35-year-old Raufikat Oyawoye-Salami has emerged winner of Season 4 of “The Great Canadian Baking Show” after winning over nine other bakers.
She was up against fellow finalists Tanner Davies of Winnipeg, Man. and Mahathi Mundluru of Markham, Ont.
She becomes the first Nigerian to win the competition since the contest started in 2017.
The Great Canadian Baking Show kicked off its season 4 on February 14, 2021, and Raufikat was crowned the winner on April 4, 2021; after 8 weeks of competition.
In a touching ceremony that reunited the finalists with fellow bakers from earlier in the season, hosts Ann Pornel and Alan Shane announced Raufikat as the winner.
In the words of Mahathi Mundluru:
“Raufikat totally deserved that win. She’s such a phenomenal baker, so talented, and never delivered anything less than perfection.”
Her husband, Taofeek revealed that what makes her wife special and so unique is that she puts her love in what she does.
“Even when she’s missing home, and homesick, she will want to do get up and bake.”
Raufikat Oyawoye-Salami first applied to the show in 2019, but by the time she heard back she was already well into her pregnancy. The mother of two decided to try out again a year later.
“I was screaming so loud, I was really happy and excited.” she recalls after getting the call that she was going to be on the show and step into the iconic tent.
Raufikat picked up her cooking and baking skills at an early age. Growing up, she and her sister often helped her mother out when cooking and making cakes and “sweet snacks” back in her home country of Nigeria.
After quite a bit of time away from the kitchen, she rekindled her love for baking when she was doing her master’s degree in the United Kingdom.
“I haven’t stopped baking since then,” she says.
Her baking is inspired by the flavours of Nigeria, using spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Though when it comes to the traditional dishes, she says, “we like things with a little bit of heat.”
The IT support engineer, who moved to Milton in 2017, says she enjoys making cakes, cookies and bread for her family, usually over the weekend. The kids especially love her cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies.
Even though baking requires precision and some technical skills, Raufikat says it should not take away from the joy and comfort that it brings.
“The Great Canadian Baking Show” features 10 amateur bakers from across Canada, competing in a series of themed culinary challenges that celebrate their diverse backgrounds, families and communities. The competition is hosted by comedians and actors Alan Shane Lewis and Ann Pornel and judged by acclaimed pastry chefs Bruno Feldeisen and Kyla Kennaley.
Raufikat Oyawoye-Salami is an Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Technology, Minna and has worked in MTN Nigeria, Galaxy Backbone, and Nigeria Communication Commission.