A baker whose skills were under scrutiny of millions of TV viewers has visited a Bradford school in a bid to get more Asian boys into the kitchen.
Ali Imdad appeared in the BBC’s hugely popular Great British Bake Off last year, becoming the first Asian contestant on the show.
Yesterday he visited Dixons Allerton Academy to try to get more young people from Bradford’s Asian community involved in the skill he loves so much.
Despite baking experiencing a rise in popularity in recent years, he says there is still a reluctance for young Asian men to get involved, as some in the community see baking as more of a woman’s role.
So a few hours before pupils chose what GCSEs they will be taking in the coming years, Mr Imdad spoke at a school assembly and held a number of baking workshops to try and persuade students to sign up for the catering GCSE, teaching them how to bake a cheesecake.
Ali, 26, who lives in Birmingham, left the competition in week four, but has gone on to success since. He plans to write a cook book and has been in touch with TV stations regarding a possible show.
He the is the only man in his family who bakes, and says that while his family and friends were initially sceptical when he started baking, they are now happy with his success.
Mr Imdad said: “I want to encourage guys to take this a little more seriously, especially from the Asian community.
“It is not a done thing in our culture. A lot of Asians think it is fine to be a chef, but being a baker is not the done thing. I thought that the best way to change that is to engage with the young people in school.
“I’d rather them not do something because they have tried it and don’t like it than dismiss it because they think ‘it’s something my mum does.’”