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Getting to know: GBBO: The Professionals finalist and South Place Hotel’s Pastry Chef, Nelson Barros

It’s Afternoon Tea week so who’s better to discuss everything cake with, than GBBO: The Professionals finalist and South Place Hotel’s very own Head Pastry Chef, Nelson Barros.

Nelson started his culinary career as a kitchen porter and has worked his way through the ranks to become head pastry chef. Nelson and his sous chef Evaldas competed in this year’s Great British Bake Off: The Professionals and came third overall on the show. THE DISH caught up with him to find out more.

Firstly what was it like being on GBBO: The professionals?

It was a hard experience, but also lots of fun. It was great to meet new people and learn new techniques as we progressed.  We learnt a lot about each other, and developed our skill range further than we have ever done before, which is benefiting for the hotel

Nelson and Evaldas on GBBO

What inspired you to become a professional pastry chef?

The science, precision, discipline – and most importantly, the creativity of cooking

Where else have you previously worked?

I have worked briefly at The Ritz, to improve my afternoon tea skills with large cover numbers, as well as Pennyhill Park Hotel, Midsummer House, Fraiche in Wirral Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, Galvin Windows, and I was Executive Pastry Chef for the Galvin Group

What are some of your favourite flavour combinations?

  • Peach, verbena, raspberry
  • Apricot, rosemary and hazelnut
  • Quince and chestnut
  • Apple and bay leaf
  • Gooseberries and elder flower

I mean there are so many…

What’s your favourite dessert to make?

A good simple Tiramisu or a Paris Brest

When you’re not a work, what do you like to get up to?

I like to spending time with my family (wife, daughter and of course my cat). As well as eating lots of good food and going on long walks

Radley Afternoon Tea at South Place Hotel

Nelson and Evaldas can be found in the kitchen at South Place Hotel working on their latest creation: The Radley Afternoon Tea and producing five star quality treats. Get your tickets here.