Great British Baking Show finalist Luis Troyano dies at 48
Luis Troyano — a runner-up on season 5 of the popular culinary competition series — has died at age 48, according to a message posted on the show's official Twitter page.
"We are deeply saddened to hear that Luis Troyano has passed away. It was a huge honour and pleasure to have him in the Bake Off Tent for Series Five," the tweet reads. "Our condolences and thoughts go out to his friends and family."
Troyano's manager, Anne Kibel, confirmed he passed away last week after a battle with esophageal cancer: "A fantastic man with a love of baking that saw him get to the finals of GBBO, write a wonderful book, Bake It Great and do so much more," she tweeted Tuesday. "Always in our thoughts."
Paul Hollywood, longtime judge on The Great British Baking Show (known as The Great British Bake-Off in the United Kingdom), also paid tribute to Troyano on social media. The superstar baker shared a photo of the late chef on Instagram, calling him a "fantastic baker" who "will be missed by all in the Bake Off team."
Richard Burr, Troyano's fellow Baking Show finalist, said he felt "lucky to have had" such a good companion throughout their shared rise to "short-term fame" in 2014 that resulted in their "long-term friendship."
Other Baking Show alums like Candice Brown, Rahul Mandal, and Jamie Finn paid tribute to Troyano on social media: "Oh my goodness this is just heartbreaking. Luis was a complete gent and we had some great giggles at festivals," Brown, who won season 7, said on Instagram. "Send love and strength to his friends and family."
On season 5 of the Baking Show, Troyano's Roscón de Reyes won the Cheshire native his first and only Star Baker title during the notoriously difficult bread week. He continued to impress Hollywood and co-judge Mary Berry across the rest of the season, never landing in the bottom-baker pile once in the competition. He would go on to publish his aforementioned book Bake It Great in 2015.
Troyano's season of The Great British Baking Show is now streaming on Netflix.