How have you seen your life change since your win on the Great British Bake Off?

John Whaite

John Whaite

I now work in food, full time, which I never thought I would do. I wanted to, but I couldn't see myself escaping the office job - I had no entry into the food world. Bake Off came along and changed that.

You recently launched Chopping Block the TV series with Rosemary Shrager - what's she like to work with?

She's a bundle of fun, sing songs and food. I adore the girl. She's a very good friend of mine - she was before the show - and so I enjoy every minute of it.

How did you find the response to the show from fans?

They love it. More than I anticipated. Twitter went mad for it and everyone, thankfully, got all of our jokes and fun.

Rosemary and John / Credit: ITV
Rosemary and John / Credit: ITV

To-date you've had three books published - do you have plans for a fourth?

I have, but I keep my cards close to my chest. I'm developing the idea with my publisher now.

Can you tell us a little bit about your work with Stork and their Stork Sunday Bakes service?

I chose to work with Stork's Sunday Bake Service as it's a great way to help people out - whether they're baking experts or baking novices, the service assists people with the same passion as me, so I couldn't refuse!

What advice do you have for wannabe bakers who are looking to start delving into baking as a hooby or even a career?

Well, my heart says: go for it. But my head says: how viable is it? Baking as a career is very different to baking as a hobby. Business plans are needed and it's not all plain sailing. If you're passionate about it and truly believe you've got a good go, then what are you waiting for? But I have to be sage with my advice.

You've got your Kitchen Cookery School in Lancashire - what should people looking to go there expect from the classes?

A hell of a lot of fun, food and prosecco. I teach very valuable kitchen lessons and techniques - the classes last a good four to five hours - and then we sit down. But it's a very personal affair. All of the students so far have said it is like being invited into my own kitchen, and that's precisely the feel I wanted. I hate impersonal, stainless steel kitchens, so I designed it according to how the barn in which it's set was already laid out. We've kept the original features and ensured it has character.

With summer just around the corner, what's your favourite bake for the summer?

My Coconut Macaroon and Lime Cheesecake - the base is a chewy, coconut macaroon, achieved with marshmallows, and the filling is a mixture of marshmallow, cream cheese and lime curd. It's not too sweet and it is most certainly refreshing!

Finally, what's next for you in the coming weeks and months?

I'll be working hard at the cookery school developing new ideas and classes for the coming year. I'll start book four, and who else knows? As long as I'm mad busy, I'm very happy.

Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite supports the Stork Sunday Bake service which helps bakers with tips and recipes on Sundays. Follow Stork on Facebook or @bakewithstork on Twitter and Instagram for recipes and tips from John and Stork.

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