Welcome to another new episode of Queering Desi!
This week, we have the pleasure of chatting with the Bollywood Baker himself, Antony Amourdoux!
This week, Priya chats with Antony Amourdoux, a contestant on Season 6 of Netflix's "Great British Baking Show." Priya asks what being on the show was like, and how Antony's life has changed since. He shares how he found his love of baking, and how he (accidentally!) ended up on the show. Later, Priya asks about his journey as a gay man, and Antony shares what it was like coming to terms with his sexuality alongside all his other identities. The two wrap up with a rapid-fire about his favorite movies, foods, recipes, and of course, the show. Finally, Antony shares his plans for 2019 and offers a sincere message to all our listeners.
About the guest:
A banker by day and home baker by night, Antony was born in Pondicherry, a scenic former French colonial settlement on the South East coast of India. Antony has fond memories of his mother cooking fresh fish dishes for the family, and the scent of oven-fresh baguettes wafting from the French bakeries surrounding his home. These memories inspired Antony and formed his early passion for food. With a desire to learn how to create the dishes he loved himself, Antony spent more and more time with his parents in the kitchen. It was Antony’s father who introduced him to baking. Antony would assist with the soaking of the fruits at Christmas, making the pastry for his Dad’s delicious spicy meat pies and the dough for his shortbread cookies. His father remains his culinary inspiration.
Antony’s inquisitive nature, cultural roots and adventurous attitude to flavour profiling, combined with his ability to create colourful, dramatic bakes, is the result of his willingness to try new ingredients and techniques. Antony has collected ideas and approaches to cooking and baking from around the world and is unafraid to use them when developing new recipes. At times his creations can come across as unconventional, but the results are always interesting and well received.
A contestant on Channel Four’s ‘The Great British Bake Off’ 2018, Antony is now expanding his repertoire, learning more about the breads and French patisserie which remind him of his
childhood. Alongside his passion for baking and all things Bollywood, social causes are very close to Antony’s heart. Antony supports and actively raises funds for World Child Cancer and Cancer Research charities both in the UK and at home.
Antony enjoys drama, singing and mountaineering, having climbed the Rupin Pass in the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Elbrus in Russia. Between bakes, Antony plans to continue to learn more about the mountains, with a view to climbing more, especially those in Europe. Back at home in India Antony is known for his gospel, country and cheeky pop music.
[Queering Desi art: Nafeesa Alibhai and Sabina Pang]