It’s the age of social media— a platform unlike any other, “revolutionary” at best. With said platform comes many things: for one, you’re able to spot undeniable talent worldwide, within seconds on cutting edge devices. Enter Elvis David, chef at the highly acclaimed Ladera. Elvis’ culinary skills can hardly go unnoticed, for his talent speaks volumes.
We reached out to the young chef, who eagerly shared a bit about himself—read our interview below; get to know this amiable spirit.
YO! Let’s get acquainted! Tell us a bit about yourself.
S.D: My name is ElvisDavid and I am 21 years old. I’m from the community of Choiseul; attended the Rivere Doree Primary School and Choiseul Secondary School. I graduated with eight ones from CXC and moved to Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and Studied Food and Beverage Operations for two years to earn my associates degree. I took part in various cooking challenges and culinary related activities. Upon completion, I set out on an independent life changing journey!
YO! Landing the title of “chef” at such a young age is quite an accomplishment. Were you “lucky” to get this position at Ladera?
S.D: Not particularly. I think the universe simply responds to us in the manner which we think and act. The way we take on a situation, determines the outcome based on the conditions. During my interview with the Ladera executives, and at any interview for that matter, I’m usually extremely nervous; so nervous that my hands always go numb. But at the same time, I’m very excited because I get to talk about something that I genuinely love and have a passion for. And so, I believe that it is this manifestation of excitement which I display that has allowed me to obtain such an accomplishment.
YO! When did you realize that cooking for you was a skill and something you wanted to pursue professionally?
S.D: I have been obsessed with food from a young age (I’d guess 10 years old); from mixing mango and ketchup, to eating golden apple with grenadine syrup. I continued to high school and studied food sciences, all the while preparing items for small functions. However, I realized something along the way, the food has a voice. The chemical reactions with heat, the deterioration through acid, the enlargement of a floury dough due to yeast, the sounds of sizzling vegetables in a wok. I could connect with it all. As a result, I grew a love for the art. And consequently, I am pursuing more knowledge in this discipline, passing on what I’ve learned to my team members and fellow countrymen, all the while assessing the world’s current historic gastronomical trajectory by travelling to other countries to learn their cooking styles and the culture.
YO! Did you come from a line of cooks?
S.D: Not particularly. But I came from a mom who cooked the best rice and beans you’ll ever eat. I came from a grandmother whose roasted chicken you can’t compare. I came from an uncle whosemanicou always had extra coconut milk in it, from an aunt whose fried fish was never too dry that you’d have to get another piece; I came from an aunt whose porridge and cocoa tea were perfectly sweetened. See I came from a simple family, all of whom had their own awesome dishes. They had love, and a love for cooking is not an imaginary. Love in my opinion, is knowledge and understanding that can be shaped in such a way that it touches you. If you know how to cook, if you understand how to cook, you can shape it into the food that you cook, and this food can touch the person who eats it. In a simple bite you, you can be sent back to a moment in timeyou’d forgotten.
YO! Which local foods do you enjoy cooking most?
S.D: Well I really like making bouillon! But with crayfish that is. It’s a pity that it’s so hard to find crayfish these days but I love it because it’s something I grew up eating. I also like making dumplings with milk; it may sound simple, but it tastes beyond anything you’ll come across.
YO! What is your greatest aspiration—why?
S.D: Hmmm I have a vision to have my own channel, camera crew and travel the world filming the culture and cuisines of various countries; a job much like Anthony Bourdain’s. I’m not particularly sure how I’ll achieve it, but I’m sure the universe is watching. Everything will fall into place on its own accord.
YO! During our talk,you mentioned that you speak Basic Japanese and Intermediate French. Do you have a love for various cultures? Does it inspire some of your creations?
S.D: Yes it does. When formulating new recipes it’s crucial to consider culture. Ofcourse there are times when a chef may fall in love with two or more cultures and wishes to combine these two cuisines, hence this gives us fusion cuisine. It gets very interesting with fusion cuisine because you get to take the jerk from Jamaica and add it to the saltfish from Saint Lucia, to give you, jerk saltfish with green figs. This is inspiring because, I’m allowed to be innovative and can discover flavour profiles which have not been registered by other chefs.
YO! What do you enjoy most about cooking?
S.D: There’s always something new happening, and you can only find something new, if, you’re looking for something new. When learning, you get to develop a relationship with work associates and this in turn fortifies your sense of belongingness and vibrational frequency. I enjoy the entirety of cooking and its relatable operational concepts.