The Great Canadian Baking show: Julia Chan On Her New Hosting Gig


The CBC’s delicious new competition show The Great Canadian Baking Show premieres this week! Not only does it prove to be a sweet, adorable, and addicting new series for the network, it also shows viewers that there is a whole lot of good left in the world. While most competition shows focus on the backstabbing and devious behavior provided by its contestants, TGCBS does the opposite. The series highlights the bakers helping one another and focusing on beating their personal best rather than trying to take down the other bakers.

The show will be hosted by Schitt’s Creek‘s Daniel Levy and Saving Hope alum Julia Chan. The judges for the competition include acclaimed pastry chefs Bruno Feldeisen and Rochelle Adonis. The TV Junkies caught up with Chan about her hosting duties on the delightful new series. She spoke about hosting alongside her friend Levy, the sweet bakers that are competing on the show, and what she is most excited for people to see in the premiere.


The TV Junkies: What made you want to get involved with this project?

Julia Chan: I am a huge fan of the British version, so once Dan was signed on to do the Canadian version with the CBC he gave me a call and told me that he’d thrown my hat in to co-host with him. He knew that I was a huge fan and we’re friends, and I went through a series of auditions and chemistry tests with him and we ended up working together. It was a completely new experience for me, but I totally jumped at the idea of doing it because I was such a big fan, and if I had the chance to be involved in making a Canadian version and putting in the efforts to bring it to fruition then I wasn’t going to say no. Why wouldn’t you want to work with a close friend on something that you both care about so much?

TTVJ: How has it been working with Dan? The two of you have such a great dynamic going on the show.

JC: It was great! It was a blast! I’m glad we got to do it together. Because we’re friends we have a shorthand together, spend a lot of time making fun of each other in real life, so it was nice to bring some of that dynamic to the show and to keep it light, which I hope comes across. The format of the show is so great, it’s a gentler version of the regular way that people do reality cooking shows. It’s really, really about the bakers and their progress, and how they move through the competition, how they find their own friendships in the competition and help each other out. They’re competing against themselves and trying to beat their own personal best with each bake, and that’s what makes it so entertaining.

TTVJ: What were your favorite treats this season?

JC: I was really excited about meringue because meringue and pavlova are very English and summery desserts. Meringues are also so light that you can pile up on those and eat more volume. [laughs] I also really love anything that’s sweet and savory, anything that has a candied bacon on it sort of wins in my book. And I got to try stuff! If there is a second season I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a butter tart challenge, given that’s one of Canada’s famous treats!


TTVJ: Do you like to bake at home?

JC: I used to bake when I was a ten year old. I used to bake for people’s birthdays. My mom got me a cookbook when I was quite small and it taught me how to make scrambled eggs and fudge and cookies and cakes. Then I took a 25 year break. [laughs] Now that I’ve done this show, I’m not going to lie, I plan to resurrect some of that passion. I’ve decided I’m going to try and recreate my grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies. I’ve been on the hunt for them my whole life, to try and recreate them. Every single one has been a failure, so I think that’s my goal if I can pull it off.

TTVJ: What are you especially excited for people to see this season?

JC: I’m really excited for people to meet the bakers and see their backgrounds, and not just in terms of baking, you get to see a little behind the scenes of who they are. It gives you a window into the patchwork of who is out there. I think they are the most charming thing about the show. I hope we’ve done some justice to the tradition of puns, which was a big thing in the British version. Just to see the wealth of imagination these people have and to watch them problem solve is a huge thing. It’s a great lesson if your cake falls you’ve got to come up with a solution. I don’t want to give it all away, but there is some pretty wild stuff in store this season.


Are you excited for The Great Canadian Baking Show? Let us know in the comments below!

The Great Canadian Baking Show airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBC.