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Our star baker: Wendy Banks reflects on her time at The Great Kiwi Bake Off

By CASS MARRETT

Queenstown baker Wendy Banks may have been kicked off The Great Kiwi Bake Off, but the Scottish mum of three says she’s ‘‘happy and relieved’’ to be home.

The transport engineer says she ‘‘lost it’’ after she’d been eliminated when the producers asked her about her boys, Brodie, 15, Coen, 12, and Hudson, 10, because she hadn’t seen them for a few weeks.

‘‘On the show they go straight to me crying, and that’s because I’m talking about the boys … I kind of wanted the boys to see how much they meant to me.’’

 

Finishing in the top five, Banks is proud of herself for giving it a go.

‘‘The kids all said to me, like, I’m always saying to them ‘just try new things, step out into the unknown’, they were like, ‘you should do that’.’’

Clearly a dedicated mum — making sure her boys have fresh baking in the lunchboxes regularly — she was also dubbed the ‘‘mum’’ of the show.

‘‘I didn’t know if they were annoyed with me or not … so we’re in this house and then like
Teniqua would sneak off and I’d notice and I’d text her ‘Where are you? Can you text me when you come home, please?’,’’ Banks laughs.

‘‘Same with Courtney … she would head out to the supermarket because we didn’t finish
up ‘till really late, you know, it’s in Muriwai so we were staying in — sort of in a windy, rural
road.

‘‘I just wanted to make sure they got home, I know they’re all adults, but I just had to make sure.’’

In week three, Banks earned the coveted title of Star Baker for a cake depicting the Remarkables which she then recreated for her birthday last month.

Showstopper: Wendy Bank’s cake depicting the Remarkables which earned her the coveted Star Baker title

She was a often a top finisher at the technical bakes, which had to be baked to perfection,
based on instructions provided by judges Dean Brettschneider and Sue Fleischl.

A self-proclaimed ‘do whatever’ baker, Banks laughs as she reflects on advice from her
husband: ‘‘Please just make sure you read the recipes’’.

Though Banks had said in the aftermath of Bake Off she was ‘‘never going to bake again’’,
she’s been getting more stuck in than ever, focusing her attention on charity bakes around
Queenstown.

‘‘There was a social sessions last month that was raising money for mental health, so I
donated cupcakes, and also they took me in an auction to bake with me, I think that raised
$500.’’

Banks is also working on a fruitcake fundraiser which has raised just over $2000 so far for
the Cancer Society.

‘‘I think I really want to go down that route, baking for causes.’’

To donate, visit bit.ly/3D36jta

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz