Meet Chigs Parmar: The Great British Baking Show's Breakout Star
The Great British Baking Show is known for featuring some of the most-talented amateur bakers around. But this season, one of them especially has fans abuzz.
Will Chirag "Chigs" Parmar has become a fan favorite on the beloved Netflix-distributed series thanks to his skillful bakes and swoon-worthy smile.
A 40-year-old sales manager from Leicestershire, U.K, Parmar only started baking last year while in lockdown during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
His family and friends inspired him to get into the kitchen, he's said — though he learned how to produce complex bakes and perfect intricate chocolate work not from them but from carefully studying online videos (and practicing a lot).
"I have taken one of the biggest risks in my life," he wrote on Instagram in September, when his casting was announced. "I started a new hobby at the beginning of lockdown and then, decided to go on GBBO 2021 to show everyone what I have learnt. I had one of the best experiences of my life and met unbelievable people. Can't wait for everyone to see my journey."
Despite clearly having a natural skill, landing a spot on the Great British Baking Show was far from a guarantee.
"I never believed I would actually make it on the show," Parmar told Leicester Mercury, adding that it took a bit to sink in that he had been cast. "Walking into the tent for the first time, it really hit home the fact that I would be on the show."
"I was over the moon to have been selected as a contestant," Parmar shared. "The hard part was keeping it secret given how excited I was to be on the show."
He has been soaring in the competition so far, even earning the coveted "Star Baker" title during Dessert Week.
Biscuit Week was also a high for Parmar. For his showstopper, he made a snooker table out of spiced gingerbread, topping it with balls crafted from marshmallow fondant. Judge Prue Leith described the creation as "perfect."
Still, Parmar is still new to this, and told Leicester Mercury that there are "areas for improvement" in his bakes.
"I believe I can learn and improve my skills and I am keen to continue to learn more," he said.
Asked for his strengths, Parmar listed "baking with chocolate," his "attention to detail," and his "organizational skills."
Viewers list another strength: his good looks.
It's unclear if Parmar is single. He told Leicester Mercury that when he is not working on his baking he spends time with his nephews.
He also is a bit of a thrill-seeker, relishing in "high-octane activities such as bouldering, skydiving, and trekking," according to the outlet.
So far, Parmar has already completed the Three Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire. After baking, he has his sights set on conquering Kilimanjaro. Now that deserves a Paul Hollywood handshake.
New episodes of the Great British Baking Show air on Netflix every Friday.