Cherish Finden

Multi-award-winning pastry chef

Judge, Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals

Executive Pastry Chef

Overview

Cherish Finden is a highly decorated pastry chef, best known for her role as a formidable judge on Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals. Cherish’s style of patisserie marries food with art, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in a dessert. Her attention to detail is famously second to none.

With over 20 years of international experience, Cherish has earned a plethora of awards over the course of her career. Most notably, she won the prestigious Top London Afternoon Tea Award at the 2010 Tea Guild Awards, as well as Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2012 Craft Guild of Chefs Awards. Cherish also led the Singapore pastry team to win the 2000 IKA Culinary Olympics. In 2015, she received the Macallan Lifetime Achievement.

Until recently, Cherish was the Executive Pastry Chef at the Pan Pacific Hotel in London, where she opened her first patisserie, SHIOK!

TV appearances

Since 2016, Cherish Finden has been delivering her trademark sharp critiques on Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals (formerly BB2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème) alongside French patissier Benoit Blin. Drawing on her skill and experience, Cherish judges teams of professional pastry chefs competing to an extremely high standard.

Cherish’s fiery TV personality, perfectionism and style have been a hugely popular part of Bake Off: The Professionals. Cherish quickly gained a reputation on the series as a meticulous, no-nonsense judge, unafraid to get her ruler out!  Her high standards set The Professionals apart from the amateur baking show The Great British Bake Off, illustrating perfectly the difference between professional patisserie and home baking.

Cherish was also featured as a mentor on BBC 1’s Celebrity MasterChef in 2017, where she demonstrated her patient and caring side whilst coaching her team of TV stars. She has appeared on many other popular British TV shows and beyond, including Channel 4’s Heston’s Great British Food, BBC 1’s MasterChef, BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, Australian MasterChef, C4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, Channel 4’s Junior Bake Off, Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice and ITV’s James Martin’s Saturday Morning. Cherish is proud to be one of only a handful of Asian chefs on TV, representing her Singaporean heritage whenever she can.

Pastry chef career

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afternoon tea, award-winning, Bake Off, Bake Off the Professionals, Channel 4, Cook, cookery demonstrations, cooking demos, diverse talent, Executive Pastry Chef, festivals, Judge, Pan Pacific, pastry chef, TV, TV Chefs & Cooks, TV judge, TV Presenters

Before her TV career, Cherish was already a famous chef in the world of patisserie. Between 2009 and 2017, Cherish was the Executive Pastry Chef at The Langham Hotel in London, where she became famed for her highly innovative afternoon teas. During this time, she created a cake replica of Windsor Castle for the Queen’s 90th Birthday, as well as a gravity-defying edible hat for Royal Ascot.

Following her passion for the art of chocolate, Cherish next took on the role of Creative Development Chef at GODIVA Chocolatier between 2017 and 2019. Her spectacular Easter egg display was hailed as a ‘masterpiece’, with a giant, intricately-crafted centrepiece egg weighing 25kg.

Until recently, Cherish was the Executive Pastry Chef at the Pan Pacific Hotel in London. Here, she opened SHIOK! – her first retail patisserie, where anyone can enjoy exquisite desserts, buy them to go or even have them delivered. A reviewer for SHIOK! in Time Out wrote, ‘I found myself daydreaming about [the Paris-Brest] for days afterwards’.

Cherish believes in breaking boundaries, constantly striving to redefine the art of patisserie. With her Singaporean upbringing always evident in her work, Cherish’s passion for pastry leads her to create truly memorable dining experiences. Never one to follow the crowd, she aims to innovate with each and every creation.

Background

Cherish was born in Singapore, the youngest of five children. To help support her family, she began cooking at home at the age of eight and was a waitress from the age of 14. When Cherish voluntarily began helping out in the restaurant’s kitchen, she started to develop a real love of cookery.

With encouragement from her family and friends, Cherish joined the SHATEC Culinary School in Singapore, where she developed her skills. Here, she discovered a natural talent for making creative patisserie with an artistic flare, inspired by the world around her. Cherish went on to work in several luxury hotels in Singapore, before moving to London in 2001.

Notable awards and judging roles

Throughout her remarkable career, Cherish has continued to challenge herself through training courses and culinary competitions – and has judged many of them, too. This has resulted in over 25 medals from international events around the world, 18 of which were Gold. Most notably, Cherish led the Singapore pastry team to come first out of 32 national teams and win 8 gold medals at the 2000 IKA Culinary Olympics.

 

  • 2023 Judge of Best Afternoon Tea in UK
  • 2023 Member of Jury for UK Pastry Open Team for Coupe du Monde de La Pâtisserie
  • 2023 Judge of Royal Academy of Culinary Art the Annual Awards of Excellence 
  • 2023  Judge of Chef Forum Young Pastry Chef of the Year
  • 2022 Judge of Chaines des Rotisseur Chef of The Year
  • 2015 The Global Chef Award
  • 2015 Macallan Life Time Achievement
  • 2015 Judge for Dessert of the Year, Association of Pastry Chefs
  • 2014 Judge for Dessert of the Year, Association of Pastry Chefs
  • 2014 Judge for Mövenpick Gourmet Dessert Chef of the Year
  • 2014 Judge for Annual Excellence Awards, Royal Academy of Culinary Art
  • 2014 Judge for The British Kazakh Dessert Competition
  • 2013 Tasting Judge for the Coupe Du Monde, UK Pastry Club
  • 2013 Judge for Gourmet Dessert of the Year
  • 2012 Pastry Chef of the Year, Craft Guild of Chefs, Winner
  • 2002 Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres, Gold for Petit Four
  • 2001 Dessert of the Year (London), 1st Place
  • 2000 Olympic IKA, 1st Place for Pastry Category C, Gold for Plated Dessert & Petit Four
  • 2000 Olympic IKA, 1st Place for Hot Cooking Category D
  • 2000 Olympic IKA, 2nd Place for Overall Singapore National Team Achievement
  • 1999 Iegho Culinary Competition, 1st Place for Petit Four
  • 1999 Iegho Culinary Competition, 2nd Place representing Singapore National Team
  • 1998 Salon Culinaire International Competition, 3rd Place representing Singapore National Team
  • 1994 FHA International Salon Culinaire, Gold for Petit Four
  • 1994 FHA International Salon Culinaire, Gold for Confectionery
  • 1994 FHA International Salon Culinaire, Silver for Pastry Showpiece
  • 1992 FHA International Salon Culinaire, Gold for Praline
  • 1992 FHA International Salon Culinaire, Gold for Confectionery
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