An Edmonton bakery will make its international television debut Monday night, appearing on one of France’s most popular reality baking shows.
Duchess Bakeshop is the only North American team competing on Le Meilleur pâtissier-Les Professionels for the show’s title of the best pastry professionals.
Co-owners Giselle Courteau and Jake Pelletier, along with their teammate Sarah Gallagher, are going up against professional pastry chefs from the world’s top bakeries in France, Morocco, Japan and Australia.
“It’s thrilling to be recognized like this on the world stage,” Courteau said. “When BBC France called us last fall, we couldn’t believe it was happening to us.”
Courteau said she received the phone call from BBC France out of the blue. Her team was asked to do a trial run, which they filmed on Thanksgiving Sunday and submitted to the network.
She said it took some time to hear back from the show, but they were eventually flown to France last fall to tape the show at a castle in the country.
Courteau said the tasks were challenging. Not only were they a bit jet-lagged, they were using equipment they weren’t used to.
“We had a lot of challenges that other teams don’t have. Some of the ingredients are a little bit different, even the eggs were a little bit different,” Courteau told 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen.
“Even for us to scale for sheet pans and things like that, everything was a different size. Even the ovens were different.”
The baking competition pits four teams against each other in two challenges, which are judged by four of the world’s best pastry chefs.
In the two-hour episode on Monday night, the Duchess team is tasked with baking 150 identical cakes in just four hours, using lemon as the main ingredient. The second challenge requires the team to revamp a classic pastry.
“It was pretty crazy. One-hundred-fifty cakes in three hours for three people to make is quite bonkers,” Courteau said.
Listen below: Giselle Courteau talks to Ryan Jespersen about her experience on Le Meilleur pâtissier-Les Professionels
The show premieres in France on Monday night on M6 channel. The episode will be available for Canadians to watch online by Monday evening.
“The only catch is that it’s all in French,” Courteau said with a laugh.
Duchess Bakeshop will host a viewing party of its own on June 11 to watch the two-hour episode, with English subtitles. Tickets are free, but Duchess will be collecting donations for the Bissell Centre.
Watch below: In August 2013, Duchess Bakeshop co-owner Giselle Courteau was featured as a Global Edmonton Woman of Vision