Sri Lanka’s premier beach resort Heritance Ahungalla emerged as the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka after competing against both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels at the 15th Culinary Art Competition held from 2 to 5 August. Heritance Hotels dominated the competition with Heritance Kandalama being adjudged the first runner up in the overall competition. Organised by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka, the culinary competition is part of the industry’s largest food and trade exhibition. Maintaining its reputation for offering the best cuisine in the country, Aitken Spence Hotels won an unprecedented 150 medals including the prestigious award for the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka. There were 25 categories for the medals and the Aitken Spence medal tally displayed the sheer dominance the resort chain’s chefs had over its competitors in the field. World acclaimed Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe – Group Skills Development Chef, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels who led the team along with Chef Lalith Gunesekera – Consultant Chef, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements and Chef Kasun Premachandra, Executive Chef, Heritance Ahungalla whose continuous training and motivation guided the participants, were jubilant along with the teams from Aitken Spence Hotels who collectively won 16 special awards out of a total of 29 special awards.
The special awards included the following: Most Outstanding Chef – Chef Y.K.P. De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Pastry Chef – Chef W.M.J.A. Bandara, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice – Chef L.H.S.N.R. De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Bartender Mixologist – H.D.S.N. Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Beer Cocktail – H.D.S.N. Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Nescafe Creative Coffee – S.P.S. Fernando, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Sunquick Mocktail – H.D.S.N. Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Wedding Cake Structure – Chef S.G. Wijesundera – Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice Hot Cooking Live – Chef L.H.S.N.R. De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Plated Appetiser – Chef T.M.P. Peiris, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Sri Lankan Meal – Chef Krishna Kumar and Chef C.J. Kumarasinghe, Heritance Kandalama, Best Arrack Cocktail – N.H. Jayasinghe, Hilltop Hotel, Best Regional Hotel – Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Hotel – Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Culinary Team 1st Runner – Heritance Kandalama and the prestigious Most Outstanding Culinary Team – Heritance Ahungalla. “I am tremendously proud of the achievements of our team, walking away with 150 medals from a competition such as this is a tremendous achievement. We constantly strive to be the best and are firm believers of ensuring that our future generation is provided with the knowledge required to take on the baton when required. Winning accolades such as this year after year reaffirms our stance on the sustainable development of our future generations,” said Gemunu Goonewardene, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Aitken Spence Hotels. The Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka from their modest beginnings in 1988 has emerged as the premier professional body of culinary professionals in the hospitality trade. A platform for recognizing true culinary talents, the competition symbolises the pinnacle of excellence as hundreds of practitioners in the food and beverage industry in the country gathers to prove their mettle. “Aitken Spence Hotels cater to a diverse market segment and are famed for its exquisite food and culinary art. Over a period of time the reputation gained in this specialisation has helped to position the chain of hotels as among the best in the region. We recognise that our greatest asset is our staff at all levels who are loyal, dedicated and committed and work together as one team assisting and encouraging each other to be the best,” said Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels. Aitken Spence Hotels is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives with a portfolio of hotels in multiple locations in India and Oman. Its range of international award-wining properties, management and culinary expertise and environmental commitment has set industry benchmarks both domestically and internationally.