Cherish Finden: What is the Bake Off judge famous for and where does she work?

27 Feb 2023

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Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Bake Off: The Professionals star Cherish Finden is known for her rather ruthless judging style on the Channel 4 show.

But what gives the Singapore-born pastry specialist the credentials to front such a prestigious competition?

Ahead of the new series of Bake Off: The Professionals, here’s everything you need to know about Cherish Finden.

Cherish Finden on Bake Off: The Professionals

Cherish Finden is one of the judges on Bake Off: The Professionals (Credit: Channel 4)

Who is Cherish Finden?

Away from her role as Bake Off: The Professionals judge, Cherish Finden is one of the world’s leading pastry chefs.

With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Finden has cooked at some of the finest institutions in the world, but her love of food came much earlier – specifically, during her childhood, living in her hometown of Singapore.

“At the age of eight my dad got sick and my mother had to work so I had to start cooking for the family,” she told the brand, Cacao Barry. “I was the youngest of all brothers and sisters and they loved my cooking, so I received many compliments from them. This made me happy, so I felt motivated to do it better and better.”

READ MORE: Twisted’s Caramelised White Chocolate Brownies Recipe

From there, Cherish threw herself into the world of food, taking up a waitressing job aged 14.

“I soon asked if I could help in the kitchen,” she added. “I did it on a voluntary basis and had great fun. That’s where my love for cuisine was born.”

At the age of 16, Finden went on to learn at a Shatec Culinary School in Singapore, before moving into the world of pastry full time.

cherish finden bake off: the professionals

Cherish Finden works at the London Pan Pacific Hotel today (Credit: Instagram/ Cherish Finden)

“I was enchanted with the magical world that opened in front of me. I started as a chocolatier entering into [a] wonderful world of unlimited possibilities,” she said in the same interview. 

After gaining a load of experience and realising pastry was for her, flexing her skills in Spingapore’s Raffles Hotel and The Sheraton, Finden decided to further build on her skillset, working and learning in both France and the United States before her eventual move to London in 2001.

Since then, Finden has been an unstoppable force, pushing boundaries and winning prizes for her food at the IKA Culinary Olympics. She has even collaborated with the likes of Alain Ducasse and Raymond Blanc.

However, she’s probably won the most acclaim for taking charge of everything sweet at the legendary Langham hotel which is also known as the birth place of the British tea tradition.

READ MORE: Inside Sandi Toksvig’s shock decision to quit Bake Off?

While working here, Finden became responsible for some of the most ambitious bakes ever seen in Britain. For instance, she once created an astonishing edible Langham Express sculpture, featuring over 8,000 individual sweets.

The 2.5-metre-long centrepiece took over nine months to plan and construct and, once finished, formed the focal point of the hotel’s Christmas celebrations.

Finden worked at the Langham from 2009 to 2017, before finally deciding to move on. During her tenure, the hotel’s pastry section won numerous accolades, and is now acclaimed around the world.

Today, Finden continues to be a world leader in her field (more on that below!).

Cherish Finden is an executive pastry chef and Bake Off: The Professionals judge (Credit: Alamy/WENN Rights Ltd)

Cherish Finden is an executive pastry chef and Bake Off: The Professionals judge (Credit: Alamy/WENN Rights Ltd)

Where does Cherish Finden work now?

After leaving The Langham back in 2017, Finden now works as executive pastry chef at the Pan Pacific London hotel. After taking on this role in 2020, she has also opened her first retail patisserie, called SHIOK!.

READ MORE: Why are Bake Off: The Professionals’ judges so harsh?

Due to her developing TV career, Finden is not as involved with the day to day running of the Pan Pacific London hotel kitchen as she once was.

Instead, as executive chef, she remains responsible for the overall running of the kitchen. But when it comes to creative vision and individual projects, her team play a much more active role.

For example, as Finden explained in her chat with Cacao Barry: “My team is inspiring me a lot. I often ask them what they want to create and then we do it. I like to make their dreams come true.”

Cherish Finden alongside her Bake Off: The Professionals co-judge Benoit Blin (Credit: Channel 4)

Cherish Finden with her Bake Off: The Professionals co-judge Benoit Blin (Credit: Channel 4)

What is Cherish Finden famous for?

Despite her reputation as a stellar pastry chef, most people recognise Finden from her roles on TV.

In addition to Bake Off: The Professionals (formerly known as Bake Off: Crème De La Crème), Finden has appeared on Heston’s Great British Food, MasterChef: Australia and Junior Bake Off.

READ MORE: Twisted’s Black Forest Tiramisu Recipe

She’s also won a series of awards which have catapulted her into the culinary spotlight, including Tea Guild’s ‘Top London Afternoon Tea’ award in 2010, the Craft Guild of Chefs’ ‘Pastry Chef of the Year’ in 2012 and the ‘Macalcan Life Time Achievement award’ in 2015. You can see the full list of her awards and accolades here. 

Finden also designed a Windsor Castle cake for the Queen’s 90th birthday, cooked an edible hat for Royal Ascot in 2016 and baked for celebs such as Lady Gaga.

Does Cherish Finden have a cookbook?

Despite these jobs proving the height of her acclaim, Finden is yet to release her own cookbook.

This may come as no surprise to some as the Bake Off: The Professionals judge has also previously admitted to not being a fan of using cookbooks.

READ MORE: Saucy Vegan Chocolate Pudding Recipe

She previously told delicious magazine: “I don’t really use cookbooks – I cook from my heart.

“It’s always intriguing for me to work with a classic recipe and turn it from something ordinary into something extraordinary.”

One thing can’t be denied: cooking from the heart has definitely worked for her so far.

Who is Cherish Finden

Finden has worked on a variety of unusual baking projects (Credit: Alamy/PA Images)

What is Cherish Finden’s net worth?

In fact, according to the celebrity wealth aggregator Net Worth Post, Finden’s personal fortune sits at around $600,000 (£497,748).

Finden is unafraid to splash the cash when it comes to her cooking. For instance, she has collaborated several times with luxury chocolatiers Godiva to create a range of Easter eggs worth several thousand pounds.

In fact, the most expensive of these was worth a whopping £10,000 back in 2018.

As such a successful chef and TV personality, it’s no surprise that Finden is doing well for herself.

Is Cherish Finden married?

Finden is married to an English financial director and has been living together in London since 2009. The couple continues to live in the UK and own a house in the Kent countryside.

Nothing else has been revealed about the Bake Off star’s husband.

What we do know is that part of the reason that Finden made the switch to the UK was her relationship.

READ MORE: What happened to Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo?

Speaking about her love for the English countryside in an interview with the South China Morning Post, Finden revealed: “I adore the tranquillity and outdoor activities (in Kent) – Sunday picnics, horse riding, hiking, strawberry picking.

“I’m surrounded by local farmers and have access to local produce, reducing my carbon footprint.”

Bake Off: The Professionals The new series of Bake Off: The Professionals starts on the 25th of May (Credit: Channel 4)

Does Cherish Finden have kids?

Finden and her husband have a 21-year-old daughter, born in the UK in 2002.

However, the award-winning chef is incredibly coy about many details surrounding her personal life.

READ MORE: Where did Liam Charles come in Bake Off?

In fact, in a 2015 interview with the Straits Times of Singapore, Finden refused to disclose her daughter’s age or identity.

Instead, the pastry master admitted only that she is “young and lovely forever” – certainly an ethos we can get behind!

Finden’s small family comes in contrast to  her own upbringing, as part of a family of five.

It’s easy to assume her daughter is very proud of her successes…

Cherish Finden with the £10,000 Godiva Easter egg (Credit: Alamy/WENN Rights Ltd)

Cherish Finden with the £10,000 Godiva Easter egg (Credit: Alamy/WENN Rights Ltd)

When does Bake Off: The Professionals 2023 start and is Cherish Finden returning?

Bake Off: The Professionals is definitely returning for 2023, according to Channel 4.

However, the network is yet to release details of exactly when the show will be back for season six, and who will be fronting the cast.

READ MORE: Twisted’s French Toast Nuggets Recipe

Whilst scheduling is yet to be confirmed, it’s pretty safe to assume that the series will be making a comeback at the start of summer, like it did in 2022.

Last year, we saw the show run from May 24th until July 26th, streaming for a ten episode run.

As for whether Finden will return? We’ll just have to wait and see… but as a longstanding OG who has been on the show since the start, it would be a big change for her to part ways with the Channel 4 series now.

Cherish Finden has been part of Bake Off since it was on the BBC (Credit: BBC)

Cherish Finden has been part of Bake Off since it was on the BBC (Credit: BBC)

Finden has been part of Bake Off since it was on the BBC (Credit: BBC)

Has Cherish Finden ever cried on Bake Off: The Professionals?

Believe it or not, Finden has actually cried on set before.

Yep, you might think that Finden is pretty stoney faced when she’s presenting Bake Off: The Professionals, but she’s actually really invested in the bakers’ successes.

Recalling the moment things all got too much, the TV judge told Channel 4: “In series one when at the final episode, one of the team’s sugar showpiece completely collapsed. That was heartbreaking and I was really upset.”

She added that this was the only moment when she has cried whilst filming so far, but it does show that Finden isn’t all ruthless critiques –  there’s a soft side to her, too!

cherish finden bake off

Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin are Bake Off: The Professionals judges (Credit: Channel 4)

How do Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden know each other?

Benoit Blin isn’t just Finden’s fellow judge on Bake Off: The Professionals, he is also her friend of over 20 years.

“I am very similar to Benoit as we are very passionate about Pastry,” Finden said of her co-star to Channel 4.

“I was very scared of him the first time I met him however the more I got to know him, the more I understand him. We understand each other’s strengths and we respect each other.

READ MORE: Twisted’s Orange & Pomegranate Mini Bundts Recipe

“Benoit always teases me by recognising my body language and knows on a judging that I am thinking ‘this tastes horrible and I would not want to pay for it. I want a refund.'”

Blin is very fond of his old friend, Finden, too, and has defended her judging style in the past when it has come under criticism.

“She can be portrayed as tough and mean sometimes but she is a lovely lady with a kind soul,” he said. “She is a perfectionist but that’s in her nature and really she is always trying to look after everyone on set and make sure everyone is okay”.

*Bake Off: The Professionals 2023 is expected to return to Channel 4 this spring

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