Imagine dropping out of college to follow your passion for creating content on the internet, and having your family support your unconventional choice. Well, that’s exactly what our Creator Fund partner Kevin – of Kwoowk fame – did. If you’ve seen his budget-friendly recipes, you’ll probably already know that it turned out to be the best decision ever!
Kwoowk – as we know and love him – wouldn’t be where he is today without unconditional family support, self-belief, and hard work. And, ok, maybe the extremely relatable personality has something to do with it too 😉
We had a chat with him about his beginnings, growth, mindset, and his recent cookbook.
Humble Beginnings as Kwoowk
Almost two years ago, Kevin started exploring the world of food content creation. In the beginning, it was all about experimenting with food from the perspective of a college student who wasn’t a culinary expert but still wanted to eat fun and nutritious meals. On a budget of course! So basically, almost every college student ever.
His videos quickly gained traction on social media and soon enough, other platforms joined the party. Almost a year and a half ago, he partnered with Whisk (now Samsung Food), and has been building a name for himself since then!
What’s really inspiring is Kevin’s courage to step away from a computer science degree in the Netherlands and pursue his content ‘side hustle’ full time. He decided to give himself a year to make his content creation dream a reality, and it paid off.
Early Success and Viral Moments
Remember the first time you saw Kevin pop up on your phone screen? For many of us, it was after his first viral video; a humorous take on Dutch breakfast. It got people talking, even making its way onto Dutch news sites! But it wasn’t just about the food; it was about the storytelling.
The video is actually Kevin rating a typical Dutch breakfast saying that it is terrible – but the Dutch took it very lightly and joked about it. “They took it very well, I will say, and I ended up making the video again where I was like, OK, let me try to improve this –
So, I made a sort of French toast coated in sprinkles, with bananas and peanut butter and it was good and they also liked that.”
He attributes this success to the story and the personality behind the recipe, and not just the recipe itself.
But viral success doesn’t just happen overnight – and it certainly doesn’t happen again and again. Kevin says he had to push through those early days when his videos would only get a handful of views. It’s a familiar struggle for many content creators, and something that almost all of our Creator Fund partners have battled with in the past. The moral of the story? Persistence, passion, and self-belief are key if you want to work in content creation.
Passion for Food and Childhood Memories
Growing up in Romania, Kevin’s first memories of food involve cooking with his grandmother. These moments left a lasting impression, focusing on the joy of making food for others. One dish that holds a special place in his heart is walnut pasta—an unconventional, sweet combination of hand-made pasta, ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and a touch of butter. It’s a unique comfort dish that brings him back to his childhood.
While he always had a passion for cooking, it wasn’t until he lived on his own during high school that he truly started appreciating food. Wanting more than just plain chicken and broccoli, he explored stir-frying, fried rice, and creative vegetable dishes. This journey paved the way for their content creation focus: simple, enjoyable, and affordable recipes for students and young adults.
Kwoowk: Student Meals and Food Around the World
Kevin’s recipe content today revolves around two series – Student Meals, and Food Around the World. So we couldn’t help but ask him about where his inspiration comes from. ‘‘I just wanted to make something that is relevant and true to myself. This was actually something that I was very interested in and the cooking space on the internet is filled with people that know how to cook really well and they can cook something very fancy and present it in an amazing way” he says. You’ll know what he means if you’ve seen those Masterchef-style dishes! But if you’re more into taste than presentation, that could feel overwhelming.
Kevin is one of those people. “I knew from the beginning that that’s not me – I’m not gonna show people how to do something properly the best that it can be. Then I decided that my message is gonna be that anyone can cook – even if you think you can’t cook, you can probably whip out a very good dish with very basic concepts” he explains.
“I just wanted to inspire people to go into the kitchen, make their first dish, and be excited about it. For the student dishes, I think that’s where the inspiration came from. And with this stuff around the world, I think it’s just my natural curiosity to try food from different countries because I couldn’t travel to all these places. I just wanted to make it at home in a way that’s just me exploring it, not really showing you how to make it, but just trying it out.”
Crafting Authentic Content – Embrace the Cringe
The road to authenticity in front of the camera wasn’t easy. Kevin admits it’s a challenge to translate his personality into his videos. He emphasizes the importance of embracing the cringe and recognizing it as a sign of growth. So, basically, remember that your cringe content could take you places!
Over time, his content became more genuine, attracting a loyal audience who appreciated his unique style. Kevin jokes about how he doesn’t like looking back at his old videos (if you’ve ever looked back at your old social media updates or texts, you’ll know the feeling!) but also says that it too is a process. After all, growth in his content skills are what has led him to where he is today.
He also encourages aspiring content creators not to overthink it. Instead, he suggests finding your own voice and staying true to yourself. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being real. Almost all of our Creator Fund partners have echoed his thoughts (like Sophie Bakas and Shan), and we love that they’re all so committed to being authentic.
Life as a Content Creator
Although the Netherlands doesn’t boast a massive creator culture, Kevin loves to use every opportunity to collaborate with fellow content creators when traveling. Meeting like-minded creators is not only fun but also a chance to exchange ideas and experiences unique to content creators.
When we asked how he feels about his job and what other people think when he tells them what he does for a living, Kevin’s humble personality and attitude of gratitude shone through. “I think people romanticize the idea of being a content creator now because they see all these influencers. And in my experience, they tend to think you’re way more rich than you actually are. A lot of content creators say that their job is hard, but I, I don’t wanna be that guy to say that. Yes, it has difficulties. But compared to other jobs it’s easy – I’m making food and, I’m getting paid for it and it’s a lot of fun. Compared to people who have to work two jobs to support their families, I’ve got it so easy.”
But that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park! Creating engaging food content is not as simple as you might think. We’ve all snapped a quick picture of our dinner and might have even filmed a cooking video. But doing it full-time and standing out from the crowd involves extensive research, scriptwriting, filming, and editing. Depending on the complexity of the video, the process can span two to four days. For Kevin, it’s worth it. He says the hard work pays off when his videos help people find inspiration to cook, and that getting to do what he loves for a living is a privilege.
The Journey to Publishing a Cookbook
How many of you have dreamed of publishing a book? If you were ever into writing, it might have been a childhood dream of yours.
Publishing a cookbook was a significant milestone for Kevin. The book is titled exactly how would expect from Kwoowk, and sums up his ethos: Tasty. Healthy. Cheap: Budget-Friendly Recipes with Exciting Flavors. He authored it himself, covering writing and photography with the help of his team. In his own words, “nothing as rewarding as readers sharing their creations and knowing that he was the inspiration behind that.”
Kwoowk and Samsung Food
Kevin consistently emphasizes the importance of collaborating with brands and products that align with his personal values and his brand. It’s crucial to him that he uses these products himself and can genuinely recommend them. Our partnership with Kevin has lasted for over a year, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results. We are in the game of making cooking more joyful and accessible to everyone, and Kevin embodies that goal wholeheartedly.
Kevin has chosen Samsung Food as the platform to showcase his recipes, providing his followers with access to detailed recipes complete with ingredients. While he wants to work on making more of his own recipes and adding them to our app, he still adds significant value with his incredible recipes. If you follow him, you’ll agree!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our journey with Kwoowk! Now, you know where to find affordable and nutritious recipes. There might only be one cookbook for now, but we know Kevin’s talent knows no end – and we look forward to working with him for years to come.