Tripin 2017 - 2018 - page 88

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I’ve been visiting Sri Lanka for the past 10 years - coming here from
Britain was like Dorothy leaving Kansas and seeing life in technicolor
for the first time. Being married to a Colombo girl has now made the
island my second home, where I’m happily immersed in rich culture,
delicious cuisine, and sense of discovery at every turn.
In my role as Executive Chef at the Galle Face Hotel, Sri Lanka’s
legendary Grand-Dame hotel, I oversee a brigade of 100 chefs spread
across a collection of distinct restaurants, bars, and grand banqueting
halls. Being involved in a variety of cuisines and offerings whilst
traveling extensively around the country meeting growers, farmers,
and producers has given me a new perspective on cooking and I’ve
developed a passion and interest for the future of food in my own
corner of the globe. In an age where information is instantly shared
throughout communities across the world, there is a strong global
movement amongst the new generation of chefs and food-producing
artisans who are looking more closely than ever at the ethics and
values of working with honest wholesome produce, food nutrition,
the challenges of feeding the world’s growing population, and
preserving cultural identity. Sri Lanka has managed to preserve its
culture and food traditions perfectly, where any traveler will witness
unique and quirky pieces of the country’s soul throughout their visit.
The famous stilt fishermen of Galle, loud and entertaining kottu roti
makers who have spread island-wide, and the rustic fish stands with
their thick wooden blocks and astonishing filleting knives that never
cease to amaze.
The French often use the word terroir to describe an exact natural
environment or region, and the characteristics of a particular taste
of food or wine, depending on where it’s produced. Sri Lanka with
its many elevations, climates, and varying terrains certainly punches
above its weight in variety of natural produce, further enhanced with
a melting pot of cultures, historic influences, and its own indigenous
bounty of spices and palette of flavours, many unique to the island.
In rural areas, everything is still made from scratch and the older
WORDS BY CHEF ADAM GAUNT-EVANS
Cooking
in Sri Lanka
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