This month, we had the pleasure of catching up with Megan, who goes by @thecafebaker on Instagram. We delved into her baking endeavours, discussed her sources of style inspiration, and naturally, explored her ultimate baking passion!
Every time we even think about your baking our mouths start to drool! Tell us about your culinary journey and what led you to start @thecafebaker.
My culinary journey and love of baking began as a small child, watching my grandmother huffing and puffing around the kitchen, flour flying everywhere. Miraculously, out would pop these perfectly formed lemon kisses. I found the whole process so comforting. When my Nana delivered a checkerboard cake and meringue swans, I was hooked – mesmerised by the what the heck, how, and why?
Fast forward a few years and my more formal culinary journey started at the University of Otago with a BCApSC. Shortly after this, I moved back to Hamilton and opened the Frankton Junction Cafe, which I owned for three years. I still miss the cafe days; nothing beats early mornings, mass cooking and connecting with your community. However, it was back to the books for me and in 2010 I completed my Bachelor of Teaching at the University of Waikato.
Eventually, I started @thecafebaker in 2013, simply because my children made me. I will be forever grateful as I had no idea how much I would love the digital world. When I began my work on @thecafebaker it started as a hobby and creative outlet, but with ten years of teaching behind me, I now see it as so much more.
Where do you hope to see yourself and @thecafebaker in 5 years?
My mission is to take my teaching online to make creative baking accessible, using everyday equipment and ingredients.
My first short-term goal is to produce a downloadable PDF so people can access all of my essential recipes. I believe a great baker should provide thoughtfully curated, easily interchangeable recipes – the same way the team at True provides us with a multifaceted capsule wardrobe. Building on this, I then aim to develop longer format, instructional videos, which build on the essential recipes I have developed.
Ultimately, I want to look back in five years' time and say, "what a fun journey that was"! In the meantime, I want to be continually challenged, keep learning, and become a better baker. For me, if I continue to create opportunities for myself and others, while also meeting cool new people on the way, I will have succeeded.
Tell us about your personal style! Who/what is your style influenced by?
My style is casual, but who doesn’t love a bit of glam? As for style icons, I love Diane Keating; classic yet dramatic, Kate Moss; rock star cool, Jennifer Aniston.
What is on your True Wishlist?
Start packing. I’ll take the Paige Brinley Harper Jeans, Paige Vintage Burnt Terracotta Leenah Jeans, SAMSØE SAMSØE Rhapsody Haven Blazer, Mos Mosh Twill Kenal Night Blazer, SAMSØE SAMSØE Black Ibbi Belt, Birgitte Herskind Yellow Trisa Leather Pants and Yu Mei Bolton Laptop Folio.
Finally, we have to ask - what is your absolute favourite thing to bake?
A layered chocolate cake, every time.