And the winner of The Great Canadian Baking Show is...
After eight weeks of scrumptious signature bakes, impossible technical challenges and stunning showstoppers, there can only be one winner.
And the winner is...
"I told Andrei to open a pastry shop in Paris, and after today, he has to do it," said judge Bruno Feldeisen after Andrei's impressive win on Finale Week. "His talent, his passion, his art is in French patisserie."
The 58 year-old software engineering consultant from Vancouver is a man of many talents, including opera singing, sailing and skiing. From his first day in the tent, Andrei has been wowing the judges (and the other bakers) with his mix of creative presentation and technical precision.
He competed against Megan Stasiewich of Leduc, Alta. and Sachin Seth of Halifax in The Great Canadian Baking Show finale.
"Andrei plans things out and then executes them so well," says fellow Season 2 baker Tim Chauvin.
Sadiya Hashmi agrees, adding, "I don't know what goes on in his head. I just want to get in there and see what's going on."
"We're all good bakers, but Andrei...he's just, like, from another planet," says Mengling Chen.
Andrei was brought to tears when he was presented with the award by hosts Julia Chan and Dan Levy.
"I still can't believe it," he said. "It's the biggest honour of my life. I'll never forget it."
Andrei brought an engineer's exacting eye to his final three bakes.
For the Signature Bake, Andrei prepared 12 Opera cake rolls with a joconde sponge and coffee buttercream, plus 12 mango mascarpone rolls with a chiffon sponge.
With so many elements and over two dozen ingredients, the Finale Week Technical Bake tested every skill the bakers had. The judges were looking for a picture perfect Princess Cake, with a perfect dome shape, pristine decorations and precise layers that held when cut.
Andrei's final showstopper featured a trio of French choux classics: a Paris-Brest topped with choux swans; a Gateau St. Honoré filled with chiboust cream; and a croquembouche crowned with elaborate sugar work.
Andrei impressed the judges and audiences all season with his precise, well-planned bakes. It's not too late to try a few of his recipes at home!
Queen for a Day Birthday Cake
The cake that helped Andrei win the Star Baker crown for Season 2's Cake Week.
Strawberry Garden Slab Pie
If you've ever wanted to make a pie big enough to feed two dozen people, this is the pie for you.
Coffee Maple Crêpe Cake
Andrei wowed the judges with this caffeinated version of a mille-crêpe cake during French Week.