When the CBC sought contestants for The Great Canadian Baking Show, Canada’s answer to the BBC’s hit Great British Bakeoff, Corey Shefman sent in an application. “I decided to apply because I knew I’d never be chosen,” says the 32-year-old associate at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. “It was supposed to be a funny story to tell friends.”
To his enormous surprise, the producers put him on the show. When it aired last fall, the country watched as he and nine other amateur bakers did battle in a wide array of culinary challenges, with bragging rights going to the winner.
Shefman’s interest in baking began four years ago when he became intrigued with sourdough starters, the helpful balls of pre-fermented dough at the heart of traditional baking. “Being a lawyer, I started with a textbook on bread,” he says, with a chuckle. “The nice thing about baking is that when your hands are covered in dough you can’t look at your phone, so you can’t check emails. It gives me time to decompress.”
Despite earning judges’ praise for his challah and focaccia, he was eliminated in Episode 3 after baking a soggy pear pie and an unappetizing pavlova. But Shefman, who came across on screen as earnest, generous and a bit frazzled, still considers himself a winner. “Most of my socializing comes from lawyer circles, so it’s been great to meet people from other walks of life,” he says of his fellow contestants, who included a contractor from Nova Scotia and a retired dentist from Quebec. “We talk every day. We are going to be friends for life.”
This story is from our Spring 2018 Issue.