Dan Lepard's love for cars is not half baked
AWARD-winning baker Dan Lepard took some time out from the kitchen to talk about his motoring past and present.
What was your first car?
My first car was a 1998 Ford Taurus LX Wagon, white, four-speed automatic, V6 engine. I was living and working as a cook for the artist David Hockney in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. It was the start of 1992, and I got it from a dealer down in Venice Beach straight after getting my driver's licence. It was a beast, but it could hold a mountain of groceries and when you live in the hills you only really go shopping twice a week.
I drove it across the US and sold it when I moved to New York to go back to restaurant cooking later that year.
What are you driving now, and what do you love and hate about it?
A little black Skoda Fabia. I love it as it can park in the smallest spaces and it's nifty on the road. Living in London you really need a small car to make your driving less manic, and the Skoda is perfect. So if I'm whizzing around Buckingham Palace, dodging the tourists with a car full of cakes, it's the perfect car.
What car/s did your family have while you were growing up?
We had the coolest car - a Morris Minor 1000 1967 saloon four-door. Dad was from Derbyshire in England, so perhaps the car meant something to him. He used to be able to fix it. Half a tennis ball would double as a radiator cap, and mum's stockings would be used to fix the fan belt.
Do you have any preferred driving music?
Radio, I love radio. I play lots of top 40 music to remind me what's going on in the world. I also listen to classic stations and alternative stations.
The radio is the perfect thing to listen to in a car, especially on long driving trips around Britain.
What is your greatest frustration on the road?
Mobile phone users wandering onto the road without looking. Cyclists who stay in the blind spot, and ignore traffic lights. The very narrow streets of London with parking on both sides, so driving is a game of dodgems.
If you were to pick anyone in the world to go on a road trip, who would it be?
Family, as I just don't see enough of them. I had the chance to take Mum, my big sister Jennifer, and my hubby David on a driving holiday around northern France early last year. So many stories and secrets.
What is your dream car?
A Mercedes-Benz convertible, like the SL 350 or AMG. In black, though I'd try not to get floury hand prints on it. That'd be one to drive around Melbourne or London.
Who: Dan Lepard.
Resume: Dan Lepard is an award-winning baker who has worked for great chefs all over the world.
See him: Judge in the Great Australian Bake Off finale on Channel 9, 8.30pm on Tuesday.