The best amateur baker in Canada is from tiny Tsawwassen.
Lauren Tjoe left it all on the kitchen counter and held nothing back in baking the piece de resistance that won her the title of Canada’s Best Amateur Baker.
Tjoe finished first out of three in the finale of the Great Canadian Baking Show, which aired Sunday night on CBC.
Tjoe was named top baker after eight gruelling episodes where competitors had to bake three dishes for each show.
In the finale, for the signature bake, competitors had to make a Paris-Brest pastry and a technical bake which required baking a Cassata which is sponge cake, marzipan and candied fruit. The final task, the last Show Stopper of the season was a garden party dessert centrepiece.
Tjoe decided to leave everything on the table, creating a Veggie Garden Party. She used bread to make a lattice framework and made carrot scones, feta-jalapeno pea pod tarts, hotteok Korean pancake tomatoes and egg plant stroopwafels.
She considered it a good representation of her family and upbringing.
“We’re going all out,” she told the judges as she baked. She said she was worried about how she’d do in the final episode but was proud of the final result. She also won first place with her Cassata cake.
“We are the professionals here, yet they were teaching us a lot of things today,” said judge Bruno Feldeisen.
The results were announced with family, friends and fellow bakers present in the garden outside the baking tent. Tjoe received a ceremonial cake plate in recognition.
“I don’t know what just happened. This feels like a dream. It’s the best dream ever and I, like, really don’t want to wake up,” said Tjoe on the show after the results were announced.
She said she’s a completely different baker than she was when the show started, for which she credited her fellow bakers.
She added her parents have been supportive and it’s the first time she saw her dad cry.
Everyone poured their heart and soul into the event and if they made the decision tough for the judges, they did their job, said fellow baker Chi Nguyen.
The series was produced and taped over the summer in Toronto so Tjoe, 21, has not been able to talk about the final result until Sunday.
After completing a practicum in Toronto, she’ll return next year to finish her finance degree at UBC.