Colombo, Tuesday 13th November 2019: After months of hard work, world class training and nail biting anticipation, the team that will represent Sri Lanka at the world’s most prestigious culinary competition has been selected. In the presence of Prime Minister – Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Guest of Honour - Minister John Amaratunga, Chef J.A Hasitha Chaturanga and Commis Tharusha Dilshan from The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle were titled the Gold winners of Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka. 

These culinary ambassadors will now take forth the flavours of Sri Lanka with revolutionary and authentic culinary masterpieces at the Bocuse d’Or Asia Finals. It would then be expected that they combine their skills to showcase the best of our island’s ingredients including Ceylon’s finest tea, to progress to Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France. 

Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka together with Dilmah Tea have been moulding culinary ambassadors for Sri Lanka since its inception in 2010. Established to uplift Sri Lanka’s culinary standards and create culinary ambassadors that could earn international accolades for their skill and passion, 22 teams battled it out with skill and flavour for the coveted opportunity to represent our island at the Bocuse d’Or Asia Finals. 

The distinguished panel of judges included Silver Medalist Bocuse d'Or from 1997 and Former Michelin Star Chef - Roland Debuyst as Chief Judge, Former President of Bocuse d'Or Singapore -Christopher Megel, Former Corporate Chef Hilton International - Michel Saelen and Sri Lanka’s very own Chefs Wasantha Pieris and Rasika De Soyza. 

Chef­­ M.A.D Upul Priyantha and Commis Lakindu Maduwantha from Cinnamon Grand, Colombo were awarded Silver, while Chef Sujith Srimal  and Commis Weerama Dinesh from Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo emerged Bronze Winners of Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka. This year, the winning duo representing Sri Lanka were additionally awarded with a Gift Certificate to participate in an Advance Culinary Technique Program at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, conducted by some of the most renowned chefs in the world, over a duration of 4 days. 

Special awards, such as the ‘Best Tea Inspired Dish’ was awarded to  Chef W.M.W Bandara of Anantara Peace Haven, Tangalle by Malik Fernando from Dilmah. The ‘Best Commis’ was awarded to Eranda Madusanka Bekalman from Galadari Hotel by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduate Association. 

Speaking about the competition, President of Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka, Rohan Fernandopulle had this to say; 
“This is not just a culinary competition, this is a competition to also promote Sri Lanka’s flavours and ingredients” 

Further adding to Rohan’s comments on the importance of moulding culinary ambassadors, Malik Fernando of Dilmah Tea – Principle sponsor of the event shared the following sentiments:  

“Dilmah, as part of our commitment to social justice, operates two culinary hospitality schools called ‘Empower’ for impoverished families as culinary tourism can be a huge source of upliftment for rural Sri Lanka. Therefore, on behalf of my father, and brother I encourage Rohan and his team on all their efforts of spreading the word of culinary tourism and Sri Lankan ingredients”

Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka has garnered the support of Dilmah, Sri Lanka Tourism, CHSGA, SLITHM, Sri Lankan Airlines, CDC Events, Queens Work Wear, Pragmatic, US Meat Export Federation, East-West Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Chewy Cinnamon, Nestle, Fonterra Brands, Round Island, TNL Radio, Upfield, Nehemiah Consultants, Flipit, Singer, Rougie, Laugfs, Ariane, Wine World, and Le Cordon Bleu to ensure the best of the best in the culinary spectrum represent our island nation.

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