Celebrity baker who rose to fame as the serious judge on hit show The Great British Bake Off alongside Mary Berry.
Paul studied sculpture at the Wallasey School of Art and quit the course to start work as a baker, first in his father’s bakery on the east coast of England and then in other bakeries on Merseyside.
In 1999 Paul Hollywood returned to England to begin a successful career as a celebrity chef, co-hosting his own programmes with James Martin for the Carlton food network and CFN Taste. He has also made appearances on popular TV programmes Richard and Judy, The Heaven and Earth Show, This Morning and Ready Steady Cook (hosted first by Fern Britton and then Ainsley Harriot), educating viewers on how to bake traditional breads.
Since the show launched in 2010, Hollywood has been a judge on the BBC2 baking show The Great British Bake Off. In this capacity he has been described as the “antidote” to judges such as Len Goodman or Simon Cowell in other reality TV programmes, on account of his straightforward and honest manner and because his judging is restricted purely to the finished product. His partnership with Mary Berry has been described in The Guardian as being the “secret weapon” of the show and potentially one of the best judging combinations to have appeared on a reality TV show.
In 2008, he created an almond and roquefort sourdough recipe that was said to be the most expensive bread in Britain, being sold for £15 per loaf at Harrods. The roquefort is supplied from a specialist in France at £15 per kilo, while the flour for the bread is made by a miller in Wiltshire. Hollywood describes it as a “Rolls-Royce of loaves”.
Paul has has had a collection of his fantastic recipes published entitled 100 Great Breads. In the book Paul celebrates bread baking from around the world and tells the reader of its many therapeutic powers. The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards named his book as the ‘Top Bread and Pastry Book’ for 2005.
Other notable television roles include appearing as a judge on The American Baking Competition on CBS in 2013, presenting Paul Hollywood’s Bread on BBC Two in the same year, and hosting Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds on BBC One.
In 2015 Paul achieved a lifelong ambition to be a racing driver, making his debut in the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4, racing with Andrew Howard the founder of Beechdean Dairies. The pair qualified second in the Britcar Trophy Championship’s first round at Silverstone taking second in class in both races.
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Paul has a thriving bakery business and also runs bread-making courses for all skill levels at his Bread Academy near Canterbury in Kent. He is also a guest speaker at several food festivals, including the Cumbrian Food Festival, and the BBC Good Food Show and the Cake and Bake Show, both in London.
In 2012 Paul was a guest presenter at the Wirral Golden Globes that supports local unsung heroes in Paul’s home town.
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