A team of firefighters in Melbourne’s north is enjoying delicious homemade cakes during their morning tea break, thanks to their talented leading firefighter, Mark Proctor. Proctor, who is a former baker, now serves mouth-watering treats at the Fire Rescue Victoria station in Preston. In addition to his firefighting duties, Proctor bakes a variety of cakes, including Battenberg cakes, danishes, and Swiss rolls.
Proctor is participating in eight categories in this year’s Melbourne Royal Show cookery competition, showcasing his skills in sponge, profiterole, choux bun, and shortbread sections. He has been practicing for months, with last week alone using seven dozen eggs. Proctor’s colleague, Matt Tucker, praises his cooking talents, claiming that Proctor’s jam doughnuts are even better than those sold at the nearby Preston Market.
Baking cakes has become a fun hobby for Proctor, who trained as a baker in his hometown of Blackpool, UK, and worked as a chef in Germany, Greece, and the Falkland Islands. After migrating to Australia in 2001, he worked at a bakery in Clayton and later cooked patient meals at Western Hospital. Eight years ago, Proctor joined the fire brigade and found that cooking was a mental release from the stress of firefighting. He enjoys seeing his colleagues enjoy his creations, including favorites like chocolate roulade and Eccles cakes.
Proctor’s cakes have gained such popularity that firefighters from other stations have expressed interest in having him transferred to their teams. It seems that talented cooks like Proctor are highly sought-after in the firefighting community. While firefighting can be stressful and challenging, Proctor’s passion for cooking brings joy to his team, creating a positive and delicious work environment at the fire station in Preston.