Matt Adlard has been on YouTube as the @toplessbaker for 2 years now, swapping spreadsheets for cake tins when he left his job in a London media agency. Now he bakes 6 out of 7 days and maintains a consistently growing fanbase across his social channels (nearing 650,000).
We asked him a couple of questions about his experience baking, being a YouTuber and most importantly, why is he not wearing a top?
As a self taught home baker he wanted to stand out from the home economists, the professionals when he launched his brand. He attracted an audience quickly because he is so authentic (he can’t bake everything perfectly first go), he doesn’t talk down to his audience (he shares his mistakes) and he’s taking them on a journey (it has a very “learn along with me!” vibe). We guess that’s where the topless part comes in? Bearing his soul?
He can’t make a cupcake (that’s the next challenge on my list!), he’s tried but failed to master the croissant (it’s so hard to do without professional equipment and is so time consuming!) but he’s mastered a mirror glaze (it took me months of research to finally figure that one out!).
His mostly female audience are there for inspiration to help make them better bakers (or potentially just to stare at his arms). These are by no means the owners of high end Kitchenaid appliances - rather weekend bakers who want to be entertained why they learn.
So who entertains Matt?
I’m really into my documentaries so always glued to Vice & Vox. In terms of YouTubers I love French Guy Cooking, Byron Talbott, How To Cake It & Casey Neistat. I like to see not only how people cook, but how they interact with a camera or their audience. I’m always trying to learn and get inspiration from my peers.
A big inspiration of mine in the food world is Donal Skehan. How he has been able to shape his career and the success he has had in both digital and traditional media. From the very first day I started YouTube I always wanted to emulate him…so far as to me stealing sentences he used (sorry Donal - I was young back then!) .
Stay subscribed to @toplessbaker this year as he starts to explore more long form content and tests new formats that get him out of the kitchen, out of his comfort zone (always the best content) and exploring the world (hello travel content!) through food.