If you’ve been on Facebook or YouTube at all these past few months, you’ve definitely witnessed this fine man bake some cookies. Topless Baker, aka Matt Adlard, a 24-year-old aspiring chef from London, makes YouTube tutorials for sweet treats topless. I got the opportunity to ask Matt about his life and how he ended up cooking with his beautiful abs.
Matt grew up with a Michelin-starred chef as a dad (David Adlard), but like any college kid, Matt had a little trouble with navigating food while at his university. Along with uploading videos every week that teach the foodie community how to make the best food, Matt runs an Instagram that will make any foodie fall in love.
Read on to find out how Matt started baking, what a typical day of food looks like for him, and when we can expect the “ ‘Abercrombie & Fitch’ of bakeries.”
Spoon: How did you come up with the concept of “The Topless Baker?”
Matt Adlard: I’ve always been interested in cooking, but also exercise, so after a few years of chicken and brown rice I decided it was time to start eating normal food. After practicing my baking for a while (and failing many a time!), I got the idea to do baking topless to add a little twist to the current cooking scene. People often find baking pretty intimidating, so hopefully by being half naked people find it more approachable and start baking too.
Baking almost came with the name but I love to cook as well. I cook every night and enjoy making all sorts of home comforts.
Spoon: What’s one piece of advice for recent graduates like yourself who want to start their own business/brand?
MA: My advice would be pretty simple—just go for it. While you’re young and still deciding what to do, why not have a go? Create a brand and personality that you love and represents you. All too often we can look at other people and try and imitate what they do, but create your own spin on things and you’ll see great success.
Spoon: What is your favorite sweet to prepare?
MA: Lemon tart—it was the first thing my dad ever taught me to make and reminds me of where I started. It has so many techniques like making a pastry, blind baking etc., I feel like I learned a lot of base skills that I have been able to apply to loads of different recipes.
Spoon: What does being the son of such a brilliant chef feel like?
MA: I feel pretty lucky that I have a go-to person, that if I ever need advice or help I can just pick up the phone and he has all the answers.
Spoon: What does your typical day consist of (food-wise)?
MA: As I like to exercise, I am relatively healthy during the week but never turn down a sweet treat. I always have eggs for breakfast and then some fruit as a snack later on. Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before (spaghetti bolognese is a favorite), and then dinner will usually be chilli con carne, pork and chorizo burgers, or frittatas.
And then, of course, I have to have dessert—so any leftover treats I have! When it comes to the weekend and I have more time, I always branch out and cook something a little more extravagant like dauphinoise potatoes (which are baked scalloped potatoes), slow-cooked lamb or pulled pork.
Spoon: Besides dessert, what is your favorite time of day to cook for?
Spoon: What is the hardest dish to make?
MA: Oh, that’s a tough one. I think any dessert that has a lot of butter is so temperamental because of the heat; you can have a mess on your hands in no time if you are not careful. I also find cuisines like Indian or Mexican where there is a lot of spice balancing to do hard—I could spend a year just learning about those.
Spoon: What is your favorite thing about making YouTube Tutorials?
MA: I absolutely love just reading people’s feedback and reactions to my videos. Seeing people who love food as much as I do is a really good feeling and worth all the time and effort.
Spoon: Do you have any other aspirations on future jobs besides baking?
MA: I really take it a day at a time. There are so many opportunities that come up, and I have no idea what is around the corner. I would love to write a cookbook one day and make a TV show, but who knows.
Spoon: Do you have any plans on furthering yourself in the food industry, maybe opening a bakery?
MA: I’ve thought about a ‘Topless Bakery’—the ‘Abercrombie & Fitch’ of bakeries. But for now just continuing to make videos and working with other creators.
I know I’ll be watching Matt cook every week on YouTube, and I’ll definitely be awaiting this bakery idea. In the meantime, make sure you check out Matt’s social pages and try making your own version of his masterpieces.