Nadiya Hussain has been in constant demand since winning Great British Bake Off, and is about to stage one of the highlights of Leeds Indie Food Festival.
Catherine Scott spoke to her.
Eight months ago Nadiya Hussain was a housewife and mum of three who had lost all her self confidence after putting her career on the back burner to raise her family.
Fast forward to today and Nadiya is a household name with her first cookbook out next month and her own TV show.
The BBC show will see Nadiya travel to Bangladesh to trace her culinary roots in the two episode programme, with the fun working title The Chronicles of Nadiya.
“Even after I won Bake Off I never really thought that much would change. I didn’t enter it for the fame – I entered it to get my self confidence back and to do something for me.
“I just feel so lucky to be doing something I love. I just want it to continue as long as possible, but if it stops tomorrow then I will have had an amazing time.”
It doesn’t look like she has a great deal to worry about.
The nation took Nadiya to their hearts when she appeared in the Bake Off tent and her win led to a media frenzy.
She is very excited about her forthcoming programme and cookery book Nadiya’s Kitchen (due out in June) which will be followed in September by a children’s cookery book, Bake Me a Story.
“I spent two months burrowing away in my kitchen, cooking and testing. 100 recipes.
“It was really hard work. Some nights I would end up sleeping in my apron because I was so exhausted, but I loved all the processes, not just the cooking.”
She was overjoyed to be asked to make a birthday cake for the Queen’s 90th birthday recently.
“I worried about what I was going to do and tried so many different things. It took ages for me to decide what I was doing.
“It was an amazing day to meet her, she is so beautiful. She was worried about cutting the cake, but it cut fine. She then took the top tier of the cake home and I really hope she enjoyed it with a cup of tea.
“She tried to introduce me to Prince Philip who said: ‘‘I know who she is, but what type of cake is it?’ It was really surreal.”
— Nadiya Jamir Hussain (@BegumNadiya) April 22, 2016
Not everyone liked the gold and purple tiered orange drizzle cake she created – and were not afraid to say so.
“There were some nasty comments on Twitter. Of course no one likes reading things like that and you do think ‘what gives you the right to say that about me?’.
“But then when I gave the kids some of the cake they were so excited and proud that they might be eating the same cake their mum had made for the Queen it made all that disappear.”
The next series of the Bake Off is being filmed and Nadiya has mixed emotions about handing over her crown.
“I like to think that you keep yours and that the next winner has a new one. I am excited about the next series of Bake Off; I have watched them all, other than the one I was in as I can’t bear to see myself on television.
“I just hope for whoever wins it changes their lives as it has changed mine. I am just a bit jealous as I really wish I was entering the tent again.”
Nadiya is holding a baking demonstration at the Merrion Centre in Leeds on May 26, from 12 Noon to 2pm as part of Leeds Indie Food Festival. Get more information here
[Main image: Getty]