10 Things You Didn’t Know About Judge Paul Hollywood

With so many competition shows dedicated to cooking, whether on the Food Network Channel or streaming on Netflix, it’s hard to keep them all straight. But the one baking show that seems to draw fans in with its soothing baking and its friendly bakers is The Great British Baking Show. While the show has seen some changes with their hosts, one constant is the bread expert judge who has been with the show since the beginning.

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Paul Hollywood along with his latest co-judge, Prue Leith, make every season of TGBBS worth watching. Hollywood is a known celebrity chef, who’s expert knowledge on all things baking makes his analysis compelling and noteworthy. From his early intro to baking to his side love of everything speed, here are just some things that fans of the show may not know about everyone’s favorite blue eyed judge.


His Love Of Baking Started At A Young Age

Paul Hollywood found himself learning to bake when he was young. He couldn’t help it; his father was a baker who’s bakery happened to be located right below where Paul grew up. In a Good Housekeeping article, Hollywood mentioned that “I made my first bread – well, they were rolls, actually – with my dad when I was 10.”  When he got older, his father encouraged him to join the family business and Hollywood found himself managing one of his father’s bakeries.

His Work History Includes Working In Exclusive Hotels

Paul Hollywood worked at The Chester Grosvenor.

Hollywood’s resume is a collective list of impressive work history, according to Sainsbury’s Magazine. After he managed his father’s bakery, Hollywood continued honing his baking skills by adding a few more impressive baking jobs to his resume. Not only is Hollywood a presenter and judge on popular baking competition shows, he once was the head baker at some of the UK’s most exclusive hotels including Cliveden, The Dorchester and The Chester Grosvenor.

His Talents Go Beyond Baking

Even though it would appear that Hollywood’s world revolves around baking and giving hand shakes to only the best bakers underneath the white tent, his interests go beyond pastries and bread. According to Good Housekeeping, when Hollywood was young, he was interested in art and attended the Wallasey School of Art In Merseyside where the future baking judge found himself studying sculpting after his mother who was a graphic designer.

He Comes From A Long Line Of Bakers

Paul Hollywood: A Baker's Life

Some people either learn to cook on their own or are taught in the confines of a prestigious culinary school. Paul Hollywood didn’t have to go far to discover the love of baking. According to Sainsbury’s Magazine, baking is in the blue-eyed judge’s genes and is a third-generation baker in his family.

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His father, John F. Hollywood ran a chain of bakeries known as the Breadwinner, that were located across the country in places such as York, Middlesbrough, Lincoln and Hartlepool. Not only is his father a prestige baker, his grandfather was the head baker at the iconic and historical Adelphi Hotel located in Liverpool.

His Favorite Meal Is Breakfast

Bakers are seen making pies, biscuits and other deliciously elaborate pastry showstoppers on The Great British Baking Show, but fans may be surprised to learn what the judge’s favorite meal is. Hollywood’s go-to meal that he prefers above all others is breakfast.

According to Good Housekeeping and his own Twitter page, Hollywood considers sourdough toast served with two rashes of crispy bacon, and a poached egg as his first meal of the day. When his plate is completely wiped clean, Hollywood likes to wash it all down with a good cup of coffee.

He Has A New Joy For Speed

Along with baking and sculpting, Hollywood’s other love may surprise fans. His passion recently turned to racing and according to the same Good Housekeeping article, the judge found himself taking to the track in March of 2015 where he made his debut at the Silverstone Circuit that is held locally in London. In both races that the judge took part in, he came in second.

He’s Great Friends With James Martin

Paul Hollywood and James Martin are friends.

With television overrun with shows dedicated to food and baking competition, it makes a happy feeling knowing that celebrity chefs are friends outside the kitchen and beyond the lights. Fans of Hollywood will be happy to hear that Hollywood is friends with other chefs including one specific celebrity chef. 

He is good friends with fellow British chef, James Martin, the host of Saturday Morning With James Martin. Hollywood’s first media job was presenting with Marin and the two worked together on the television series Use Your Loaf. The friendship is so tight that, according to Good Housekeeping, Paul Hollywood made James the godfather to his son, Joshua.

His Bread Is The Most Expensive Loaf

So, it comes to no surprise that, if fans want a piece of his bread, they’ll have to pay a hefty price. Sold in Harrods, according to Sainsburys Magazine, Hollywood’s Roquefort and almond sourdough is considered the “Rolls Royce of loaves.” What goes in the most expensive bread? According to Mashed, Hollywood’s bread is made up with Roquefort cheese that was bought from a producer in France and Grade A flour sourced from a miller in Wiltshire, England.

He’s A Published Cookbook Writer

Not only is Hollywood a well known baking judge on everyone’s favorite baking competition show, he’s also a published cookbook writer. Hollywood has published over several cookbooks to help fellow bakers improve their pastry game.

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Like most chefs who have added cookbook writer to their resumes, Hollywood’s cookbooks dive deep in the art of his specialty ranging from baking recipes to learning special techniques one should have in the kitchen. His books include 100 Great Breads, his very first cookbook and his most recent cookbook, A Baker’s Life. The rest of his collections are available to purchase online; How to Bake, Paul Hollywood’s Bread, Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds, Paul Hollywood’s British Baking and The Weekend Baker.

He Has Appeared On Many Cooking Shows Outside Of The Great British Baking Show

Great British Bake Off Paul Hollywood Pru Leith

Any cooking show fan will know that when it comes to celebrity chefs on television, it is common to hop around different cooking shows either as a host, judge or even a guest at the dinner table. It is even considered a highlight of any food show to see another chef appear.

Hollywood is best known as the judge and bread expert on The Great British Baking Show, or The Great British Bake Off as it is called in Britain. Hollywood has also presented on many cooking and baking shows over the course of his career. Whether it’s over the pond on UK shows like Paul Hollywood’s Bread and Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds or the judge and co-host of the US version of The Great British Bake Off known as The Great American Baking Show, which lasted only 3 seasons.

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Rebecca R. Ammons

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