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Meet the Creative Chef At Cafe Bucke, Shem Levy
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Meet the Creative Chef At Cafe Bucke, Shem Levy

Picture of Deborah Moher
Updated: 14 November 2016
In less than a year the flavorful experience of Cafe Bucke has made a serious impression across Tel Aviv and beyond. This off-beat, homey Cafe brings us heavenly food that is fresh, colorful and exquisitely crafted by its charismatic chef, Shem Levy. The Culture Trip sat down with Shem to find out more.

TCT: What would your last meal on earth be?

It took me a long while thinking about the answer to this question, but actually it wouldn’t really matter what I was eating, rather it would matter who I was eating the meal with. Food connects and unites people and complements the meal. So I would want to eat the meal with all the people in this world that I love. If you asked me what i’d want to eat then it would be Harira soup with extra lemon on the side. After that I’d be able to sit and relax.

TCT: If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?

First of all, I don’t consider myself a chef. To be called a chef you have to go through many years of culinary experience and in my opinion I’m still at the start of my career. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of experience to acquire. However if i wasn’t in this position now I’d probably be an architect or I’d be studying the brain and the subconscious.

TCT: Besides from Bucke, What is your favorite restaurant?

In Jerusalem there is a restaurant called Cielo where they make one of the most delicious fish soups I’ve ever tasted. Otherwise I prefer the ‘restaurant’ of my parents, home, where they cook the most amazing food.

TCT: What advice would you give your younger self?

I think the best way to learn and progress in this career is to work for a number of restaurants for as long as possible, and to choose restaurants that interest you in terms of raw materials, flavors and techniques. Another piece of advice would be to listen to everything, practice at home and eat somewhere new each week, whether it be a restaurant or market stall. When we taste new flavors, new combinations we gain more inspiration in our minds.

TCT: What’s next?

To continue, and to be good to people. To be happy and to love.

TCT: How would you describe the food in Bucke in 80 characters?

Fresh, healthy food for everyone to have the best experience possible. Everything is open and transparent for everyone to see, including the tomatoes that come in through our doors in the morning.

Cafe Bucke, Ehad Ha’am 91, Tel Aviv