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.