Giuseppe Dell'Anno has been crowned the winner of the Great British Bake Off 2021 - meaning Bristol has its very first champion.
Giuseppe was announced as the show's winner last night (23 November), despite coming last in the technical challenge, after the judges, Paul and Prue were wowed by his spectacular showstopper.
Speaking after his win, the Italian-born engineer said: "I feel it's been a great year for Italy. I truly can't believe it or take it in. This has made me so incredibly happy to be a Brit-alian.
"I have had lots of local people getting in touch and thanking me for putting Bristol on the map. But equally, Italians all over the UK saying it's great to be representing our culture on such a high-profile show."
Giuseppe dedicated the win to his dad, saying: "He is going through a very bad time health-wise, so I think this is going to be a great boost."
Giuseppe said none of it would have been possible with the support of his wife Laura. She looked after their sons, aged four, six and eight, without him all summer.
“She is my first and foremost support. She gives me expert baking advice, but more importantly, she gave me the practical help and took over all the family chores that helped me make it to the final, so I can never thank her enough.”
In the final, Giuseppe took on Chigs Parmar and Crystelle Pereira.
The trio were tasked with creating the perfect carrot cake in the signature challenge, Belgian buns in the technical and finally creating a dramatic showstopper from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
Giving credit to the other two finalists, Giuseppe said: “Going into the tent with Chigs and Crystelle for the last time was a very special moment. I think we were all so close technically - it was more down to someone doing something wrong, rather than doing it right.
"This sounds corny but I would have been equally happy if either of those had won, they are phenomenal bakers and so clever.”
Guiseppe’s showstopper was a 'tear and share' bread filled with chocolate and hazelnut, shaped like a giant mushroom. He made mango and passion fruit ‘drink me’ panna cottas with orange and fig heart-shaped muffins and asparagus and pea-filled choux pastries, shaped as the caterpillar.
He was thrilled when Prue took one of the panna cottas for her lunch. “That was a big moment - when Prue steals one of your desserts it doesn’t get better than that.”
Judge Paul Hollywood insisted he knew Giuseppe was the one to beat the minute he laid eyes on his chocolate logs in the first week. He said: "You could see the heart and soul going into his baking. He has done an incredible job."
But it was not just his Bake Off co-stars he bonded with in the tent.
In an interview with Channel 4, Giuseppe revealed: “Matt and Noel were the biggest surprise in the tent for me, for obvious reasons.
“The judges of course have to remain impartial, but Matt and Noel were so friendly and we hung out a lot together. They are charming gentlemen and they give showbusiness a really good name, they were so helpful and supportive.”
This is not the first time Bristol has had one of its own do well in the competition. In 2018, Briony May Williams spent nine busy weeks in the tent and got all the way to the semi-final.
The final of the Great British Bake Off 2021 can be watched on 4OD.