The Great British Bake Off is coming back into our lives on 24 August and welcomes a diverse new group of amateur bakers from an aerospace engineer to a nurse ready to be grilled by judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

The 12 contestants will face weekly challenges that will test their culinary skills, and BBC bosses have cherry-picked them from all walks of life to ensure a better-than-ever seventh series to keep loyal viewers sweet as pie.

Among the interesting characters sharpening their knives (or should we say, spatulas) is a Sikh vegan baker named Rav. He is the first vegan cook to ever appear on the long-running show and lives with his parents in Kent.

Speaking exclusively to IBTimes UK, Rav divulged the reasoning for his fascination with veganism.

On what made him look into the dietary preference, he said: "I took part in a vegan challenge in 2014 which was supposed to be for two weeks, but eventually turned into six months. Although I am not a vegan now, I do have a predominantly plant-based diet."

Rav from series 7 of Great British Bake Off BBC

Rav was inspired by his sister to start baking and is adventurous and experimental with his ethically-conscious baking. He loves to use a whole range of ingredients and believes that he has a good sense of flavour combinations – especially since he is inspired by far eastern cuisine which takes his plant-based cooking to the next level.

On what message he is hoping to send out to Bake Off viewers with his vegan cooking, he said: "I like to think that I am someone who likes to take risks with my ingredients and flavour combinations, I am always experimenting. I think ultimately my message would be, don't be afraid to try something new."

great british bake off
Great British Bake Off starts on August 24 BBC

Discussing his favourite plant-based ingredients which take his bakes to the next level, he added: "There are many ingredients you can use to 'veganise' a bake, it may seem a bit strange at times but they do work, flaxseeds as an egg replace for example. Adding spices in baked treats is always a plus whether vegan or otherwise, I have the perfect recipe for Vegan Pink Peppercorn Brownies."

And his favourite part of starring in the seventh series of the Bake Off? "Mel and Sue, for sure," he said, before adding: "Their wit, intelligence and sincerity are all genuine, just like you see on the screen."

See the full list of this year's Bake Off contestants here.