Name: Robert O’Connor
Snapchef Location: Boston
Position: Cook

What experience in your life led to you interested in food and cooking?

From a young age, I was inspired by my Mother’s home cooking. I wanted to help her and I was really interested in the food she was making.

Describe the moment when you decided that you wanted to pursue a career in the culinary field.

When I was 19, I started out as a Galley Utility on a bulk carrier/Merchant Marines. From there I took other jobs and learned as I went. Eventually, it led me to the Culinary Institute of America at the age of 31, where I graduated with a Culinary Degree. 

What challenges have you faced – and what obstacles have you had to overcome – to pursue your career in the culinary field?

My biggest challenge was opening and owning my own restaurant. It was called Roxbury Friends and Family and it lasted 2 years before the workload became too much.

How have friends and family reacted to your career choice?

Everyone has been supportive, including my wife, who was pregnant at the time I attended the Culinary Institute of America. 

What do you like most about working in a professional kitchen?

The sense of accomplishment that comes with getting the job done, and getting it done right. I like to make suggestions, using my 55 years of experience to help improve operations.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

My go-to comfort food is Roti from Trinidad and Tobago.

What is your favorite thing about working at Snapchef?

I love the flexibility. I’ve been able to do things at my own time. Being semi-retired, this company is the perfect fit for my lifestyle.

What is your advice to those interested in pursuing a career in the culinary field?

Be prepared to learn and sweat. Kitchens are not always kept cool, and it is hard work. Be prepared for change.