For the Award Winning New Zealand Chefs, Jaimie Stodler and Josephin Geimecke of Cup & Cake Queenstown, their association with Dilmah not only helped them explore the world of tea inspired possibilities but also provided the unique opportunity to enrich the lives of the underprivileged.

Last year, Jaimie and Josephin bagged the victory of the Real High Revolution organized by Dilmah New Zealand in partnership with New Zealand Chefs' Association when they transformed tea into an innovative recipe. Their winning menu included three dishes; all showcasing Dilmah Tea infusions. Following the competition, Dilmah Earl Grey infused Salted Caramel Cupcake was also added on to the seasonal menu of the Cup & Cake shop.

Winning the Dilmah High Tea Competition gave Jaimie and Josephin the opportunity to attend the Dilmah School of Tea- a tea program that seeks to inspire passion in tea through knowledge of the artisanal aspects of tea amongst hospitality professionals, tea aficionados and consumers. While attending the School of Tea in Sri Lanka, in February this year, the chefs also volunteered at the MJF Charitable Foundation. Their time, knowledge and kindness benefited hundreds of impoverished kids and young adults supported by the Foundation.

During their volunteering experience, Jaimie and Josephin got insights into the life changing initiatives at our MJF Centre for Dignified and Sustainable Empowerment in Moratuwa. Some of the highlights from their interactive sessions included; a baking lesson for mothers in the Women's Development Programme, preparing a delicious evening treat for the kids, taking part in dancing and drama lessons with students of the Rainbow Centre and playing volleyball with the teachers.

At the National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Disorders in Rajagiriya, the chefs cooked a healthy meal for the children and conducted a cookery demonstration for the parents and the staff on making such healthy dishes.

While in Udawalawe, in South East of Sri Lanka, Jaimie and Josephin volunteered at the community development projects such as the modern preschool - Asirimath Iskole (School of Inspiration), Mankada pottery project and Dilmah Conversation projects.

Jamie Stodler sharing her thoughts on the volunteer experience said; "The opportunity to meet and hang out with these children was amazing, a life changing experience that I know both Josie and I felt. For that I cannot even begin to thank you for organising this, or for allowing us to be a part of the MJF Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Centre & the School of Inspiration. All of the kids we so great! Being a mom it's hard to be away from your child, but being with these kids was such a great consolation. The chance to meet and work with all of the people within MJF Foundation and the Dilmah School of Tea was life changing. Sri Lanka is an absolute diamond. The people, the scenery, and the culture was totally unique to anything I have experienced, and watching what Dilmah, and specifically Merrill and Dilhan have created is so inspiring. It's amazing what you can achieve with an awesome team to back you. As a business owner I am forever changed."

Apart from their inspirational volunteer work here in Sri Lanka, they also served Valentine's Day on a cake platter at the t-Lounge by Dilmah! Served with love was their award winning gourmet Chocolate Cake stuffed with an Earl Grey tea-infused salted caramel, topped with an Earl Grey tea-infused buttercream, garnished with shortbread cookie crumbs, Earl Grey Tea salted caramel drizzle, handmade chocolate decoration and handmade fondant rose. This was paired with Dilmah's Galle District OP.Last but not least was their Rose with French Vanilla tea-infused Cake Pops dipped in White Coverture Chocolate, dusted with raspberry powder, shortbread cookie crumbs and garnished with a handmade fondant heart. It was paired with Dilmah's Natural Rosehip with Hibiscus.

Their time in Sri Lanka wasn't just a passionate learning experience for both the chefs and the Dilmah team and MJF Foundation, it was also a celebration of love, compassion and humanity.

Visit below sites for more information

MJF Charitable Foundation - www.mjffoundation.org
Dilmah Conservation - www.dilmahconservation.org
Dilmah School of Tea - www.schooloftea.org

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These images are copyright protected and can only be used for Dilmah articles with due credit given.

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