This week, we talk to Frederick Oddoye; you might know him as @Chef_Keeks on Twitter. Although he enjoys torturing people online with his mouth-watering creations, Frederick’s first love is food. Food. Not cooking. “There’s a difference,” according to him, but we’ll get to that later. Frederick’s story is not a conventional one; he quit his job in software development to live out his dream of being a chef. I’m sure you have questions, so this is how that went.
Before The Chef, There Was The Developer
Software Development isn’t something that Frederick found himself in. No, it was something that he chose to do. You see, from a young age, Frederick was interested in how things worked. He discovered his passion for programming when he wrote on the topic in high school. After that, his course became obvious; he would pursue a Computer Science program at the university. This was his path, and programming became Frederick’s life.
However, soon, he would become disillusioned with the reality of being a programmer. Frederick worked an internship in his second year of university at a tech company. That was where he got a taste of the programming life; the actual real-world applications of the job. And he loved it! It was an exciting time. He built apps throughout the rest of his uni stay and he was good at this stuff. He even had a dream of building his own tech company. So, what killed the dream?
Meet The Chef
While he worked as a programmer, Frederick would go by his friends’ house before and after work to cook. He made them breakfast and he made them dinner. It became part of his daily routine. Quick backstory; growing up, Frederick’s mother made sure that her sons were always in the kitchen. She didn’t like the idea of them being dependent on a woman for this. So, our developer always had a love for cooking. In fact, he watched the Food Network for hours every day as a kid, just collecting recipes.
Frederick liked the fact that with his cooking, he got to finish something every day. This was different from his job where constant updates meant that a project never felt finished. He started reading about food and deepening his understanding of it. At this point, he started becoming obsessed with food. It was serendipitous then, that his friends offered to match his salary if he would cook for them full-time.
When Frederick started his job as a programmer, he realized that things were not the same as when he built apps with his brother. Programming, in the context of his job, required you to meet specifications. Frederick was someone who loved creating, and software development was his outlet. However, his job required him to do exactly what was asked in the way that it was asked, and that was not a great environment for a creative like him to thrive.
Frederick knew that he was going to quit his job and accept his friends’ offer to cook for them. He also knew that his parents would not like the idea, and so he set things rolling before he told them. As he suspected, his parents were not thrilled when they found out he had quit his job. Frederick’s mother did not speak to him for a while after that.
Anyway, now there’s a new dream; to prove to her, and everyone else that you can be successful without necessarily working an office job.