David Loate – Casual Cook to Olympian Chef!

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Success stories like this, just warms my heart. If you didn’t already know, I have a Learning and Development background, so naturally,  I am very passionate about people development.  I really think that we as society need to make a concerted effort to share such stories instead of all the negative news going around.  These are the type of stories that the youth of today need to be exposed to – well not just the youth, this can inspire anyone and I hope that after reading this, that you too will be inspired. Let’s have a look at the journey David Loate, Sous Chef at Sun City has been on…

He started off as a casual cook in 2001 at the Sun City Hotel which is now called Soho, if you didn’t already know.  He had first hand knowledge during on-the-job training there on food preparation and how to manage a kitchen.  Having demonstrated the ability, capability and the right attitude, he progressed to the next step in his career with the opening of Santorini at the Cascades.

Under the wing of Chef Toni Troskie and General Manager, George Sakulias, David soared to new heights.  Through mentoring and motivation from Chef Toni Troskie, David was inspired to back up his passion and experience with the relevant qualifications.  This is testament that with the right attitude and support system, anything is possible! 

This was when David approached Sun City’s Learning and Development (L&D) department and shared with them his career aspirations, with an interest in basic cooking classes as part of his development.  This was realised for David when he landed in the HTA School of Culinary Art.

In 2015, a position of Sous Chef  had become available at the newly re-launched Sun Central.

“I applied and here I am, still having fun.  I jumped at the opportunity as Sun Central is one of the resort’s busiest units,” he says enthusiastically.

Having a role model in life is so important, as it creates aspirations.  David shares that it was his uncle who inspired him to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

“I fell in love with cooking from a very young age when my uncle, who used to be a chef, would cook and bake for us.  Often, I’d help him out in the kitchen and enjoyed the experience,” he says.

Casual Chef to Olympian Chef - PeanutGallery247David is still inspired by working at the vibrant Sun City.

“It is a beautiful environment, not many can claim to have such a backdrop for a workplace.  The setting just inspires creativity.  I also work with a wonderful team which helps to lighten my load.  We also get to meet and interact with people from different parts of the world,” he says.

When your passion is ignited, your purpose is fueled and this can only mean good things and in this case, David has been chosen to represent South Africa in the Culinary Olympics which will take place for the 25th time in 2020 in Stuttgart, Germany’s sixth largest city! What an honour as he will be amongst 2000 chefs from 50 nations which will be participating in the world’s largest culinary competition.  The national team will present pioneering culinary trends and vie for culinary Olympic gold medals and they will be training continuously in a series of training camps until the competition in 2020.

David is 38 years old as is from Brits in the North West Province. He is a father of two boys and his job as “dad” remains his priority  whilst preparing for the Culinary Olympics.  As excited as he is nervous, David says, “But I am definitely up for the challenge. I thrive on being challenged, the opportunity to learn new things and being given a platform to shine,” he says, having recently been part of a training camp held at Sun City.”

He is looking forward to building on the experience he has gained so far as the South African team prepares for the Culinary Olympics.

Raul de Lima, General Manager at Sun City, says: “We are enormously proud of David. To have one of our own chefs chosen to represent South Africa in the world’s most prestigious culinary competition is certainly a feather in our cap. This bears testimony to his passion and skills, as well as the commitment of the chefs who have taken the time to work with him over the years to hone his talents. We stand behind him every step of the way.”

What kind of an uncle, aunt, parent are you? Do you lead by example? There could be a “David” looking up at you as a role model – make sure that your actions are positively contagious.

I’ve often heard people say, “I’m just a casual/temp,” – allowing themselves to feel inferior.  Escape this mindset and believe in yourself, your ideas and your aspirations. You don’t have to have a fancy job title to achieve success – success is about having the right attitude and the commitment to achieve your aspirations. David Loate is an excellent example of this!

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For more information about Sun City and all the changes visit #NewSunCity connect with us on Facebook SunCitySA or follow us on Twitter SunCityResortSA and Instagram @SunCityResortSA

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