one was ever intentionally cruel or mean - they're just honest and generally supportive even if something doesn't go as planned.

I have no idea how our edit will turn out, but based on my experience I know that the judging is longer and more in-depth than what is shown on TV. I imagine that when you see criticism that appears harsh, you may not be seeing the parts that got edited out that are often more supportive or balancing of the harsher criticism.

Lurk_Real_Close5 karma

Oh that’s good to know. I imagined they edited a lot, especially in the early weeks, but it is good to hear you are getting useful feedback.

jonmarkgo3 karma

Yeah, it was a pleasant surprise!

listless_in_seattle3 karma

Thanks for answering and for this AMA! Really looking forward to watching next month. :)

jonmarkgo3 karma

Me too! Thanks for being part of it :)

kostakoast6 karma

Who are some of your favorite bakers from past seasons either from an entertainment standpoint or people you draw inspiration from?

jonmarkgo8 karma

I always loved Hermine - she was just such a fun on-camera presence on the show!

In terms of inspiration, Giuseppe feels like the obvious choice but I'm going to say that one of my favorite bakes ever was Andrew in season 7 making the gears out of pie and then they actually turned! That is so difficult and crazy

Lurk_Real_Close3 karma

Has Andrew’s example inspired you to bake some mother boards?

jonmarkgo9 karma

I have not made any baked motherboards but I did make a Robot cake years ago where I replaced the eyes with clear jello and then put LEDs underneath so I could make them blink with a little Arduino controller.

genuinefeeling6 karma

How did you get selected? Had you ever considered it before it happened?

jonmarkgo13 karma

This was actually my third time applying to be on the show! A lot of folks who ended up on the show (this season and in previous) were in a similar boat. You fill out a written application (still open until May 19 if you go on their Instagram to find the link) and then there's a series of steps ranging from phone/video interviews to actual baking - I think it changes a bit from year to year though so my experience may not be the same as yours

candycarrie5 karma

What advice do you have for those applying + want to prep for being on the show (if selected)? AKA - do you wish you had practiced some aspect of baking beforehand?

jonmarkgo8 karma

Bake..a lot..like too much. Honestly I thought I baked a lot the first time I applied and they definitely asked me about things I had never even heard of before. So I went back and broadened my horizons quite a bit...The pandemic helped a lot because I had a lot of downtime at home to try to make all sorts of things that really there's no reason to make yourself unless you want to know how to do it in the first place.

You need a lot of breadth and depth of experience and practice, and do not be discouraged if you don't get cast the first time you apply. It's worth it to keep trying to improve and keep re-applying.

Raspberrylipstick5 karma

Got another one: How realistic is the blind judging thing? I imagine it wouldn't take much to read the impressions of the bakers. Plus I always think that one slight shift of angle would prolly be enough to be able to see the front sides of the photographs.

Did you feel like the judges secretly knew who was behind the bakes?

jonmarkgo16 karma

I mean, it felt like it was honest blind judging. You're probably right that our faces gave something away if they really cared. The cameras were definitely zoomed in on us watching them judge it so they can get the reaction shots for TV, but I didn't get the sense that Paul or Prue was particularly trying to unearth whose was whose. They definitely didn't try to peek behind the photos.

FewNewspaper79055 karma

On the show it always seems like the bakers are friends and genuinely trying to help each other. How accurate/true is that depiction?

jonmarkgo16 karma

Very true, at least for us. We spent a LOT, and I mean a LOT of downtime with each other when we're not filming. You're all there together in this bizarre situation that's totally different from your normal day-to-day life, and you all have this passion in common.

Even after the filming was done, we'd have monthly video chats to catch up and we even have had some in-person reunions to see each other again. When you see folks helping each other on the show, it's because you're genuinely friends and want people to perform well on the show, and sometimes that requires an extra hand.

Raspberrylipstick5 karma

What's the schedule like? Is it really one challenge per day of the weekend? Like...on Saturdays it's always the Technical, Sundays the Showstopper?

jonmarkgo8 karma

It was more about on-days and off-days than weeks vs weekends. You typically do the Signature and Technical on the same day and then you do the Showstopper the next day since it requires more time.

Raspberrylipstick7 karma

Ah sweet thanks. In the German spin-off they always pretend to be baking all three challenges on one single day, which is a ridiculous claim when the bakers have 5 hours for the showstopper alone lol

jonmarkgo3 karma

You can usually tell that the weather is different, if nothing else.

funkybuns275 karma

The show is edited very cleverly. How much time actually passes from a challenge ending to when they start tasting? Do they allow you to put bakes in the fridge while they clean up and prepare for the judging?

jonmarkgo9 karma

Once you're done baking they take lots of nice video and photos of you and all the bakes and then they interview you off in the woods somewhere about how you thought it went. While they're interviewing everyone they clean up a bit and take away the dirty dishes. Then you go back for judging. I don't remember specifically how much time it is though, but it's not immediate.

When it was important, they did put things in the fridge..very very carefully

funkybuns272 karma

That sounds so stressful! Especially if you built something intricately tall and wobbly.

jonmarkgo2 karma

You're telling me!

BenVera4 karma

Thanks for doing this!! What does it mean to proof something? Or something needs to be proofed? They say it like every ten seconds and I’ve always been lost!!

jonmarkgo7 karma

Good question! Proofing/proving is a process specific to working with yeasted dough (like bread). Sometimes people call it fermentation too, though I think technically they refer to different stages of the process. Either way, it describes when you let your dough rest and rise. Since yeast is a living organism, it takes some time to eat the sugars in your bread and emit the gas that makes your dough rise and get nice and fluffy. It is somewhat of an art - things like the ambient temperature, humidity, etc can affect how long it takes to proof bread so you really have to know what to look for beyond just following timing in a recipe.

BenVera3 karma

Ah!! That makes so much sense! I’m retroactively understanding the whole show now heh

jonmarkgo2 karma

Glad I could help :)

aimeewotcher4 karma

Did you film in NYC? Im a lighting tech and have always wanted to work on a Baking Show. How long were the days?

jonmarkgo17 karma

Nope we filmed in the UK actually. The days were LONG. Like, wake up at 4 or 5am, get to the Tent at like 6am, and get back at dinnertime maybe 6 or 7pm.

staskamaev4 karma

What are your favorite foods to bake?

jonmarkgo10 karma

I go back and forth between simple, delicious fun stuff and needlessly complex crazy stuff. Like on a random day I might make muffins or chocolate chip cookies or a basic loaf of sourdough bread. And then sometimes I'll spend like 3 days straight making homemade panettone or entremets or something over the top. They both scratch a different itch!

Lurk_Real_Close2 karma

Are your chocolate chip cookies as good as your dad’s?

jonmarkgo5 karma

Probably better tbh, but don't tell him I said that

Lurk_Real_Close0 karma

I would never. 🙂

jonmarkgo2 karma

My mother in law says her's are even better than mine though. 🤷‍♂️

The_Real_Action_Hank3 karma

Despite your introduction I somehow did not grasp that the new season was coming out in May! I've been waiting since the announcement!

Man I really don't even have a question, I'm just so excited that the new season is coming... uhhh.. I hope you won it?!

jonmarkgo3 karma

I can't wait to see it either. May 5 streaming free on The Roku Channel!

AngelLOL1233 karma

What is your favorite cake flavor?

jonmarkgo3 karma

Chocolate. Though I did once have this cannoli inspired layer cake that was kind of incredible.

FewNewspaper79053 karma

Did your perspective on your own level of baking skill change at all after competing in the tent?

jonmarkgo16 karma

So the thing that you realize really quickly is that everyone in the tent is THE Baker in their group of friends/family. They all love baking as much as you do, they do it a lot, and they're pretty exceptional compared to the average home baker. Different people have things they've done more or less of, or personal preferences, or innate talents but really the level of skill and practice is just VERY high. I wouldn't say that I think higher or lower of myself than I did before I got to the tent, but it is pretty incredible to get to talk to and work alongside people who are as deep in the rabbithole of baking as you are, and quite a bit moreso in some areas! We have a very active group chat still going post-filming where we give each other tips and advice and share things we're working on. It's kind of awesome!

thestokekid3 karma

How long before filming did you find out what the Signature and Showstopper challenges were?

And how long before flying to the UK did you learn you were on the show?

jonmarkgo2 karma

some other bakers have described the first part: https://people.com/food/the-great-british-baking-show-every-question-answered/

In terms of finding out when I was cast, I think it was a few weeks to a month beforehand - I don't remember precisely but it was not a lot of lead time :)

chibinoi3 karma

I adore this show and the OG Great British Baking Show! If you would like to share, what was your favorite competition assignment, and what about it made it your favorite? What was the most difficult part of this assignment, and what was the most exciting part?


jonmarkgo7 karma

Sadly I can't share that! Gotta keep the specific challenges under wraps until the show airs on May 5th. Remind me then and I'll try to answer you once it's all public :)

notnotaginger2 karma

Cool! What was the casting process like?

jonmarkgo2 karma

You fill out a long written application and then there's various interview and baking stages :) I don't want to say too much because it's kind of an interesting process that you need to go through firsthand

slowmagicstudio2 karma

How did you keep it a secret that you were on the show for so long? Especially during filming??

jonmarkgo4 karma

I just said I went on a very secret business trip to the UK for a special project 🤷‍♂️

slowmagicstudio3 karma

How long did you have to come up with each week’s set of bakes?

jonmarkgo1 karma

some other bakers have talked about this in the past: https://people.com/food/the-great-british-baking-show-every-question-answered/

am_22222 karma

Paul is usually considered the “mean judge” but is he nicer when the cameras are off?

jonmarkgo9 karma

He is certainly less fluffy than Prue but he's not really mean. I think he has very particular and very high standards and he is literally paid to give you direct feedback on what he thinks of your bakes. He seems like he would be a fun guy to hang out with off set.

Catch22Gamer2 karma

What would your one tip be to a beginner baker?

jonmarkgo4 karma

Great question! I'd recommend starting with something that you're familiar with like a basic cookie or cake so that you can easily tell how it turned out. These days there's lots of great videos online to follow along with too. One of the hardest things about starting to bake is learning what's technical where you need to follow the recipe precisely and learning what's more artful where you just need to know what to look for...videos can help a lot with that

Trent3302 karma

What are the logistics of getting all of your baking equipment over to the UK? Just shove it all into a suitcase?

jonmarkgo4 karma

The Tent has a ton of supplies already, but you do indeed bring anything special you want/need in your suitcase with you! Like sometimes on the show you see people with homemade display pieces or what-not, you'd have to fly that over with you.

SparkyDogPants2 karma

Did you feel like you had enough time for technicals? I always get frustrated when it looks like the bakers get 45 minutes for a 60 minute bake and get penalized for not properly cooling their bakes and having melted frosting.

jonmarkgo8 karma

They do theoretically test all the technicals to make sure it's possible in the allocated amount of time. But I'm fairly certain it's designed to be juuuust enough time and always be down to the wire. More fun that way!

Bfmcd102 karma

I watch the French version of this show and I really like it but I find it hard sometimes to believe or understand how non professional manage to work so fast. Making an "entremet" with 4 or 5 different preparations and freezing it in a domestic fridge in less than 2 hours? So is everything done in real time or do you prepare things ahead (like weighting all your ingredients) or are the fridge just for the show and you have professional cooling gear hidden behind? (Sorry if I'm not using the right vocabulary! )

jonmarkgo1 karma

You literally work at double speed to get it done. It's kind of intense. I have no idea how you could make an entremet in that short of a time but I suppose its theoretically possible with the right recipe.

All 3 of the challenges on the show are done in real time with no prep ahead of time or pre-made things. I wish we had professional cooling gear..those cute little fridges/freezers are really working overtime.

Bfmcd102 karma

Thnks for your answer. I guess that what is a bit confusing is that the show is edited and you obviously don't see every steps in sequence. So you have the wrong impression of timings!

jonmarkgo1 karma

Yeah the reality is that there's surprisingly little down time. But you also don't really want to watch someone like..whisking something for 15 minutes straight lol

Raspberrylipstick2 karma

Has there ever been technical that you would have actually liked to compete in? Like when watching older episodes, did you ever think "Man I could've rocked that!"?

jonmarkgo2 karma

In season..8 I think they did pizza. I've made a lot of pizza at home and think I could do it under pressure.

Short-Taro34462 karma

Is it true that the crew carry around forks in their pockets to taste the leftovers after filming is over?

Did they do the end of season picnic/carnival, or did they have to change that aspect since none of you were local and I'm sure some couldn't afford to fly their families over?

Were the bakes assigned more traditionally British or American in nature? I've never seen any of the American Baking Show seasons, but I would assume there's a lot more peanut butter and a lot less raisins in the Americans' bakes. Do the judges come in expecting those differences, or do they want a biscuit to be crisp?

jonmarkgo2 karma

Not quite that explicitly, but I do think they get to taste things after filming is done.

There was indeed a finale thing that everyone gets to go to, though I don't think they flew out anyone's families.

The bakes were more American or just generally classic bakes that aren't specific to the UK or USA. The judges have their own personal preferences and likes/dislikes, like anyone does, but given how experienced they are as bakers I can only assume they've tried a lot of American-style bakes and have a good point of reference/comparison.

camlaw631 karma

Was it hard to adapt to the lack of gas, blast freezers and other more high end appliances?

jonmarkgo2 karma

Nah electric/induction work quite well. And I've never even seen a blast freezer IRL so using a home freezer was pretty normal. I do wish it was larger at times

VociferousQuack1 karma

Unlike the great British bakeoff, where contestants get to go home between shots & only filming maybe once a week, are you doing a speed run of one elimination per day & its over in like 10 days?

jonmarkgo4 karma

No. It's a few days on and a few days off. I don't know that anyone would have the stamina to do it back to back like that!

VociferousQuack1 karma

A pro chef, big time, might be able to, but even then you'd likely need to give them a month warning so they can all plan as if they make it to the end.

jonmarkgo4 karma

Perhaps! They definitely have the experience of baking for long hours every day. The talking part is another layer of exhaustion tbh

VociferousQuack1 karma

To make it natural, give every pro chef an assistant, who's job it is to get in the way whenever the chef tries to get from point A to point B. Very natural talking...

jonmarkgo5 karma

Ha! I'd definitely recommend watching the GBBO Professionals edition. It's quite good and a somewhat different format from the regular show

Graptharr-1 karma

Was that the one where you guys came through rapid city south dakota? If so i had to sign releases for my hotdog stand to be in the show, and i never saw it in the show

jonmarkgo1 karma

I honestly don't know what this is in reference to lol

Graptharr2 karma

Your fine, if its just coming out now, their is no way, this was like... 8 years ago

jonmarkgo1 karma

Well now I wanna know more about this mysterious hot dog stand!

Graptharr2 karma

Haha, it was some summer, and one day my boss tells me their is gonna be the great american food truck race downtown around me and to get ready to be really busy. I ended up selling so much product i asked a random town person to take a few hundred bucks and get me more chips and soda, and they even came back. I had an incredible lone cause my meal deals(dog,drink,chips) was 4$ at the time and one of the trucks was charging 20$ for a slider n some fries. With a 2 hour wait. So i was swamped

Graptharr3 karma

It appears i have confused the great American bakingshow with the great american food truck race

jonmarkgo2 karma

Both pretty great, eh?

WannabeTypist11-1 karma

Is Mary Berry as hot in real life as she is on TV?

jonmarkgo1 karma

I have never met her, but she was a great judge on the original British bake off!

Moos_Mumsy-4 karma

My daughter worked for Kraft Services on Top Chef Canada and told me that the entire production was fake and scripted. Apparently the Great British Baking Show is also fake/scripted. Is The Great American Baking Show actually real?

jonmarkgo23 karma

lol based on my first hand experience on the American one (which has the same production company), I HIGHLY doubt the British show is fake and scripted. Certainly ours was not. I have no idea how other non-Baking Show shows work but when they said "hey go bake you have 2 hours" we literally had two hours to make it, no do-overs or pre-made items at all.