Dan Levy and Julia Chan dish on ‘The Great Canadian Baking Show’

By: Meaghan Wray

Fans of The Great British Bake Off take note – Canada’s version of the hit baking series, The Great Canadian Baking Show, is here and it is just as sweet as the original. Ahead of the show’s premiere on Nov. 1 (CBC), the show’s hosts, Dan Levyand British-Canadian actress Julia Chan(Saving Hope), dropped by the Chatelaine Kitchen to spill some juicy secrets from the set. Read on to find out what you can expect to see in the Canadian baking tent.

The Canadian version boasts the best group of bakers yet

Julia and Dan both agree that the Canadian version of the hit series has the most positive and skilled group of bakers yet. Dan, 34, confessed, “The bakers were lovely people who were just there to have a good time, to test their skills, and to learn something,” he said, adding, “I do feel like the Canadian cast is arguably the best cast of bakers I’ve ever seen, out of all the franchises!”

The show strays from the negative vibe of most reality shows

Unlike other reality shows that are often rooted in negativity and strategy, The Great Canadian Baking Show aims to foster a supportive environment. Julia, 34, pointed out that the show’s positivity is timely, “We’re living in a bit of a tricky time right now and the [show] came at just the right moment, you know. It’s such a relief to watch.” She continued, “The main goal is just to get that bake done, as good as you can get it. Each competition isn’t against your fellow baker. You’re not competing for a big money prize, you’re just there because you love it.”

The show is about fun and passion, not money

The winner of the competition show gets a fancy cake plate, which isn’t quite the same as The Great British Bake Off ’s winning prize of $100,000. But that doesn’t seem to bother any of the Canadian competitors, Dan pointed out, “They’re competing for a cake plate. You’re attracting a different kind of person; a kind of person who’s in it for the experience, not the fame or money. All these people should be put on pedestals just for how good they are as people and as bakers.”

Julia added: “All of these bakers are home bakers, they’re doing it for fun. The show is really such a hopeful spin on the reality-format of competition shows.”

The hosts aren’t bakers themselves

Julia used to make sponge cakes with her mother but hilariously confessed that she would garnish them with woodsy materials she’d foraged. Dan confessed he’s never been much of a baker, “I’m not skilled with anything with my hands, be it origami or baking. It’s too precise. I panic when there’s lists and numbers, so I’m better as a consumer.”

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