The Great Canadian Baking Show is a deliciously heartwarming programme to watch on the CBC each cold Sunday evening through the pandemic of February-March-April 2021.
The culinary creations are usually beautifully presented. Viewers get to watch the successes and failures of the participants from the safety of their couches, generally feeling removed from the stress as bread rises or caves in; elaborate icing designs dissolve and many great plans come to nothing. It is competition at its best and most exciting.
In the midst of the competitors is a friendly, cheerful Miltonian called Raufikat Oyawoye.
Her Bio on the CBC page online says: ‘Raufikat is a naturally talented baker whose flavours are inspired by her mother’s kitchen back home in Nigeria. She is a proud mother of two and genuinely loves baking creations for her family. Her work in engineering gives her a scientific precision, infused with the flavours and techniques from her home country.’
When her Mother used to bake, Raufikat and her sister would enjoy helping her when they were small. She said “The frequency eventually reduced and I forgot about baking until I went to the UK for a Master’s degree in 2008. I baked a cake with a hand mixer and baking tin I bought at a discount shop, and I haven’t stopped baking since! I enjoy cooking Nigerian meals and also trying recipes from other cultures. I’m trying to raise adventurous eaters (because I’m not really one) so I try to cook from a variety of cuisines.”
Raufikat and her husband have lived in Milton for over 3 years. She has 2 children and her aunt also lives here.
“I have absolutely loved living in Milton and I now consider it my ‘hometown’ in Canada.” she says, “We have met some amazing people: our first landlord and his family, our neighbours and friends that we have made here have all been wonderful. Even people at the grocery store or on the bus are nice. Milton is home!”
She tried several times to get on the Great Canadian Baking show: “This was actually my second time trying to get on the show! I applied in 2018, but the applications were already closed. In 2019, I got a call to resend my application, and then I had a phone interview and an in-person audition. I was selected for Season 3, but I was pregnant at the time. I applied again in 2020 and this time I had a Zoom audition where I baked a Tarte Tatin in real time, but I also had to show them a previously baked showstopper cake. I got the call that I had been selected for Season 4 in July of 2020.
It was taped on the very beautiful grounds of the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto in the fall of 2020.”
The entertaining show, which has wonderfully varied competitors from all over Canada and lots of laughs, will end towards the end of April 2021. Raufikat said: “It was absolutely the best experience! The cast and crew were amazing; the other bakers are basically my second family.”
When you watch it once you will want to watch it again to renew your interest in each competitor. It is fun to see what they cook up next and possibly glean some tips and inspiration from the amazing variety of culinary creations. Raufikat has shown much skill, kindness and friendship to her competitors during the show and Miltonians must feel very proud of her.