During her ‘An Audience With’ session at Reading Town Hall on Sunday night, Great British Bake-Off winner Nadiya Hussain spoke about a bit of an accidental cake stand-off she was having with her kids’ new school.
She explained how she doesn’t want to presume everyone wants her to bake a cake for the school, but at the same time how the parents and staff might be sitting there thinking, ‘we really want Nadiya to bake a cake, but we don’t want to be cheeky and ask’. And of course she said she would be totally happy to make one if they did ask.
Her dilemma around the correct playground etiquette, and not wanting to be too ‘in your face’ with her cakes, shows exactly how charming and down-to-earth Nadiya is. Throughout the one hour session she was funny and open, telling lovely anecdotes about her family, and her experiences since the Bake-Off, and also really getting her passion for cooking across.
She spoke about baking a cake for the Queen’s 90th birthday and the Queen introducing her to Prince Philip and him quipping, ‘I know who she is, but what flavour is the cake?’, and joked how if she could have a meal cooked by anyone it would be Paul Hollywood so she could critique his food too!
Nadiya was in conversation with GetReading‘s Francesca Perryman, who asked some really thoughtful, interesting questions, and created a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and there were some really lovely audience questions too, including a lot of women who just wanted to say how much Nadiya has inspired them.
As a Mum, a Muslim, a woman and wife, Nadiya has really touched a lot of people, and there was a lot of well-deserved love in the room for her.
Since winning the Bake-Off last Autumn life has changed hugely for Nadiya. Not only has she secured herself a baking column in The Times, but she’s also written a cookery book, Nadiya’s Kitchen, which is out now, and has a children’s cookery book on the way later this year too.
One of the nicest things though was hearing Nadiya talk about how the show gave her a new confidence. Having been a full-time Mum while her children were growing up, she found herself lacking the confidence to get out there and show what she could do, and it was only when her husband filled in most of the GBBO application form on her behalf that she actually decided to go for it.
And thank goodness he did, because Nadiya is a shining example of what hard work, and a positive attitude can achieve, both in the kitchen and far beyond.
For more Reading Year of Culture events visit www.reading2016.org.uk.
I was invited to the event so my ticket was complimentary but all views are my own.