TWO former Trafford College hospitality students are relishing the opportunity they have been given as one of the pairs in the new series of Bake Off: The Professionals.

Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga, 22, of Chorlton and Sanjam Nagpal, 20, of Stretford, graduated from the college in 2016 with Level 3 diplomas in Pastry and Confectionery.

Grant now works at James Martin Manchester’s casino restaurant while Sanjam is a Pastry Chef at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

They are among 12 professional pairs from across the UK going head to head in a series of culinary challenges, in order to impress star judges Benoir Blin and Cherish Finden,

Exose, who practised working with sugar for the show under the guidance of his former tutors in Trafford College’s training kitchens, is hoping to wow judges with his sugar work and chocolate bon bons.

He said: “It was unreal to actually be in something we have watched on television, but so useful because we had feedback from two of the top pastry chefs in the country.

“We owe a lot to our lecturers at Trafford College for sharing their skills, knowledge and expertise - it was also really helpful being able to use the large training ovens, surfaces and sugar lamps to help us practise.

Sanjam, who worked at The Cheshire Courthouse after studying Level 2 and Level 3 at Trafford College, said:“We are so grateful to Trafford College for giving us space to practise. If we hadn’t have had that, we might not have got through the first round.

“Tutors Mark Apsley-Hooper and Carol Brown gave us so much advice. I would recommend anyone with a passion for pastry and baking to do a course at Trafford College – who knows where you’ll end up - maybe like me, moving from Manchester to London, and working at one of the top hotels in the country.”

The pastry chefs face two challenges per episode that test their professional ability and encourage them to demonstrate their creative flair. 

Matt Shaw, Head of Studies for Hospitality at Trafford College said: "We’re really excited to see Grant and Sanjam on Bake Off: The Professionals this year and we’ll be following their progress through the show intently. Our current intake of student bakers are also very excited to watch their progress, and we’re sure they’ll be just as inspired by Benoit and Cherish as we are.”

Bake Off: The Professionals is at 8pm on Tuesdays, on Channel 4.