Trafford College students star in new series of Bake Off: The Professionals

Trafford College students star in new series of Bake Off: The Professionals

Two former Trafford College hospitality students who went on to carve out careers as professional chefs are hoping to impress Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden with their culinary prowess, having been revealed as contestants in the new series of Bake Off: The Professionals.

Two former Trafford College hospitality students who went on to carve out careers as professional chefs are hoping to impress Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden with their culinary prowess, having been revealed as contestants in the new series of Bake Off: The Professionals.

22-year-old Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga from Chorlton and 20-year-old Sanjam Nagpal  from Stretford, graduated from the college in 2016 with Level 3 diplomas in Pastry and Confectionery. Grant now works at James Martin Manchester’s casino restaurant while Sanjam is a Pastry Chef at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

They are among 12 professional pairs from across the UK going head to head in a series of culinary challenges, from making gateaux Basques to tarte tatin.

Exose, who practised working with sugar for the show under the guidance of his former tutors in Trafford College’s training kitchens, is hoping to wow judges with his sugar work and chocolate bon bons.

He said: “It was unreal to actually be in something we have watched on television, but so useful because we had feedback from two of the top pastry chefs in the country.

“We owe a lot to our lecturers at Trafford College for sharing their skills, knowledge and expertise - it was also really helpful being able to use the large training ovens, surfaces and sugar lamps to help us practise.”

Sanjam, who worked at The Cheshire Courthouse after studying Level 2 and Level 3 at Trafford College, said: “We are so grateful to Trafford College for giving us space to practise. If we hadn’t have had that, we might not have got through the first round!

“Tutors Mark Apsley-Hooper and Carol Brown gave us so much advice. I would recommend anyone with a passion for pastry and baking to do a course at Trafford College – who knows where you’ll end up - maybe like me, moving from Manchester to London, and working at one of the top hotels in the country!”

The pastry chefs face two challenges per episode that test their professional ability and encourage them to demonstrate their creative flair. You can tune in and show your support at 8pm on Tuesdays, Channel 4.

Matt Shaw, Head of Studies for Hospitality, said: "We’re really excited to see Grant and Sanjam on Bake Off: The Professionals this year and we’ll be following their progress through the show intently. Our current intake of student bakers are also very excited to watch their progress, and we’re sure they’ll be just as inspired by Benoit and Cherish as we are!”

2019 Team Former Students Exose And Sanjam Resize
Former students Exose and Sanjam