He impressed Great British Bake Off fans with his cake making skills but Selasi Gbormittah found himself up against an altogether different challenge when he volunteered to cook for refugees in Uganda. The star baker was tasked with whipping up a tasty meal for hungry families using only their daily rations of basic ingredients, including beans, salt and sorghum – a type of grain – when he visited the world's largest refugee camp, Bidi Bidi, as an ambassador for the charity World Vision.
Selasi, who charmed viewers on last year's series of Bake Off, met families who have fled war-torn South Sudan, including children who have made the journey alone after seeing their parents murdered and arriving alone at the Ugandan border, traumatised and hungry.
Selasi was challenged to cook for refugees in Uganda by World Vision
"It's heartbreaking to see pain and hunger etched onto the faces of orphaned children and hear their harrowing stories of rape and violence. It is vital that, as a community, we come together to do what we can to help provide these kids with a better future," says Selasi.
Speaking to HELLO! at the launch of World Vision's new fundraising campaign Share A Meal, he admitted: "It was a massive challenge and pretty difficult to try to make something tasty out of beans and sorghum, which is all the refugees have to eat, every day. As much as I enjoyed being there it really opens your eyes."
The former Great British Bake Off star said it had been a "massive challenge"
Since appearing on Bake Off, the motorbike-riding banker has been juggling his day job with food festivals, including this summer’s Big Feastival on Blur guitarist Alex James's Cotswolds farm, as well as collaborating with supermarket Sainsburys on food campaigns.
"I've been learning a lot and my dream is still to open my own little restaurant and bakery one day," says Selasi, who has been dating property worker Joelle Rainford for three years. He's also been tuning in to the new series of Bake Off, which has moved from the BBC to Channel 4, along with host Paul Hollywood and a raft of new judges and presenters. So what are Selasi's thoughts on the new show?
Selasi is an ambassador for World Vision
"It really hasn't changed much at all and apart from the people it's pretty much the same as before," he says. "I think one of the girls will win this year. It's still early days but my money is on Rebecca."
Share a Meal is raising money to feed Uganda's refugees and help find orphaned children foster families so they can make a new start. People are asked to share a meal with friends – either by hosting a dinner at home or in a restaurant – then club together with their guests to make a donation to the campaign. Invitations, recipe ideas and donation forms can be downloaded from World Vision's website and participants who post pictures of their event on social media using the hashtag #shareameal have a chance of winning a meal for two, cooked by Selasi.
For more information go to worldvision.org.uk/shareameal