Matt Baker

Team Leader Technology/Food Tech Teacher

Email: [email protected]

Having a Food Technology teacher called Mr Baker must be pretty cool. He probably spends most of his time baking and eating in the classroom. So who is he and what is he really like?

Kia ora e te Whanau! My name is Matt Baker and I will be your Food Technology teacher for 2024. I believe that I have the best job here at Berkley. Not only do I cook and eat food all day, but I get the privilege of working with you, your friends and all of the teachers who call Berkley home. Together, we will discover the secrets to preparing delicious kai from Aotearoa and across the world.

My first memories of food come from watching my mother in the kitchen. Somehow, Mum found the time to prepare our meals, make fresh muffins and biscuits for our school lunches and create beautiful birthday cakes. Growing up in West Auckland, I can remember spending our summers together in orchards collecting and eating ripe berries, peaches and apples. These were preserved as jams and served up with ice-cream during the Autumn and Winter months. Dad was in charge of cooking Sunday breakfast and Sunday lunch while me, my brother and my sister were in charge of setting the table, cleaning the dishes and negotiating who would eat the left overs.

As a family, we never ate out. It was not that we did not like the taste of pizzas, burgers or fish and chips. We did, we do. But when I moved out of home and had to prepare my own food, I realised I did not have the money or taste for fast food and takeaways. Another reason was, and still is, I have a large appetite for food. Whether playing competitive football as a young man, competing in  ultramarathons as a father, or taking part in Run Club every Thursday morning’s here at Berkley, feeling full after every meal is something we all must aim for when choosing what to eat.

While camping this Summer I got the job of Head Chef, surprise! I got to make meals on my favourite piece of cooking equipment, the BBQ.  Gluten-free hotcakes for my wife and daughter, sizzling beef and bacon, me and my son and even stir-fried chicken noodles with vegetables for Grandpa. It is just the same here at Berkley. Cooking is about solving problems and making decisions. Who will I work with? What do they eat? What don’t they eat? Who will use the knife, read the recipe, collect the equipment and ingredients or wash and dry the dishes?

Your success this year will come from consistent work habits and a positive attitude. Think about cooking for a moment. Your family will love the soft and light texture of your homemade hot cakes together with their choice of sweet and fresh toppings, right? Sure. But only after you have burnt some, set fire to some maybe, made a huge mess, not cleaned up or even added salt instead of sugar. So never give up. Be determined to make others feel better, to feel loved and to feel nourished.

Who is Mr Baker and what will I be making this year? Now is the time to find out, see you soon Chef!

Ka kite ano

Matt Baker

Matt Baker