The Great Kiwi Bake Off

You’ve probably heard of The Great British Bake Off, the feel-good reality TV show where amateur bakers compete outside under a marquee in Welford Park, Berkshire. The most recent season changed networks and features Mighty Boosh alumni Noel Fielding.

As reality television is want to do, the rights have gone worldwide. Now New Zealand is getting its own Bake Off in The Great Kiwi Bake Off. If you fancy yourself an amateur baker and you don’t mind embarrassing yourself on national television, I mean, showing the country what you’ve got, you can apply with a photo and video over on TVNZ.

What makes Bake Off work is the personality of the two presenters and the two judges and how they mesh together. No judges or presenters have been announced for The Great Kiwi Bake Off as of yet, but here I ponder who could take on such a job, finally coming to a decision that is totally, irrefutably going to come true.

The Presenters

If this were being shown on TV3 (or +HR=E) I’m sure it would be taken over by the cast of 7 Days. No doubt, one of which would either be Jeremy Corbett or Dai Henwood. But since this is a TVNZ production I’m hopeful they’re going to go outside the realm of these performers.

Taika WaititiTaika Waititi “director/actor/god”

A personality to brighten up any room and the jokes, oh the jokes. I’m sure he’s got better things to do, like making films, but he’s shown in interviews that he can be himself in any situation he’s thrown into.

I mean, the possibilities are endless. They could do a pineapple theme or even bakes based on Taika’s films. Or y’know, just his general goofing around would be appreciated.




Anika MoaAnika Moa “singer/presenter/comedian”

Anika Moa on TVNZ’s Seven Sharp has shown she can tango with the best of them (Celine Dion) and will also be a lively addition. She’s even co-hosting the show with Hillary Barry while Jeremy Wells is on holiday. Her down-to-earth presence and humour would brighten any television set, baking or not.

And we’re one step closer to that musical episode…


The Judges

Nadia Lim and Chelsea Winter might not want to be associated with this type of cooking, baking being the most decadent and unhealthy food options. Plus, I’m sure their book sales are doing just fine. Nadia still has food bags to sell.

New Zealand’s most well-known cook and mother to the nation, Alison Holst, has sadly retired from the food biz due to dementia.

Allyson Gofton, star of Food in a Minute, a short cooking show in the ads (mostly an ad for Watties, creator of NZ’s prized Watties Tomato Sauce) has been a staple of Kiwi TV for years. She might get frustrated the show lasts longer than a minute.

As a family growing up we used to watch Jo Seagar with reverie. Her website doesn’t appear to be working at the time of writing and she has recently hit some financial strife. Jo might still be in hiding which is hard when you’re trying to cast a television show.

I’m actually at a loss for finding a male cook. Since the sad end of Hudson & Halls has there been anyone to step up to the mantle? Sure there’s Alison Holst’s son and cooking partner, Simon Holst, but has he done any TV work? Wait, there’s another Simon?

Annabel Annabel LangbeinLangbein “the free-range global star”

Langbein is no stranger to TV-land. She had her own show, The Free Range Cook that lasted three seasons (most importantly, on TVNZ). It’s also been distributed to more than 90 countries including France and Japan, but most importantly, to home of the Bake Off, the UK.

As luck would have it she’s been on the sweet kick lately, making not one but two sweet treat cookbooks, so much so her lust for the sugarcane has expanded into two volumes!



Michael van de ElzenMichael Van de Elzen “the food truck guy”

This guy Michael had his own TV show in 2013. Although the whole purpose of The Food Truck was to demonstrate fast food that wasn’t your ordinary junk food. Since then he’s done Family Recipes and Kiwi Living. So he’s done a bunch of stuff for TVNZ.

I’m sure the allure of the small screen would be enough to push him over to the dark side of food; luxurious and evil baked goods. Who needs a Confit of Duck when you can have a Spiced Plum and Apple Clanger?