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In The SPOTLIGHT: Brand Ambassador Matt Cook

Photo by @food__by__matt

Matt Cook's passion for food photography and culinary creations truly do go above & beyond the expectations of his surname. We discovered Matt on Instagram in mid-2022 and quickly released he would be a perfect fit as a Brand Ambassador for our products.

It's not just the delicious recipes he creates using a variety of our products, but it's also the way he manages to capture the finished product so beautifully using his keen eye for photography and his iPhone 14 Pro.

We took a moment to chat with Matt to find out a little more about what he's truly passionate about when it comes to what Matt Cook's in the kitchen... (see what we did there?!)

Where Does Your Love of Food Come From?

My love of food started back when I was a nerdy teenager. My mum doesn't like cooking, and my dad always worked. This meant the food we ate growing up was not very exciting, but we got fed, so I can't complain.

I remember my parents buying a slow cooker, and in the back of the manual, there were a few recipes, one for a chicken curry. It seemed easy enough to make, so that was one of the first dishes I ever made. I would love to be able to track down that recipe, but my memory fails me with exactly what it was. From there, I branched out the classic stir-fry cookbook we had in the pantry and made Mongolian beef which I still make to this day. At some point, I discovered Jamie Oliver and that's where it all really began. From that moment, I became addicted to cookbooks (my collection has just hit over 300) and cooking shows. The only books I've read are cookbooks, and the food channel gets the most use at home.

By day, I work in Business IT support. I spend a lot of my time fixing printer issues and ensuring our clients can focus on what they do best while we take care of the technology. It's super exciting stuff…. so I need food in my life to bring in a creative element.

Photo by @food__by__matt

How did you first discover PJ&S?

I spend more time than I like to admit scrolling Instagram. It is a dangerous place, especially when you are hungry. One day I was scrolling and saw a sponsored post from PJ&S looking for brand ambassadors. One thing led to another, and I was scrolling the feed, getting hungrier and hungrier. I've got a small yet humble following on Instagram, so I didn't think I'd be suitable for applying for the brand ambassador program. I think it was the next day Amy reached out to see if I'd be interested in the program.

Naturally, I said yes, and did a little happy dance.

What's your favourite PJ&S product & why do you think our customers should try it?

Photo by @food__by__matt

This is like asking someone who their favourite child is! Whilst there are still a few products I need to try, hands down, my favourite so far is the Hot Sesame Sauce. It's jam-packed full of flavour and has just the right amount of heat.

I think a lot more people enjoy cooking these days. With shows like MasterChef inspiring people, they are happier to spend a little longer in the kitchen… on weekends. We all still have that same mid-week fight with time. You might have finished work late, or maybe you had to go to cricket training or had to stop at the shop to pick up a carton of milk on your way home. Time during the week is valuable and sauces like the Hot Sesame allow you to create a delicious meal, without heating up a frozen dinner or eating a pre-packed meal that has absolutely zero flavour.

This sauce is a game-changer. I recommend that everyone give it a go because it is so versatile. You can have chicken wings on the table in 25-30 minutes or a chicken stir-fry in 15. Got some spare time on the weekend? Why not do some pork ribs, based with hot sesame sauce, it’s enough to make you drool.

"This sauce is a game-changer. I recommend that everyone give it a go because it is so versatile."

Video by @food__by__matt

Anything else you'd like to add?

From the minute I first tasted a Paddington Jams and Sauces product, I could tell they were made by someone who has a passion for food. The love and thought that goes into the products (everything from the packaging to the flavour combos) is sensational, and I couldn’t be happier to represent them as a Brand Ambassador.

Matt recently shared with us one of his recipes, his Hickory Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs. They're super easy and are a "short-cut to flavour town". Check out the recipe here.

You can follow Matt on Instagram : Instagram @food__by__matt

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