Who Does The Dishes On GBBO?

"The Great British Bake Off" has become required viewing in both British and American homes since the show first premiered in 2010. Each week while the series airs, fans are treated to a myriad of impressive baking challenges that turn heaps of flour and sugar into gourmet, eye-popping confections. While the pastry-fueled glee under the white tent is what keeps fans tuning in week after week, the onscreen action is only half of the GBBO story.

According to Season 12 winner Giuseppe Dell'Anno, fans would be surprised to find out just how much prep goes on under the tent to get ready for each scene. Saying there's no such thing as "sudden cleanliness" at each contestant's station between challenges, Dell'Anno revealed to Radio Times that there are sometimes hours-long gaps between baking rounds due to cleaning and other reasons. "Obviously you don't see that because it's all a straight, streamlined, and seamless progression to when the judges taste the bakes, but you don't even notice it as a viewer. You just follow the story as they tell it," he said. Now wondering just what the cameras don't show you on GBBO? One example is the person who single-handedly washes every caramel-covered kitchen tool used by the bakers.

GBBO's cleanup crew consists of one washer and a couple of runners

One very important, albeit unglamorous, behind-the-scenes GBBO job is that of the series' official dishwasher, Iva Vcelak. According to the Daily Mail, Vcelak works 16-hour shifts washing every single dish from each week's signature, technical, and showstopper bakes. For those keeping track, each season of GBBO sees Vcelak go through approximately 30 liters of dish soap, 80 sponges, and 1,000 dish cloths to keep every piece of the white tent's equipment squeaky clean. 

Though runners help Vcelak collect the dirty dishes, she doesn't get to rely on any machinery for backup. Why? As GBBO's chief home economist Faenia Moore told BBC Good Food, many of the desserts made on the show require human-powered scrubbing to come clean, and industrial dishwashers would produce too much noise to be used on the set. "If you've got caramel, you've got to use plenty of elbow grease. I just give Iva regular hugs!" Moore said of the "lovely" employee.