Bake Off star Andrew Smyth secures his own Netflix show
Bake Off star Andrew Smyth is going from strength to strength – and now has his own Netflix show.
The Holywood-born aerospace engineer wowed judges on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off show with his bakineering feats that included his rotating pies in Tudor week, which fit together like clockwork and turned like cogs.
The Rolls-Royce engineer has since combined his passions for engineering, baking and presenting into ‘bakineering’ and has taken his talents on the road.
Now he has just secured his own Netflix show, Baking Impossible, featuring the likes of gingerbread skyscrapers that can survive earthquakes, and edible robots capable of navigating a candy-covered obstacle course while carrying an gooey dessert inside,
The competition sees top bakers and engineers team up to build edible creations that must taste delicious and survive intense engineering stress tests.
“Baking Impossible is the dream project for me and I still can’t quite believe that it’s real,” he said.
“I was always a very curious child, constantly asking my teachers ‘why’, which I’m sure a lot of engineers can relate to.”
Smyth has spent his entire engineering career at Rolls-Royce, completing an internship there while finishing his degree at Cambridge University, and returning on graduating to work on jet engine and power systems manufacturing.
He went on to become a finalist in series seven of The Great British Bake Off, and now works four days a week at Rolls-Royce, so that he can pursue both of his careers.
Life after GBBO began with a commission from the National Space Centre to prepare a talk for an event they curated around food.
“I ended up making a baked alaska to explain the principles behind the thermal protection system on the space shuttle, and realised that the mechanisms at play were the same,” he said.
“It was a major ‘aha moment’ and the audience absolutely loved it. We sold out two more shows at subsequent events so I knew I was onto something.”
Andrew now tours his live shows around the UK and Ireland, and recently worked with the European Space Agency.
“I got to keep a real sachet of tiramisu from the same batch that was sent to the space station. I don’t think I’ll ever open it, it’s a treasured possession and sort of sums up bakineering in one object,” he added.
“What I’m most proud of is that I think it’s got people to appreciate the unexpected overlaps in creativity and innovation in what may seem like disparate fields,” he said.
“It’s been a labour of love for the past four years for me so it’s deeply satisfying to see [Baking Impossible] set sail — although, if you’ve seen the first episode, you know there’s a bit of sinking too.”
Andrew says he is thrilled that families are enjoying ‘bakineering’ together.
“My favourite thing is getting sent photos of DIY bakineering projects from kids at home,” he said.
“Engineering has given me so much, but sometimes I think the representation of it in the media can be a little bit grey.
“I want to show the creative and fun aspects of being an engineer to encourage students to consider that it might actually be for them after all.”