Chef Indika’s culinary skills
by Zanita Careem
Located in the hills of Kandy is the Grand Kandyan hotel with Tusitha Samaraweera as the GM. Noted as a five star hotel in Kandy, the staff is known for always giving the extra mile to personalise and upgrade the customer experience. We talk to Indika Ekanayake,the executive chef who makes the hotel special with his delectable cuisine .
What makes the Grand Kandyan stand out from other hotels.
Our five star luxury hotel sets the tone showing the city of Kandy in all its glory with different panoramic views. It is a luxury property that ensure that the guests stay in comfortable ambience. The staff is known for always giving the extra mile of service to thier customers.
Having worked for some of the most prestigious hotels in Sri Lanka, starting from Galle Face, Taj Samudra Hotel and many international and prestigious hotels like Sheraton Sofital and Metropolitan Hot els in Dubai to Safir international hotel and IHG Crown Prince Plaza in Kuwait, He worked in Egypt for a Beach Hotel and gained experience Chef Indika is well known for his culinary skills and his charming persona. He believes that hard work and dedication throughout his career have been the mantra for all his success, he has achieved. The Hotel School in Mount Lavinia gave him a substantive start to his culinary career. He worked in many leading positions abroad earning fame medals and awards.
He has hosted many dinners for dignitaries here and abroad. He said . Chefs are like global ambassadors of their respective cultures. This is reflected during those state dinners.
Sourcing fresh local ingredients and cooking tasty cuisine have been the real mantra of Chef. Indika Cooking with the team in the kitchen give me immense pleasure he pointed out.
Explaining about his e passion for cooking. ” I am thrilled from the excellent feedback from the customers gives me the motivation and makes me spend more time in the kitchen.
Chef Indika, the executive chef at the Grand Kandyan, has a mission to give the best to their clientèle.
What is your opinion at the Grand Kandyan culinary experience? Yes I do love to dish out many varieties of cuisine I have been working here for many years now. The GM and my kitchen team are very cooperative. What I noticed about Grand Kandyan Hotel he said that people enjoy our meals. We have a grand ballroom to hold weddin
g, parties, meetings and all kinds of celebrations and we cater to
all the customer needs.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan is to improve and give the best to our clients. My forte is to create irresistible cuisines and offers to keep our guests to come to make sure we are delivering the best experience in town.
Who are the celebrities you catered and any memorable experiences?
There are many, kings, queens sheiks, Bollywood celebrities and many more VIPs. They all have written the best reviews about my food.
Your passion other than cooking?
I love to travel, gardening and photography I love to take photos of nature, wild life and people and also try out new recipes
What do you think Sri Lanka’s. prospects as a culinary destination.?
The Sri Lankan culinary scenario has changed drastically and is constantly evolving. The demand for local cuisine is growing as today’s local customers are health conscious and the demand for organic food is high.The demand for international cuisines like fusion food,Japanese and Indian food are growing as today’s customers are well travelled and they been exposed to the global food trends.
It doesn’t take long to realise, there is something different about chef Indika.
He has a restraint, a discipline and a control to his mannerisms, He has certainly created a benchmark at the Grand Kandyan Hotel in the Hills.
Rupert Murdoch set to marry for fifth time at 92
BBC reported that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has announced his engagement to his partner Ann Lesley Smith, a former police chaplain.
Murdoch, 92, and Smith, 66, met in September at an event at his vineyard in California.
The Businessman told the New York Post,one of his own publications: “I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
He split with fourth wife Jerry Hall last year.
Children’s happiness with gardening
By Arjuna Hulugalle
On October 7th 2022, Homagama Subarathi Maha Vidyalaya in Godagama Homagama commenced their Home Garden Program, with the support of Nest, a Community based Mental Health organisation. The objective was to reduce the short fall of food in the diet of the children and to deal with malnutrition in the school population. Both the teachers dealing with Agriculture and Domestic Science have been involved in the initiative.
The outcome of the programme has many positive developments. Both the teaching staff and the children have shown great enthusiasm. Children’s happiness with gardening became evident. The students began to understand the importance of eating organic vegetables and the role of vitamins and minerals in their diet. Open air exercise which gardening brings with it has added to better health. The students have also realized that our country does not have to worry about hunger and malnourishment, if one uses available resources.
The first stage of the Subarathi Maha Vidyalaya program is to create a model garden in the school premises. Even classrooms are encouraged to be used for accommodating “grow bags” with various types of yams.The second stage of the programme is to make model gardens in the homes of 100 senior students with special interest in agriculture. The parents of the students are also drawn into this program.The third stage is for the 100 seniors to concentrate on the balance 2500 students and motivate them to set up model gardens in their homes.
The Model Home Garden in School
The School garden has a representative selection of vegetables but is concentrating on Dambala, Cabbage, Long beans of two varieties, Turnips, Occra and KankunA spice garden is being developed with three varieties of chillies, two varieties of kochchi, mint, celery and pepper.
Yams are being grown in “grow bags” inside cClass rooms. The varieties propagated are Kiri Ala and Bathala.Trees grown in the school premises are Delum, two varieties of Nelli and Murunga.
Model Home gardens of the selected 100 students
These are being trained for their tasks of developing their own model home gardens and also to motivate the other 2500 students of the school and set up Home Gardens in their own homes.Intensive training sessions have been conducted starting with Dr Lionel Weerkoon, a world renowned authority on home gardens and Dr Anuruddha Padeniya who spoke on the value of organic agriculture.
The students were given packets of seeds of bitter gourd, pumpkin, kankun, Occra, long beans, dambala, green chillies and beans. Those students who have space in their homes, were also given trees and plants to be planted in their own home gardens. The saplings included Murunga, Jack, Nelli, Del, Delum, Avocado, Orange and Divul.
The Role of the Parents and the past students
The Home Garden program is supported by the Parents and past students and soon will interact more with the community at large. Already, they have contributed towards a sprinkler system for the School Garden.In the long term the Home Garden program can grow into market gardening in the community.
Dance Epicure first Dinner Dance Theatre
A captivating evening of dinner and dance – Dance Epicure by ‘With My Feet’ brings UK champion dancers and the best of Sri Lankan talent to the same stage Dance Epicure, Sri Lanka’s very first Dinner Dance Theatre concept produced by With My Feet is all set to entertain and delight on the 2nd of April at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. The vision and brainchild of the legendary Naomi Rajaratnam, the uniquely curated evening of dance and gastronomy produced by the Colombo Dance Theatre will feature a roster of extraordinary international and local dancers paired with a night of culinary delight.
The latest initiative by Naomi, the Colombo Dance Theatre comprises of a company of elite international and local dancers woven firmly together by masterful choreography and a great love for dance. Dance Epicure will not only be the Theatre’s inaugural performance, but also the first of its kind in Sri Lanka; where artfully choreographed dance segments will be performed between a four-course sit-down menu. The highly anticipated event will feature the likes of world-renowned dancers – namely five-time undefeated UK National Latin American Champions Gunnar Gunnarsson and Marika Doshoris, as well as the formidable Nauris Kalva and Manuja Hughes, Blackpool Open Smooth Champions – sharing the stage with the best Sri Lankan dancers from Naomi’s own dance company With My Feet.
Naomi’s desire to uplift dancers from far-flung rural areas in Sri Lanka by providing them with the opportunities and spotlight they deserve has always been encapsulated in her dance showcases. It is with this vision in mind that Dance Epicure will also feature a heart-warming performance by the children of the Warehouse Project; an urban community solution in partnership with the Sri Narada Foundation. Additionally, as with all of Naomi’s shows, part of the proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will go towards the Dev Siri Sevana Elders Home in Welisara.
Commenting on the upcoming event, Naomi Rajaratnam said, “I am so honoured that some of the UK’s leading dancers have chosen to collaborate with us, and I am equally thrilled to be able to showcase the best of our Sri Lankan talent on the same platform.”
“The concept of a Dinner Dance Theatre has been on my mind for the longest time and I couldn’t think of a better moment to finally turn this dream into a reality,” she added. “The calibre of these world-renowned dancers paired with the best of With My Feet dancers is the perfect opportunity to offer a something truly unique to our Sri Lankan audience.”
The principal partners of Dance Epicure are Standard Chartered Bank Priority, Maliban Biscuit Manufactories, John Keells Properties, Sri Lankan Airlines, Shangri-La Colombo, Wijeya Newspapers and Capital Maharaja Group.
Tickets for Dance Epicure go on sale on Saturday the 11 th of March 2023 and can be purchased online at https://withmyfeet.com/. With My Feet social media pages will soon be updated with where tickets can be purchased offline.
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