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Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday October 12, 2013 MYT 6:09:53 AM
by gayathri nair
May the best baker win: Tom (left) and Henry Herbert battle it out on their TV show 'The Fabulous Baker Brothers'.
Baking buddies and brothers Tom and Henry Herbert want to encourage breadmaking at home.
IN the market town of Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire, south-west England, Tom Herbert is a master baker who runs the famous Hobbs House Bakery where his grandfather’s 58-year-old sourdough culture is kept.
His younger brother Henry, a chef-turned-butcher, runs the Hobbs House Butchery next door.
Together, they are the Fabulous Baker Brothers and have become the new faces of British cookery.
After separate successes in winning various awards through baking and cooking as well as appearing separately on television, the boys eventually made TV stardom in Britain when their series The Fabulous Baker Brothers took off. (It is airing on Astro Ch 707 beginning Oct 16 at 7.30pm.)
“If you can’t afford to buy it from an artisan bakery, we can show you how to make it”, is how Tom explains what he and his brother will do in each 30-minute show.
As the fifth generation of a family of bakers that has run a bakery since 1920, Tom and Henry hope to make the simple combination of flour, water and yeast into something that everyone can turn into wholesome everyday bread at home.
But it’s not just bread – think pizza dough, pastries, pies, pudding and several meaty masterpieces concocted in their very own kitchen.
In a phone interview recently, the brothers spoke about the cultural differences in terms of cuisine and how that will affect the audience here?
“When we first came up with the show, of course our target audience were those in the UK, but we definitely want to branch out and introduce a different kind of cooking to different audiences and we hope it’s accepted well,” says Henry.
Tom explains how both British and Asian cultures bond over food through several joyous occasions.
“The world is becoming smaller and we’re branching out with different types of food and introducing various specialities globally.
“It’s becoming quite apparent that different cultures are accepting different flavours and adding their own twists to it.
“But we also believe that what ties us together is how we want to create food that is made to be enjoyed while sitting down together and eating together with family and friends.
“And that’s something that is practised all around the world which we think will build some sort of common ground between us,” explains Tom.
Aside from baking, both brothers say that their other passion is eating. The highlight of their lives is getting together with family and friends and eating together.
Both brothers are married with children and nothing means more to them than being with the family on special occasions.
“We really understand the importance of getting together with family, friends and your loved ones. And what better way to make that happen than to have good food between each other,” emphasises Tom.
“This is what we’re hoping to achieve with our audience. We want to send this message out and encourage people to try out different recipes and ideas with the purpose of bringing everyone together.”
Henry stresses how the brothers want to maintain the legacy of their late grandfather Thomas Herbert.
“He believed that anyone could bake. And what he used to do back then was to take on newly released prisoners at his artisan bakery in Bristol, and teach them everything he knew about baking to help reform them.
“He believed in giving everyone a second chance, even if it came through a simple form such as baking bread.
“We’ve been passed down the ancient crafts and customs and we’re passionate about passing on these skills to the world,” says Henry.
The boys have written two books, entitled The Fabulous Baker Brothers and Glorious British Grub.
“We do have plans on coming up with more publications in the future. However, right now we’re truly focusing on passing on our knowledge through television,” says Henry.
Which brings us to how the name The Fabulous Baker Brothers came along?
“Well it’s pretty simple, we’re brothers who bake and we’ve worked in a bakery that has been around for many generations,” says Tom.
“However, the word ‘fabulous’ is something I’m less comfortable with,” he says with a chuckle.
“I’ve never referred to myself as fabulous which I think might be a little big-headed. “But our production company thought the name would set well and excite the audience and it stuck,” he humbly concludes.
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Lifestyle, Food, Tom Herbert, Henry Herbert, The Fabulous Baker Brothers, TV series
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