From Chef to Strategist

I started cooking at the age of 10. I was always trying to help my grandma out in the kitchen, only to be chased out from it, and became the ‘rebellious’ child of the family. I fought for what I wanted to study when I was 15 years old – ignoring my dad’s advice of ‘how being in the kitchen would mean losing precious time with friends and family’, and unfortunately for me, I had to experience some of those painful moments.


Since young, I knew that I wanted to turn my hobby and love for cooking into a career. However, I learnt the hard way that some things should remain as a hobby (although my ultimate goal is still to have a café and restaurant of my own in the future but let’s leave that for another post).


I got out of the F&B industry in 2015 and decided to take on a whole new path – in being a Strategist here at C27. I know, I know. It’s completely different. Almost scary, even. But it’s not all that bad.


So what does it feel like to take on this role after working in the kitchen for a while? It’s actually same, same but different. Let me tell you why.

1. You Gotta Keep It Together! 

One thing I’ve learned from working in the F&B industry is that teamwork and communication are absolutely essential and that goes the same with being in whichever industry but more so in an advertising agency. Can you imagine an environment without good teamwork? Well, I can’t because that would be absolute madness. Also, without communication, so many things would go wrong. For example, a lot of angry customers = extra revisions needed/a lot of time wasted. 

2. What’s That Tiny Thing?

It is all about the details. Is your dish up to standard? Is it visually appealing? Does it taste good? The same goes for our work, like creating content calendars. Everything has to be cohesive. Don’t do something for the sake of doing it (i.e. making something look IG-worthy).


Like how every ingredient on a plate has to make sense and complement one another, your content calendar should make sense with both copy and visual. Understanding what the target audience likes is important too because why serve something your audience doesn’t like? Also, one key takeaway I learnt from all of this is to check-in with your teammates – are they doing fine? Do they need help and how can we help them to make it work better?

3. Hello, Project Managers. Can I Get Timelines Plis?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt after being in the kitchen is the importance of managing timelines and being organised.


Back in culinary school, we were required to make a timeline sheet for our finals and our work station would always have to be kept organised. That said, being unorganised is a big no-no. Imagine being bad at managing timelines – all that hard work put into making a dish would probably be burnt by now. And if things do go wrong, what are the quick solutions to salvage it? I think learning culinary arts has taught me to always be quick on my feet. 

All in all, my decision to make this jump into a whole new industry has made me realise that there’s really nothing to be scared of. I’d have to give a huge thanks to Fazil for inspiring me to write this blog post. During my interview, he asked, “How can you apply what you’ve learned in culinary, in being a Strategist?”


Well, tadah!

The views expressed by the authors on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of C27, our CEO, the management, the fish in our fish tank, and/or all the awesome people within the agency. The content and opinions shared are the personal views of the author so please don’t sue us.

…or the author.


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