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Career

The Great Kiwi Bake-Off winner Trevor Hall's exciting new business venture

Trevor’s star is on the rise (as is his baking!)

By Kelly Bertrand
He's an ironman, a classic car enthusiast and a dad of three – and now an award-winning baker!
The Great Kiwi Bake Off's new champion Trevor Hall is the first to admit it's an unusual combination, but the Havelock North man reckons he's hit the nail on the head with his quirky mix of skill sets.
"I don't know of anyone who shares those interests!" he says with a laugh.
"Even people who have known me for quite a while are surprised I bake. I'm known as the guy who does ironman competitions and plays with classic American cars!"
The talented baker, who has a day job as an efficiency coach, still can't believe he walked away as the winner of the second season of the popular show.
His prize, he says – the celebratory cake stand – has gone "straight to the pool room".
"I can tell you right now, there's never going to be any cake on it!" he tells the Weekly with a laugh.
"It's my trophy. It's too precious for cakes!"
Trevor celebrates with the Bake Off team.
Dad-of-three Trevor (47) instantly won the hearts of the nation during his stint on the show, largely due to his down-to-earth Kiwi charm and generous tendency to help his fellow contestants out of tight spots, even if it cost him valuable time in the kitchen.
"I mean, I still put my pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else!" he says, batting away the compliment.
"When I was growing up, I was always taught, 'Manners are free, but they buy you a lot.'
"I wanted to do my best [in the competition] and have fun with it, but to also help other people. I mean, if I saw someone struggle to change a tyre on the side of the road, I'd stop and help. If I saw someone walking in the rain, I'd stop and give them a lift. It's the same thing. I believe in trying to pay things forward. And sometimes maybe the nice guy does come first!"
It's an unsurprising sentiment from a guy who compares himself to a cream doughnut – "firm on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside".
It was thanks to his wife Cheryl and daughters Elyse, Gemma and Sam that Trevor applied to be on the show.
"I was the classic guy on the couch," he says.
"The ad for contestants came on the air and I jokingly said to my wife and daughter, 'I can do this.' They said I couldn't, and then I said, 'Actually, I think I could smash that.' And then I applied!
"I never expected to make it on the show but before I knew it, here I was, and I decided to give it my best shot.
"Before the show I underwent something of a baking boot camp. My wife and a good friend of mine helped me every weekend. I'd spend 10-12 hours every Saturday and Sunday baking and people would judge them – the local vet surgery, the local mechanics, everyone!"
Trev's award-winning meringue and macaron creation was a showstopper.
Trevor battled it out alongside nine other contestants to take home the coveted cake stand, and he says the experience was one of the best of his life.
"It was incredibly phenomenal, everything from the producers, crew, contestants... You couldn't ask for a better bunch of people. To win the show was beyond
my imagination."
Whipping up delicate lamingtons or impressive meringue towers is now second nature for Trevor, who loves the variety his life brings.
His job as an efficiency coach – "I go into businesses, have a look at everything and what they're doing, and basically try and save people time and money" – means no day is ever the same, and he approaches baking in the same manner.
And though his friends were initially surprised at his baking prowess, Trevor says he's been surprised at their reaction.
When he told a mate of 30 years he was entering, the friend began enthusing about baking shows.
"He started talking to me about all the other bake-off shows – who made what, what works, what didn't. This is a tough guy who spent quite a bit of time in the army!
"I looked at him and went, 'How do you know all of this?' And he goes, 'I love the baking shows.' I never knew – and he didn't know about my love of baking!"
From baking to ironman, Trevor loves a challenge.
And while he has no plans to give up the day job just yet, he does have an exciting project on the boil alongside fellow contestant and Hawke's Bay resident Anna Howley.
While on the show, the pair realised they had a similar desire to share basic skills with the rest of the nation, and the concept for Kiwi Bake Box, an online baking ingredient subscription service, was born.
"I want to do more with it than just winning a trophy. I think people baking at home is becoming a lost art. So we've set up Kiwi Bake Box. Nowadays it's far too easy for people to go to the supermarket and buy a pre-made cake or a pack of biscuits. We want to bring back those good old-fashioned skills that your nana had.
"I'm fortunate in my business coaching role that I spend time in lots of smoko rooms, and when I see a guy bring in a cake or biscuits he made, it changes the atmosphere. It's magic. Everyone loves baking!"

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