The half-naked Internet sensation is half-Brit, half-American, and is 100% charming. Beyond his camera charisma, he has fans swooning over his, um, delicious recipes. He makes classic meals and sweets, too.
As the apron-clad stud rolled through New York City, we were lucky enough to cook Croque Madames alongside him in the 57th Street Sur La Table kitchen.
There, we chatted with Adlard as he embarked on a partnership with Match, bringing good food to good dates, during a mini tour across the US. The goal is to teach singles easy ways to impress a date — in the kitchen. Adlard created themed-menus inspired by real-life moments for each city: The Morning-After Brunch (Dallas), The Third Date Dinner (Chicago) and The Midnight Menu (NYC).
Here’s what the cooking cutie had to say about his start in the culinary world, his romantic advice and what foods are perfect for all kinds of dates.
How did this topless-baking stuff begin?
It really started as a bit of fun. When I was working, we had a company bake off, and I won. As I liked to exercise a bit, a friend suggested I should do naked baking. I thought that was a little bit too much, so decided to start topless baking as a bit of a joke. I originally live streamed cooking shows from my kitchen, and it was a disaster to start off with, as no one watched my videos, but all of a sudden within a few weeks, I had a few thousand [people] tuning in, and it has grown from there.
Were you always a baker/what is your culinary/baking background?
To be honest I never cooked growing up. My dad was a Michelin star chef, so all throughout my life, I saw how hard it was to be a chef and knew, I never wanted to go into food. It wasn’t until I was about 21, I suddenly had a real passion to learn how to cook. I was dreadful to start with, but I basically spent any spare moment I had practicing. I’ve never had any formal training, I just watch YouTube videos and try to teach myself through trial and error.
What's the most over-the-top cake or baked good you've made?
It was my mum’s 60th birthday this year, and my present to her was a huge cake. She wanted lemon, chocolate and vanilla, so I made a three tier, pink and orange ombre cake with chocolate drips. It took me about three days of prep and then another six hours to decorate. I delivered the cake to the house at around 11 a.m., and it happened to be the one day in England that it was actually warm, which is rare. When I came back in the afternoon to move it to the party, the room had become so hot, the cake melted and the whole thing had collapsed on the floor. I cried. A lot.
What's the sweetest thing someone can do for their significant other in the kitchen?
I always say just even cooking for someone is a really sweet thing to do. Whether it tastes good or not, it’s the thought that counts. Personally, I would try and surprise my partner with breakfast in bed, something really simple like poached eggs on toast with fresh orange juice.
What is your current relationship status?
I’m in a relationship at the moment. I’ve been with my girlfriend Sacha for five years now, and we just got a little puppy called Cookie.
What's the best dating advice you have to give?
My advice would be to try and be yourself as much as possible. When I was dating, I used to get so worried about coming across as someone I thought the other person wanted me to be. In the end, it was just much easier being me.
What's an easy way to wow a date?
For me, I think the best way to impress a date easily it to do a little research! If you know they are interested in dancing, movies or Japanese comics, for example, do a little research around that area so that you have a few questions up your sleeve. They’ll love that you took the effort to find out more about their interests and then the conversation should flow easily from there.
What's on the custom menus that you've created with Match?
Through partnering with Match.com, we’ve built three menus around key hurdles in the early stages of a relationship, which I’m teaching to Match singles at cooking events that I’ll be hosting around the US. The first is 'The Morning After Brunch' which I taught singles in Dallas. The idea here is creating something quite impressive for that person you’ve just woken up with. This is a great chance to show off a few hidden skills, so that while they sleep, you blow them away with a tasty brunch. We’ve got a granola parfait to go along with Louisiana Style Eggs Benedict, where you can learn how to make the easiest hollandaise sauce ever.
Our next menu, is the 'Third Date Dinner,' which I taught to singles in Chicago. This might be the first time your date is coming over to your house, so you want something that pack loads of flavor, but is quick to rustle up so that you have enough time to chat with them. To start is cheese straws, a fantastic little appetizer to have with drinks. For the main, a roast chicken dish with French style peas, which uses smokey bacon – a brilliant ingredient because its smokey, sweet and salty which means it creates all the flavor for you without having to add loads of different herbs.
And, finally, the 'Midnight Menu' I’m teaching Match singles in New York City: the perfect dish if you’ve been out all night, you’ve had a tequila shot, or three, and you need a nice, but quick dish to hopefully help soak up a bit of the tequila, and of course, still impress your date. We’ve got a Croque Madame, which is basically a really posh grilled cheese, topped with a perfect fried egg. That’s accompanied with a Swiss Rosti and finally a 'Jamtini' cocktail – a cocktail you make in a jam jar.
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