Aitken Spence chef strikes ‘Gold’

By Sanjeevi Jayasuriya
Dimuthu Kumarasinghe (25) of Triton Hotel won the gold medal for the ‘dress the cake competion’ at the annual Singapore Food Asia fair which was held last month. Kumarasinghe won the gold under the Culinary Challenge category.

Triton Hotel is owned and managed by the Aitken Spence Group. Aitken Spence chairman Prema Cooray said that to his knowledge that this was the first time that a Sri Lankan had won a gold in such an international event.

"I have gone through the records since 1992, but I have yet to come across the name of a Sri Lankan who had won a gold in such an event," he said.

Cooray further said that this world class achievement is a boost to the Sri Lankan hospitality industry. "Kumarasinghe has brought pride and glory to our motherland", he said. Cooray also said that a man of Kumarasinghe’s calibre would be snapped up by any international hotel.

This is a fine example to the big brands of world class recognition, that given the opportunity what Sri Lanka could do, Cooray said. This could be considered as a milestone in the country’s cuisine industry, he said. With the right combination of men and machines Sri Lanka could rise to any occasion, he added.

Speaking at this occasion, Kumarasinghe said that recognition of this nature will do good to his career in the long run and he expects to open up an arts school which is a field he is conversant. "I have been in this field for the past ten years and would contribute my share in enriching Aitken Spence before starting my own arts school", he said. He thanked all those who supported him to achieve this landmark in his career. Meanwhile, a press release issued in this connection says:

"The Food & Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge is regarded as one of the most prestigious culinary competitions in the world today. This attracts the best chefs from around the world. As in the past, this year too, chefs from leading hotel chains such as Hiltons, Hyatts, Conrads, Shangri-Las and Sheratons participated in the competition. A total of twenty three countries participated in the individual and team events.

This was the thirteenth Food and Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge Competition held in Singapore. Dimuthu Kumarasinghe of Triton Hotel, a hotel owned and managed by Aitken Spence, won the gold medal for the ‘Dress the Cake Competition". In addition to the gold medal he won a number of other medals too. The complete list of medals won by Kumarasinghe is as follows;

Dress the Cake Competition - Gold Medal, Artistic Pastry Show Piece - Silver Medal, Petite Fours - Bronze Medal and Vegetable Carving - Bronze Medal.

Winning all above medals gave Kumarasinghe the highest aggregate in the Pastry Chef category which enabled him to clinch the Best Pastry Chef award too. This is the very first time that a Sri lankan has ever won a gold medal in the competition, and also the first time that an award for the best overall performance in any category has been won by a Sri Lankan.

Kumarasinghe has, in the past, won many awards, in regional and international competitions. Chatura Wimalasuriya of Neptune Hotel, also owned and managed by Aitken Spence who participated in the above competition, also won a bronze medal in Petite Fours."