Get­ting to Know Chef An­droid

The Star (St. Lucia) - - FEATURE - By Nel­cia Charle­magne

When you hear the word ‘chef', you usu­ally imag­ine a per­son clad in a white jacket and hat, cook­ing up all types of del­i­ca­cies. But Chef An­droid isn't just serv­ing meals in the kitchen, he's also cook­ing up soft­ware, and pro­vid­ing us with tips and tricks to max­i­mize the po­ten­tial of our beloved tech­nolo­gies. Valen­tine Dantes, or ‘Chef An­droid', is the host of a show on Cal­abash TV, pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion on the lat­est phones and gad­gets as well as quick tips to make us­ing our phones just a little bet­ter. Fea­tur­ing var­i­ous guests and some­times a quick recipe, Chef An­droid ‘com­bines the ex­cite­ment of tech­nol­ogy and food' to make for an ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ex­plain the con­cept of Chef An­droid.

Chef An­droid: Chef An­droid is a lo­cal pro­gramme that com­bines the ex­cite­ment of food and tech­nol­ogy to en­ter­tain and teach view­ers how to get the most out of their smart de­vices and some­times even their kitchens as well.

How did you come up with the idea for the show? What was the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind it?

Chef An­droid: For a very long time I've en­joyed help­ing peo­ple find so­lu­tions to their tech prob­lems, or more productive ways to get things done us­ing tech­nol­ogy. It was only a mat­ter of time un­til the idea of us­ing a show to do that started making sense to me. The only prob­lem I had was be­ing able to come up with a catchy name for it that would make it vastly dif­fer­ent from all the rest that I had seen on YouTube. One day I saw the word “chef” in an an­droid fo­rum and the name jumped at me. You see, in the tech world, a chef rep­re­sents some­one who 'cooks/de­vel­ops' soft­ware. So, as some­one who's been cook­ing a lot of soft­ware, par­tic­u­larly with the An­droid mo­bile soft­ware, and some­one who loves food, it just seemed nat­u­ral to play on the words and join the two worlds. Plus, I got to ac­tu­ally wear a chef's out­fit.

What is the pur­pose of Chef An­droid and what suc­cess­ful out­comes do you ex­pect to gain from it?

Chef An­droid: The pur­pose of the pro­gramme is to help peo­ple understand the in­creas­ing de­mands of tech­nol­ogy in to­day's world and how it can pos­i­tively and neg­a­tively im­pact ev­ery­day life. Most peo­ple with smart de­vices don't understand the abun­dance of productive uses it can have for chil­dren as well as adults. I re­ally just want to ed­u­cate and help peo­ple but, as far as suc­cess­ful out­comes, my vi­sion for Chef An­droid is, firstly, to be able to sus­tain it­self and, se­condly, to be­come a re­spected, house­hold name in Saint Lu­cia where mo­bile and tech­nol­ogy is con­cerned.

Tell us a bit about your back­ground. Did you work in the food in­dus­try, tech­ni­cal fields or both?

Chef An­droid: Sur­pris­ingly, I've never ac­tu­ally worked in the food in­dus­try. Most peo­ple see me dressed in my out­fit and think I am a chef with­out un­der­stand­ing that I am a 'chef' in a whole other ca­pac­ity. There are some peo­ple who get it right off the bat and some who don't but I en­joy the hu­mour of it all. When it comes to my tech­no­log­i­cal back­ground, how­ever, I was em­ployed with both our telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pa­nies but I don't think my love for tech­nol­ogy be­gan with them. It may have started with the in­ter­net, my first dial-up con­nec­tion, then my very first mo­bile phone, a Nokia 3310 and then later evolved into the crazy world of high speed in­ter­net, tablets, Blue­tooth de­vices, smart TVs and 4G LTE data speeds that ex­ists to­day.

Do you have a sep­a­rate job other than be­ing Chef An­droid? Would you ever like to be fully ded­i­cated to it?

Chef An­droid: Yes, I do. I am a copy­writer and TV pro­ducer for a prom­i­nent video pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing agency.

If Chef An­droid grows to the size where it can sus­tain it­self, then per­haps I may con­sider fully ded­i­cat­ing my­self to it. The chal­lenge with that, of course, is that some may ar­gue that for it to get there I need to be fully ded­i­cated to it. Who knows what will hap­pen.

What do you en­joy do­ing out­side of in­form­ing your au­di­ence on tech news – your hob­bies and in­ter­ests?

Chef An­droid: I am a big fan of the game of bas­ket­ball, car au­dio, Salsa danc­ing, pub­lic speak­ing and writ­ing. When I'm not wear­ing my chef hat, I'm usu­ally do­ing one of the above.

What progress do you hope to make with the Chef An­droid show in the up­com­ing year?

Chef An­droid: I am hop­ing to get a cou­ple more spon­sors for the pro­gramme to help with the pro­mo­tion of the show and brand, and spread it across more view­ing chan­nels.

What is your favourite meal and what is your favourite dish to pre­pare? Why?

Chef An­droid: My favourite meal is bouil­lon. I love a good bouil­lon with lots of dumplings. It is also my favourite meal to pre­pare be­cause that was the most pop­u­lar food that teenagers cooked when we came to­gether dur­ing the sum­mer va­ca­tion. I liked making bouil­lon be­cause making the dough for the dumplings al­ways made me feel like a real cook. Any­one can fol­low in­struc­tions from a recipe book but be­ing able to knead that dough to per­fec­tion was an art that not many peo­ple in my cir­cle at the time knew how to do.

Who would you like to col­lab­o­rate with on an episode of Chef An­droid, and why?

Chef An­droid: No one per­son in par­tic­u­lar comes to mind but I'd like to col­lab­o­rate with in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies who are in­vested in the field of mo­bile phones and tech­nol­ogy in one way or other, pro­fes­sional chefs who can teach me a thing or two in the kitchen and any­one else who's will­ing to learn or share what they've learnt about tech­nol­ogy to help oth­ers.

Tell us one ran­dom fact about you not re­lated to food or tech­nol­ogy.

Chef An­droid: I at­tended the Saint Mary's Col­lege, class of 2002.

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