Lanka vows to sweep the board at next Culinary Olympics - Dimuthu

Sri Lanka come Second this year


By Harischandra Gunaratna

Sri Lanka’s best prospect in the world culinary stage, Dimuthu Kumarasinghe at a felicitation ceremony held to honour the winners at the World Culinary Olympics vowed that Sri Lanka would emerge the winner at the next Culinary Olympics in 2016 and said that the country hopes to compete with a contingent of around 60-70 chefs.

He said that Team Sri Lanka won the second place at this years competition winning 15 golds.

Kumarasinghe has the distinction of winning the highest number of golds at both World Culinary Olympics and the Culinary World Cup with a tally of 12 medals.

"Our boys are highly talented and we acheived this goal with minimum facilities," he said adding that it was the Waters Edge that provided them the facilities to prepare as a team before they left for Frankfurt for the big competition.

"Lack of a training kitchen was a big drawback for us and before the next international competition we need to sort out this issue" the culinary expert said.

Kumarasinghe said that the Team Sri Lanka included boys from the remotest areas of the country and they had an abundance of talent. Over the years they honed their skills under leading Chefs in the country and were capable of beating some of the best in the world.

A modest Kumarasinghe, a senior manager of Aitken Spence Hotels Ltd and a native of Navuttuduwa in Matugama said that he entered the field of culinary art as a young lad by accident and is proud to have reached the top due to dint of hard work and dedication.

"Aitken Spence Hotels which spends a great deal of money and energy on Human Resource Development saw the potential I had, provided me with all the encouragement and facilities to reach higher standards and I didn’t disappoint them," he said.

The Senior Chef said that if Sri Lankan Chefs were provided with more facilities they certainly could reach greater heights in Culinary Art.

Some of the Sri Lankan Chefs were employed by leading international chains and they had proved their mettle in those countries. There were a few who had earned a name for themselves and were sought after by connoisseurs of delightful dishes and they had made Sri Lanka proud, he added.

Chairman of the Chefs Guild of Lanka Gerard Mendis, the livewire behind the success of the Team Sri Lanka said that the Lankan team spent sleepless nights and had to undergo many hardships before emerging number two in the world and added that the Sri Lankans received immense support from all quarters in Frankfurt be it the airport staff, shopkeepers or the public and it was tremendous.

The Guild had to spend a total of Rs 18 million for the competition and there were a number of sponsors who rallied round and supported Team Sri Lanka, he added.

Mendis, a seasoned campaigner in the realm of chefs said that the Sri Lankan Airlines cabin crew and the staff should be commended for the assistance provided at the crucial hour. "We found none of the pieces of delicate decorations and the wedding cake trellis work were broken after arriving in Frankfurt as the national carrier had gone out of the way and taken care of them. It was a great relief for the competitors who had to be really mentally strong to take part in the tough competition, Mendis said.

There were many Germans who supported Sri Lanka and they knew much about the talented Team Sri Lanka and it boosted the morale of the team, he added.


Keheliya promises a traning kitchen for Chefs

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, himself a hotelier,had promised a fully fledged training kitchen for Team Sri Lanka , on a request made by Chef Gerard Mendis.

The Minister had asked Mendis to provide the requirement details of the training kitchen and that he would make their dream come a reality, the Chairman of the Chefs Guild of Lanka said.

Mendis said that Rambukwella who had his initial training at the Ceylon Hotel School completed his studies in hoteliering in Salzburg , Austria. He was an excellent Chef before taking to politics and had his inservice trainng in a few hotels in Sri Lanka including Queen’s Hotel, Kandy.

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