Yr Academi Felys

S4C | 6 x 30minutes

With his cake and chocolate business thriving, Richard Holt – one of the UK’s top patisserie
chefs – is looking for a talented apprentice to join him in his Sweet Academy.

In a brand new series, we follow six would-be chefs as they face numerous out-of-this-world baking tasks set by Richard. He also shares some of the best secrets he learned working in Michelin star restaurants.

Richard said: “I’m really keen to find new talent – someone with raw ability who is full of imagination and potential. I’m not someone who likes doing things in a traditional way. So I have come up with a really ambitious competition: special sweet challenges which will test the competitors to the limit!”

Set at the magical Melin Llynon, the six will face all sorts of imaginative challenges from creating unique patisserie to discovering new flavours for Mônuts (special donuts from Anglesey!) – but only one can claim their Academi Felys (Sweet Academy) title.

During the series Richard will be demonstrating his wide experience and incredible baking skills as he sets challenges for the competitors and cooks some of his own favourite patisserie recipes – including one which has been inspired by Anglesey’s history with the iconic Land Rover. So, who are the six lucky contestants?

Llinos Wyn Jones, 31 from Cardiff. Llinos is originally from Criccieth but has recently moved to Cardiff from London. “I started cooking when I was 13 and by the time I was 16, I discovered that I liked cooking more than anything else. Some people like to go walking, running or doing yoga to relax – but you’ll always find me in the kitchen with my headphones on.”

Ian Williams, 30 from Cardiff: Ian is originally from Anglesey but now lives in Cardiff. He has just left teaching in order to follow his dream of making a living from baking. “I have loved being in the kitchen ever since I was little. I enjoy the process of seeing ingredients transform into masterpieces be they bread, desserts or cakes for every occasion.”

Megan Dixon, 20 from Anglesey: Megan has her own cake shop in Holyhead. She also volunteers with the Trearddur Bay Lifeboat crew. “I started baking properly during the first lockdown. Since then, I opened a small cake shop in Holyhead and now I bake almost every day. It would be a dream come true to learn new skills, especially patisserie skills with Richard.”

Rebecca Lloyd, 38 from Dyffryn Conwy. Rebecca is a receptionist from Trefriw who enjoys wild swimming and is a huge fan of Mary Berry. “I have been cooking for years, in school and hospice kitchens but I enjoy creating cakes for friends and family. I am very creative and enjoy bringing cakes to life with whacky ideas.”

Meredith Holyfield, 33 from Manchester (Darth Baker!). Meredith or ‘Redz’ is an occupational therapist in the community. He’s a big fan of Star Wars and is known as ‘Darth Baker’! “I started cooking as a child in Bangor with my mother, regularly cooking sponges and biscuits. During lockdown I developed my skills further and have become skilled in decorating cakes and edible printing.”

Leah Edge, 39, from Llanberis. Leah owns a café in Llanberis. “I have been cooking for the family since I was 11. My father is Indian so I cook with spices a lot. I have been experimenting with bagels, croissants – everything I like to eat. I am vegan so the challenge for me is to create vegan versions of everything that isn’t vegan!”