Foxtel announced today it has commissioned a new exclusive series of The Great Australian Bake Off, with culinary icon Maggie Beer and acclaimed chef Matt Moran confirmed to judge this local version of the hit UK format.
To be produced by FremantleMedia exclusively for LifeStyle Food , the show will see 12 home baking enthusiasts put through a series of gruelling elimination challenges, baking a mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, bread, biscuits and desserts, all in the hope of being crowned Australia's Best Home Baker.
Hannah Barnes, General Manager of LifeStyle Channels, said: “This is the series the LifeStyle Food audience have been waiting for. I’m thrilled to be giving Aussies with a real passion for baking the opportunity to showcase their talents. We’ll celebrate baking excellence as we find the best home baker in Australia. Our viewers’ love for the format is obvious with the huge success of the original British version and to have two of Australia’s most popular and respected foodies, Maggie and Matt, at the helm is the icing on the cake.”
The worldwide hit Bake Off franchise from BBC Worldwide began in 2010 with The Great British Bake Off, where it remains, after five massive seasons, a ratings phenomenon. The UK version airs in Australia on LifeStyle Food, with all new series to be broadcast exclusively on the channel, and is a huge favourite amongst Foxtel subscribers.
The format has since been produced locally in the US, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine and France, as well as in Australia for the Nine Network in 2013.
Maggie Beer is a self-taught cook, food author, restaurateur and food producer based in South Australia’s Barossa Valley. After establishing the highly acclaimed, award-winning Pheasant Farm Restaurant in 1979, she went on to set up her state of the art export kitchen in 1993. These days, Maggie juggles her career in television presenting and food writing, with running her food business from the Barossa.
“I remember moving to the Barossa all those years ago and immersing myself in country life. Always learning from my neighbours the difference that fresh almonds of the season made to the flavour of a tart; utilising every ingredient as the rhythm of the season rolled on; becoming a ‘country cook’ with the scents of the kitchen full of that just-baked dish brought to the table to share with the beautifully aromatic perfume of the quinces that had simmered all day and then baked into a yeast dough,” said Maggie Beer.
“It’s this very notion that fascinates me about baking and a big part of my excitement at working with the team at Foxtel for the very first time on this new series and of course the chance to work with Matt. Such a great chef and so giving of his knowledge, I’m really looking forward to seeing and tasting what we all come up with on the show,” she said.
Matt Moran is one of Australia’s most successful chefs. He is the co-owner of a number of successful restaurants around the country and an author of four best-selling cookbooks. Matt has also had numerous appearances on TV shows such as Chopping Block, Masterchef, Junior Masterchef and My Restaurant Rules. In 2013, he joined Foxtel to front The LifeStyle Channel’s From Paddock to Plate which has had two successful series and recently won an Astra Award for Most Outstanding Lifestyle Program.
“I’m thrilled to be working alongside my good friend Maggie Beer for this exciting new project that is very close to my heart. Few people realise that baking and pastry have always been a great passion of mine and with 30 years in the food industry now, I’m lucky enough to have had great experiences and knowledge that I can’t wait to share. I’m really excited to unearth the baking talent Australia has to offer,” said Matt Moran.
“Foxtel’s commitment to local production and bringing food to life on television is in line with my own passion of highlighting the enthusiastic home cooks and chefs alike all over the country that make Australia leaders in the culinary world.”
The show is a FremantleMedia Australia production of a BBC Worldwide format for Foxtel.
Jonathon Summerhayes, FMA Director of Programming, said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with BBC Worldwide and Foxtel to bring the show to LifeStyle Food. The format allows for storytelling at its finest, all revolving around the best bakers in the country.”
Production will begin shortly and the series is looking for contestants. Amateur baking enthusiasts can register at www.australianbakeoff.com.au