Rosie the Baker
I have been fascinated with the Great British Baking show ever since the first season hit Netflix. It differs from American baking shows which is what drew me in. There was no drama, you saw bakers helping their fellow bakers, hugs, and a genuine heart for one another.
This last season my husband and I had many favorites. One of them being Rosie Brandreth-Poynter. I got to chat with Rosie briefly about her life and time on the Great British Baking Show.
Rosie, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Raised in Oxfordshire, I then studied at Cambridge University before settling to work as a veterinary surgeon (veterinarian) in the south, working with horses, dogs, and cats. I was a keen baker as a child, had a brief interlude while at university (where cooking facilities comprised of a toaster, microwave, and kettle!) and then began baking again in my clinical years (post-grad). We made lots of animal-themed birthday cakes, some a lot better than others, including a life-size python cake for one of my housemates.
I live with my husband, 3 dogs (two of which I hand-reared), chickens, ducks, lizards, snakes, tortoise, and horse. When not baking or at work, I’m usually outside getting muddy with the dogs or horse!
When you were given your first recipe book at age 5 what was the first thing that you made?
The first thing I remember making was chocolate chip muffins. Of course, all the chips sunk straight to the bottom and they were, at best, partly baked (I was ever so impatient), but I was so proud of them. I then made brownies, fairy cakes, Victoria sponges, etc. When I finally started cookery lessons at school and we had to make a fruit salad, a salad, then soup I was ever so disappointed. I think I annoyed the teacher when I got a bit upset that we were told to buy the pastry for our sausage rolls…so I am entirely self-taught!
Is Paul really a harsh critic or is he just a softy?
Paul says what he thinks! A lot of the feedback he gives is actually constructive and he is trying to help us improve. That didn’t stop us from walking away from the judging a little down and grumpy at times.
It looks like you had a lot of fun on the show. What was the hardest part of being on the show?
It was so much fun! I think the hardest part, in general, was the exhaustion. I was working full time, including nights on call so I had so little time to practice (it was all late-night.). By the end, I was knackered. The hardest specific part each week was, of course, when someone was sent home. It was really hard, not only because you’d miss them the next week, but their journey was over and it was a bit sad.
How long have you been a veterinary surgeon? What is the most unusual case you had come into your office?
I qualified in 2015. There have been a lot of unusual cases, both clinically and circumstantially. I have had a puppy brought in by owners in gardening gloves, insisting that was the only way it could be handled, a giant snake wrap itself around the vet’s computer, a horse who had become stuck so the fire brigade came to help me with her, and dogs who have eaten anything you could imagine — often with very awkward owners when you have to return the object after surgical removal.
What is next on the horizon for Rosie, another baking show?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I am moving closer to my family and starting an out-of-hours job in emergency and critical care. In terms of baking, I’m working on lots of allergy-friendly and free-from recipes, so watch this space.
Everyone can keep up with Rosie through her Instagram @rosiebrandreth
Rosie, thank you so much for taking the time out of your crazy schedule to talk baking.