Alfie Steiner or @alfiecooks_ is one of those rare, unicorn creators who has seen huge success in a pretty short amount of time. 

To give you an idea, his Instagram followers jumped from five thousand to nearly four million in a little over a year!

Often, people put viral posts down to a matter of luck or chance. While this can be true, most of us don’t see the hard work that goes into getting to this point. 

We caught up with Alfie to find out how he works his social media magic! He shed some light on his cooking journey so far, his approach to content creation, his advice for budding creators, and his future goals. And he gets raw about the reality of being a full-time content creator! 

How @alfiecooks_ Started

Every chef has an origin story. For Alfie, his family stirred up his passion for food.

“For as long as I can remember I was always obsessed with food! I was always known for my big appetite. I grew up eating very well because my dad was a very good cook. We always enjoyed big, colorful plates of Mediterranean style food. And curries!”

In his late teens, Alfie’s passion for cooking kept growing and growing.  A lot of teenagers might struggle to whip up dinner for the family, but Alfie was busy experimenting in the kitchen. “I started cooking more for myself when I was around 16. I thought I was good, but I wasn’t!” he says.

“Then I cooked a lot more for myself when I moved to Edinburgh to study Spanish and Portuguese.” 

Today, Alfie is admired for his zero-waste approach to food. But did you know that this mindset goes all the way back to his university days? 

“I’ve always loved looking at what vegetables are discounted in the supermarket …” he remembers. And really, who hasn’t scoured the supermarket aisles for discounted food in a pinch? Once he got home, he’d intuitively make something from the ingredients he found. Alfie also made an Instagram page (@alfiecooks_) to share photos of his dishes with friends and family. 

Hitting his Stride  

When Alfie was in his final year of university, many things were evolving in his life at the same time. He made a BIG lifestyle change, felt more confident with content creation, and got his first big break online! 

“In 2020, I gave up meat as a New Year’s resolution. I’ve always been a big animal lover. My girlfriend was vegan at the time and I think that definitely made the decision and transition to plant-based eating much easier. I went a month without it and I didn’t really miss it much.” 

Moving to a plant-based diet also pushed Alfie to become more creative with his ingredients. He learned “how to build levels of flavor without using animal products.” A big characteristic of his cooking style today! 

Content-wise, his photos, cooking, and presentation skills were all slowly improving too. And then … another big thing happened. It all started when Alfie’s girlfriend featured him on her socials. 

“A couple of years ago, she started putting together these ‘what my chef boyfriend cooks for me’ episodes. Some of these videos were hitting towards 10 million views on TikTok!” The positive comments under her videos gave Alfie a confidence boost.

What did they say? People wanted to see his recipes – and encouraged him to post his own videos! 
So, Alfie signed up to TikTok, created another @alfiecooks_ page, started making his own videos, and put himself in front of his camera. 

Content creation was on the back burner though. After all, he was in his final year of university. But he’d built a small community of followers and couldn’t wait to get going again … 

Signs of Big Things to Come for @alfiecooks_

Like many new graduates, Alfie didn’t know what he wanted to do next. He kept coming back to his small community on social media. 

He knew he had a passion for food and wanted to work in the food media space. So, it felt like a good moment to try and grow his @alfiecooks_’s community – and potentially earn a living from it. 

“I tried to grow my channel from about October 2022 onwards. When it got to New Year, I knew I had to hit certain numbers or try something new. I was applying for other jobs at the time.” 

Then, something big happened.

“Luckily, I made a spontaneous beetroot hummus video in February, posted it on @alfiecooks_, and it went viral! I gained around 500,000 followers from that one post. It’s funny in the way it came about too. I was at my girlfriend’s parents house and there was a beetroot at the bottom of the fridge. I just didn’t want it to go to waste!”

The success just kept rolling in and his other videos gained tons of traction too. Alfie decided to start his ‘Take a Dip’ series. And the rest is history! 

Alfie’s Advice for Those Starting Out 

Ever heard the expression “you make your own luck”? It’s exactly how we’d describe Alfie’s career journey so far. 

And he agrees!  Alfie feels that everything he’s been working on over the years has led him to where he is now.  He told us, “… the things that I was doing eventually turned into a success. You need to keep plugging away. You need to keep giving it a go.” 

Alfie almost feels like a different person to his first @alfiecooks_ videos. His confidence skyrocketed and it shows on camera! We know that so many budding content creators are so afraid to put themselves out there. So, we asked Alfie for his advice on how to get started. 

“Make the food you love. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your filming style or show yourself on camera. Put in some hard work and just keep going. You’ll get better with practice. Just try and enjoy it as well! You’re cooking at the end of the day. You should enjoy what you’re doing and bring that joy to other people.” 

Alfie recommends using Samsung Food to store recipes too. 

“I quite like being able to store my recipes somewhere that is not social media. Also, I love the aesthetics and functionality of Samsung Food, and it’s just really useful for me. And I like how you can start your own communities as well. When I launched my Soup Season series, I could basically put all my soup recipes in one place.” 

Looking Back and Ahead  

It’s been about a year since Alfie first had his big viral moments with @alfiecooks_. Having worked with so many content creators, we know that it might seem like a total dream. But just like any other profession, the job comes with its ups and downs.

So we asked Alfie how he’s really finding his new career path. 

He told us: “Social media –  regardless of whether it’s your job or not – can be quite stressful. You’re always going to compare yourself to other people and other people’s performance and audiences.”
Thankfully, Alfie has a healthy attitude towards it. 

“I just think it’s really important to try and maintain a level of just perspective.” 

His advice for those struggling with the pressures of content creation or social media in general? “Take inspiration from others and celebrate their successes! Otherwise, you can get into quite a negative mindset.”

Today, Alfie has over 3.9 million followers on Instagram. Our curiosity got the best of us, so we had to ask where he’d like to bring his career next. 

“I’m going to keep going with it and see where it takes me. I think about writing a recipe book or putting on events. I’m just going to keep creating recipes …” Let’s all manifest this for Alfie in 2024!  

Last Bites of Wisdom 

We don’t know about you, but we’ve learnt so much from our hour with Alfie. The big takeaways? Passion is key. For most creators, there are no shortcuts or secrets to becoming viral. You just have to put in the work, be yourself, enjoy it, and see where it takes you! 

Capture any aha moments? Perhaps @alfiecooks_ inspired you to give content creation a whirl, or put yourself in front of the camera? Whatever you’ve learned, remember to just keep going. 

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