Earl Larkin is the newly appointed Executive Sous Chef at Meropa Casino and Entertainment World, who grew up in Pietermaritzburg and studied Catering Management at the Durban University of Technology.

He started his career in 1993 at the Wild Coast Sun: “We operated the Bengal Brasserie under the watchful eyes of the resident chefs,” he recalled. Following this, he completed his in-service training at a hotel in Port Alfred and at a 5-star game reserve in the Eastern Cape. “An opportunity was then afforded to me to join a corporate catering unit, which I did until 1998 when I became executive chef at a Country Club in my hometown.”

In 2007, he moved to Sun City, and he worked there as a chef until 2016. “This period was one of the most rewarding learning curves of my career,” Larkin said.  It was here that he experienced his proudest cheffing moment, being part of the team in the opening of Sun City’s entertainment centre.

He left and worked at various hotels around the country before ending up in Gauteng. Larkin was retrenched in June 2020 due to Covid-19 affecting the hospitality industry, and re-joined Sun International in early 2021. “I am hopeful that being back with Sun International will open more doors and ensure a rewarding career.”

The hot kitchen is his favourite place to be. “I love to play with low and slow foods, slow roasted brisket, twice cooked pork belly, deboned leg of lamb stuffed with rosemary and garlic, gravies to accompany these foods. Recently I have also started to make my own signature aged chilli sauces which are absolutely delicious.”

Larkin is married to a Mauritian, whom he describes as “my soulmate” and the couple have two dogs which are the “apple of our eyes”. His favourite meal is his wife’s chicken biryani with all the trimmings.