Name: Robert O’Connor
Snapchef Location: Boston
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.