Brisbane baker Adam Gallagher has found a way to bake bread despite a permanent injury keeping him in a wheelchair.
A trained pastry chef, Adam was working for a food ingredients company in 2004 when he sustained paraplegia in a skydiving accident.He spent the next three-and-a-half months in a spinal injuries unit where he had to not only physically adapt to life using a wheelchair, but mentally adjust to the associated challenges of having a permanent injury.
“It was definitely tough in the first few weeks inside the unit thinking my career prospects in baking were over,” Mr Gallagher said.
“But once I started to move just one toe again, I knew with my determination and strong will I could learn to live with this injury and one day return to my passion for making people happy eating my food again.”
Now working for a healthcare provider in their call centre, Mr Gallagher said several years ago he began to rekindle his interest in baking and started experimenting with various-flavoured bread loaves.
His testing quickly escalated into a repertoire of gourmet options and he now bakes around 50 loaves every week for customers at the Spinal Injuries Association in Brisbane, as well as a few individual clients.
“I love it, the job satisfaction is the main thing for me,” Mr Gallagher said.
“I enjoy both the creative process of baking and the end result – to look at 50 loaves of bread and see they’re all perfect is fantastic.”
With a baker grandfather, Mr Gallagher likes to think he inherited his baking ability.
“I just use flour, yeast and salt – no preservatives – as well as fresh ingredients such as chives, basil, pumpkin, sundried tomato and olives,” he said.
“It’s the way bread should be made and it’s reflected in the taste of the product.”