Bake Off fans across the city rejoiced last night as Giuseppe Dell’Anno became the first ever Bristolian to be crowned Great British Bake Off winner - leaving the 45-year-old ‘speechless’.
The dad-of-three is also the first Italian to take home the trophy after wowing judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with his Mad Hatter’s Tea Party themed showstopper.
Giuseppe, an engineer who lives in Bristol with his wife Laura and their sons, said: ‘There are no words, I am speechless for once.
“All I can think of is the reaction from my mum and dad.
“The fact is that everything I have done to deserve this comes from his heritage, it’s the best thank you note I can possibly send him.
“He is going through a very bad time healthwise, so I think this is going to be a great boost.
“I don’t say often or lightly that I am proud of what I do, but in this case I am really proud of what I have done. It’s unbelievable.
‘Being the first Britalian winner is amazing, as I have had so much support from Bristol and Italy, I have had lots of local people getting in touch and thanking me for putting Bristol on the map.
“But equally Italians all over the UK, saying it’s great to be representing our culture in such a high profile show has been really heart warming.
“The Italian community in the UK is pretty massive, there are quite a few of us.”
In the final episode, the three remaining bakers had to battle it out in the iconic white tent for their last ever challenges of 2021 and for Giuseppe, Crystelle and Chigs the stakes couldn’t have been higher as Paul and Prue set three challenges that would test every aspect of their baking prowess.
In a classic signature they had to make the perfect carrot cake, produce Belgian Buns that would get the Paul Hollywood approval in the technical, and end on a crazy showstopper challenge to reflect a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party showing four different baking disciplines.
Giuseppe’s showstopper was a dough filled with chocolate and hazelnut shaped in the form of a giant mushroom, to make a tear and share bread fit for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
He also made mango and passion fruit ‘drink me’ panna cottas, with orange and fig heart shaped muffins and asparagus and pea filled choux pastries shaped as the caterpillar.
“Prue took one of the panna cottas for her lunch, so that was a big moment for me,” Giuseppe added.
“When Prue steals one of your desserts it doesn’t get better than that.”
Paul Hollywood: “The first time I walked into the tent and in the first signature I saw his mini rolls, I thought that looks like our winner, you could see the heart and soul going into his baking. He has done an incredible job.”
“He is such a classic beautiful baker and he represents a long tradition of classic Italian baking,” added Prue Leith.
“He has done it brilliantly all the way through. I am going home to make much more Italian cakes because they really are good.”
Giuseppe watched the final at home with loved ones and of course made some baked Italian treats for the occasion.
He says he ‘100 per cent’ plans to keep in touch with his fellow contestants who have created a Whatsapp group where they check in with each other daily.
Giuseppe said: “I think and hope GBBO might just change my life, whether it does or not I genuinely don’t know, it’s all so new and scary for me.
“I don’t know what the expectations for the future are and if I can I live up to them.
“But the one thing I would love to do is to crystallise my dad and family’s heritage in a cookery book of Italian baking - and that would draw from my family and their love for baking, it runs through our blood.
“It would be good to know that there would be a cook book out there for posterity for the Dell’Anno family.
“I truly can’t believe it or take it in, this has made me so incredibly happy to be a Britalian.
“Dell’Anno is my surname which translates in English to of the year – and I feel this has certainly has been my year.”