How Lorraine Pascale Got Hungry for Baking and Never Looked Back

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Lorraine has worn many hats, including those of a model and even a mechanic, but the one that fits her best is that of baker. After working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries in the U.K., she began hosting cooking programs, many of which were based on Lorraine’s best-selling baking books.

Stateside, she’s served as a judge on Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship. But now she’s offering her talents as a teacher to some of the most-terrible bakers in the country, in the new series Worst Bakers in America. Along with Duff Goldman, Lorraine mentors a team of hopeless hopefuls, with the goal of coaching one to the top of the ranks. With bragging rights on the line against her friend and fellow baker, Duff Goldman, all niceties get pushed aside. It’s a competition, after all.

In this interview with FN Dish, Lorraine reveals her motivation for becoming a baker, what the first dessert was that she made, which talk show queen she’d like to bake for and what keeps her doing what she loves most to this day.

How would you sum up the concept of baking in a few words?

Lorraine Pascale: The concept of baking is “Follow the recipe.” Simple.

What made you become a baker in the first place?

LP: I became a baker in the first place because I used to be a model, and I guess I got hungry. I wanted to change careers and do something that involved lots of food.

What’s the first dish or baked good you learned to make?

LP: When I was 5 years old, we had to take the ingredients to school in an old tin and then we baked … these raspberry buns. My finest baking hour, and I fell in love with it that very minute.

How would you describe your baking philosophy?

LP: My baking philosophy is “Practice, practice, practice. Practice makes perfect.”

What do you find is the most-rewarding thing about baking?

LP: The most-rewarding thing about baking is the joy on people’s faces once you’ve baked something and you place it on the table … for everyone to see, and everyone’s full of “oohs” and “aahs” and “Isn’t it lovely?” It’s just so rewarding.

Who were your teachers and mentors when you were coming up? What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?

LP: My teachers and mentors when I was coming up in the baking world were some French chefs that I used to work for in the U.K., and of course my professor at college. The best piece of advice that I was given when I started baking was, “When you become more competent, you will become more confident.”

What’s the first thing you baked successfully?

LP: Shortbread.

What’s your biggest baking disaster that you’re willing to admit to?

LP: My biggest baking disaster is: I was making a chocolate cheesecake for the family. It took ages to make. It had this beautiful feathered top that was white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate. I brought it to the table and just seconds from the table, I dropped it.

If you could bake for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you make?

LP: If I could bake a cake for someone, I’d love to bake a cake for Oprah Winfrey — a big, six-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

If you had to eat one baked item for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

LP: If I had to eat one baked item for the rest of my life, it would be apple pie, because I love it.

Who do you love baking for the most?

LP: I love baking the most for my daughter. She’s very appreciative, she loves my food and it’s normally all gone in a second.

What kitchen tool can’t you live without?

LP: Spatula.

I love baking because (fill in the blank).

LP: I love baking because it makes me happy.

I hate baking because (fill in the blank).

LP: I hate baking because I don’t like washing up.

Word Rorschach (Name the first thing that comes to your mind)

Cake: Shop

Cupcake: Delicious

Scone: British

Biscuit: Tasty

Cookie: Chocolate chip

Caramel: Dulce de leche

Butter: Salted

Milk chocolate: Dark

Dark chocolate: Mmhmm

White chocolate: The best

Bread: Butter

Muffin: Lemon and blueberry

Croissant: Butter

Cream puff: French

Cannoli: Italian

Brownies: Pecans

Sprinkles: Necessary

Frosting: Vanilla

Meringue: Italian

Genoise: French

Danish: Pastry

Nuts: Pecans

Pie: Apple

Pastry: Eclair

Shortbread: Biscuits

Madeleines: Butter

Mille-feuille: Napoleon

Eclair: Chocolate

Watch Worst Bakers in America on Sundays at 10|9c to see Lorraine in action.