Max Levy, a New Orleans native, learned to make gumbo from his grandfather. At the age of 12, Levy talked his way into a professional kitchen and has never left.
While earning his B.A. in Colorado he worked at the esteemed Village in Breckenridge and later gained his first sushi bar experience. He attended ICC in 2001 and after stints on an eel farm and as a tuna handler, Max stormed the sushi kitchens of New York. As the only non-Japanese sushi chef at Sushi Yasuda, he earned three stars from The New York Times.
In 2009, after moving to Beijing, he opened Apothecary Cocktails & Dining, bringing Creole-tinged fare to China. From 2009 to 2011, and again in 2013, he was Time Out Beijing’s Chef of the Year while heading up the kitchen at Bei. Well-regarded for his attention to detail and impeccable food, Max currently owns Okra 1949, a sushi and cocktail bar and Traitor Zhou’s Nonkosher Delicatessen in Beijing’s Sanlitun District.
This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.