Young Bay chef excels at top culinary school

A YOUNG Port Elizabeth chef surprised his mentors at one of South Africa’s best culinary schools when he received a near- perfect score for the first half of his practical year.

Joshua Levack, 21, scored 99% at Cape Town’s Silwood School of Cookery during his third year.

His mark is considered the best in the school’s history.

Levack, who plans on emulating Gordon Ramsay’s career, has already cooked for movie stars Orlando Bloom and Charlize Theron.

Despite a bright future, Levack still misses home. “Port Elizabeth will always remain home, especially Gelvandale,” he said.

Levack moved to Cape Town two years ago to pursue his culinary dream.

He learnt how to cook from his grandfather.

“I learnt most of the cooking basics from him. The first thing I made unassisted was roast potatoes.”

Since then he has almost perfected his talent.

“But I still can’t make potatoes as good as my grandfather,” he said.

Levack is now learning from international renowned chef and proprietor of Cape Town’s 95 Keerom and Carne, Giorgio Nava.

He said the school and Nava provided him with a platform to excel.

“The school has a huge network of restaurants and through them I received the opportunity for exposure.”

He received the near perfect score while working at 95 Keerom.

Nava then offered him a permanent position as a junior sous chef at Carne.

Still busy with his third and final year, Levack said the culinary degree is not just about cooking.

“As you progress you are required to take responsibility for more than just meals. One is expected to organise everything from the costing of meals to the flower designs on the table.”

He said the highlight of his career so far was working under South Africa’s 2012 Chef of the Year, Luke Dale Roberts.

“I have had incredible experiences within the industry.”

Roberts runs The Test Kitchen in Cape Town.

Levack cooked for Bloom and Theron while working there last year.

“I love what I do. It has always been my passion. Even though I moved to Cape Town for the opportunities I still miss home.”

Levack said working a nine-hour shift six days a week was exhausting.

“But Port Elizabeth never fades from my mind. Home is and always will be where my heart is,” he said.

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