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Lessons from the Great British Bake Off
Earlier this month, Leeds mother of three, Nadiya Hussain became the latest winner of TV phenomenon, The Great British Bake Off. She beat strong competition to win the coveted trophy. Nadiya’s delicious creations caught the imagination of the judges and the watching public alike, so how can we replicate them at home, and how can we turn our kitchens into the right environment for culinary success?
A good workman…
However talented you are at baking, you will not get very far without having the right tools for the job. Decent mixing bowls and baking ware, accurate scales and measuring jugs and top quality icing tools and decorations all helped Nadiya bake her way to success. Likewise, having a properly equipped kitchen and larder was essential. A bad workman blames his tools, but a good one makes sure he (or ‘she’, in this case) is surrounded by the right equipment and the best ingredients in order to do as good a job as possible.
The space race
Having the right space to work in is also crucial for baking success. Nadiya had to share her workspace with cameras and TV film crews during Bake Off, but this is not so much of a problem in day to day life. A well-designed, properly planned kitchen will help you keep everything exactly where it is most useful, and to navigate around the room quickly and intuitively. Lots of storage, wide worktop spaces and plenty of natural light are all very important if you are going to use your kitchen to create culinary masterpieces like Nadiya.
Being inspired by your surroundings will really help the creative juices flow. The Bake Off contestants had different themes to follow each week, but you are free to come up with your own, or to follow the calendar to produce seasonal dishes and designs. Consider your kitchen as more than just a practical working space. Add pictures, ornaments, textiles and tiles that suit your tastes and inspire your cookery. Choose colour themes that link the room to the rest of your house, especially the dining room and other areas where you entertain and feed your guests.
Try something new
Coming from a Bangladeshi background, Nadiya particularly enjoyed trying out some of the more classic English desserts during the TV competition. She relished the challenge of trying something new. Cooking is a great outlet for experimenting and ‘pushing boundaries’; dabbling in new cuisines can produce some lovely new dishes and open up a whole world of possibilities. When designing a kitchen, don’t just think about your tried and tested recipes and routines. Work out how you might be able to experiment with new ideas and techniques too.