For weeks, EUR student Vincent Prins defended our honour in ‘Heel Holland Bakt’, but on Sunday he was asked to exit the tent. The 25-year-old Erasmus University College alumnus ended in sixth place. And while he had to put his Financial Economics master programme on hold for a while, he doesn’t for one moment regret participating.
So… phone won’t stop ringing?
“Well, I wouldn’t go as far as that. But it’s definitely busier than I’m used to. Ever since the programme was first broadcast I’ve been getting loads of responses. And people recognise me when I go out. It’s pretty intense. I also get a lot of messages via social media – I try to answer each of them. That takes up quite a bit of time.”
In the introduction clip, your kitchen was spick and span. During the programme, your sister wondered whether you even tidied up – and the members of the jury often wondered the same. Did you usually run a tighter ship than we got to see on TV?
“Hahaha, she was pulling my leg. Back then I was always baking at my sister’s place. The kitchen was tidy enough, but you could always find a tray or blender lying around in a corner somewhere. When I’m not baking in front of the camera, I clean up in between. At home I can control the process.
“What you saw last Sunday was total chaos. Every week, it becomes harder and harder to finish everything within the allotted time. For weeks, they gave us three hours for the show-stopper. This episode they cut the time by 30 minutes. And when you don’t have that much experience, your cake is leaky, you still need to whip up a meringue and on top of everything, it has to taste right too – that’s when things get chaotic.”
The recipes that you worked from in ‘Heel Holland Bakt’ are currently online. They’re all quite complicated: was this a tactical decision?
“Definitely! Although that got me in deep water too, because they kept telling me I had to be tidier and get better at planning. I knew decorating wasn’t my forte, so I decided to show a lot of different techniques. But with fewer ingredients you can get really fine results too. I tried to make up for my lack of experience by practicing a lot. This meant having to put my studies on hold for a while – I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wanted to see where I’d end up. And I got pretty far actually. I could only hope ending where I did. It was tonnes of fun.”
Aren’t you sick of pastry after the contest?
“It’s not as bad as that, thankfully. I still love pastry. Of course, it’s different when you’re making something at home. You don’t have to stick to a particular theme and a simple apple pie may well be tastier too. Pastry doesn’t start tasting better when you’ve been working on it for days on end. You’ve been sampling different parts so often and you’ve put so much time into it that you can no longer tell what it really tastes and looks like.”
Have you tried to bribe one of your lecturers with a pie yet?
“No, nothing like that. Do you think a pie would get me some extra time for my thesis?”