Champion chef Dimuthu is an inspiration

By Wasantha Siriwardena
A two hours drive from Colombo, we reached the Heritance, Ahungalle at 2.30 pm. We were greeted by Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe who took us straight to the buffet table for lunch. After enjoying the delicious food, we were served an Ice Cream Sandwich as the dessert. It was one of Dimuthu’s innovations with three layers of Ice Cream – Strawberry, Vanila and Chocolate which melted our thirst and tiredness.
Dimuthu is the Group Skills Development Chef of the Aitken Spence Hotel Chain. He is stationed at the Heritance Hotel, Ahungalle, who became the overall champions of the Culinary Art 2011Competition, held recently at the BMICH.

Food Olympics -2004, held in Germany was the crowning days of his career where he won five Gold medals from four entries. No one has so far achieved such a feat in the history of the Food Olympics.
After enjoying his delicious Ice Cream Sandwich, he took us into his office room located on the ground floor, decorated with all colors of medals he won, and relevant certificates and photographs. Seated on his official chair he started revealing his success story.
Having begun his career as a trainee cook, in 1989 as a teenager, Dimuthu Kumarasinghe is now a world renowned culinary artiste.
“I was just 17 years when I started my career as a trainee cook at the Riverina Hotel, Beruwela just after my O/L exams. Haven’t been to any institution to study the basics I was lucky enough to get the opportunity and learnt my basics while on the job.”
Hailing from Matugama, in the Kalutara District, Dimuthu studied at the Nawathuduwa Maha Vidyalaya in his home town.

“I joined Ceysands Hotel, Bentota in 1990 as a cook and later in 1991 continued my career as a Demi Chef de Partie at Grand Oriental Hotel, (GOH) Colombo.”
“While at GOH, we won two silver medals at the Chef Guild Competition held in Colombo. My artistic skills helped me a lot with my success.”
“The Hilton Hotel, Colombo spotted my talents and offered me the post of Kitchen Artiste, while there I won the most outstanding kitchen artiste Award with two golds and one silver in the Chef Guild held in 1993.
I left for Bahrain in 1993 and served as Pastry artists for 8 years at the Regency Intercontinental.
On return to the island, joined Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance & Resorts.”

In the current position, he handles the skills development of all the cooks of the group, which has 21 hotels including ones overseas and training chefs for culinary art competitions both locally and internationally.
“At the Food Olympics in 2004 in Germany, I won golds for Patisserie Dessert Platter, Artistic Cold Food Show Piece, Artistic Pastry Show Piece, and won two golds with distinctions for Artistic Pastry Show Piece.”
Apart from winning five golds in Food Olympics in Germany, he won 4 golds at the Culinary World Cup held in Luxembourg in 2006. There he won golds for Pastry Showpieces in four categories.
It’s an endless list if one sits to count his medals and awards but it must not be ignored how during his tenure with the Regency Intercontinental in Bahrain. Dimuthu represented his wish to showcase Bahrain at the prestigious International Salon Culinaire held at Darling Harbour in Sydney Australia.
Dimuthu also participated in Food Olympics in 2008 as Culinary Art Coach for the Team Ontario Canada who won gold, silver and a bronze.

Aitken Spence Group is publishing a 250 page book on Dimuthu’s autobiography. The Book Launch is scheduled for today at the Heritance, Hotel, Ahungalle, in the presence of Australian and Sri Lankan cricket teams who are in Galle for the Test Match.

Speaking on the book the General Manager of Heritance Ahungalle, Mr. Rifan Rasin told us “This book is focussing the international market and to inspire another person who as a Sri Lankan, proud of his bearings and small beginnings Dimuthu should be commended for his simplicity and down to earth attitude as much as his generous gesture of wanting to share his glory with all the younger generation who are all aspiring to walk in his path. They would have also learnt from Dimuthu’s display that it takes a lot of sacrifice and hard work to achieve what Dimuthu has acquired for himself with, apart from loads of inborn talent.”
We are very proud of him and it’s a priviledge to have Dimuthu and also the senior chef Lalith Gunasekera in our team. Both of them have created new born talents in the industry. Their 100% commitment to this field balancing with their family affairs is amazing” he said.
Dimuthu also showed his gratitude towards his General Manager for the support and encouragements given by him. “Rifan does his best to promote our work to the international market tirelessly and we are lucky to have him as our manager.”

Veteran Chef Lalith Gunasekera who has 30 years of experience behind him said that “The support given by the General Manager, Rifan is tremendous; his motivation has carried us an extra mile over others.”
Incidentally, Heritance Hotel, Ahungalle won 59 medals including 21 golds to become overall champions of the Culinary Art 2011, held recently at the BMICH.
Their sister hotel, Heritance Kandalama also coached by Dimuthu won 53 medals in the competition.


Citrus Aqua offers exciting professional water based recreational activities in Sri Lanka

The Subsidiary of Citrus Leisure is out to set a new industry standard by creating a high-value niche tourism opportunity in the country

Being a brand with a vision to be positioned as the ultimate hospitality trademark in Sri Lanka, Citrus Leisure Plc has, within a very short period of time, become a powerhouse in the leisure industry with still more ambitious plans to build and manage a chain of distinctive resorts - a chain benchmarked against the most coveted in the world and built to exploit the beautiful and picturesque waterfront landscapes of Sri Lanka.
It is with that vision in mind that Citrus Leisure PLC designed and developed, and today launched its subsidiary Citrus Aqua – which will single mindedly focus on providing professional water based recreational activities for tourists.
Citrus Aqua which will specialise in creating custom tailored activities to suit individual needs, taking into account the diversity that is expected, the time dedicated to the activity, and the cost. The Company will target both local and foreign tourists who take special interest in such activities by giving them a professional service that the country will be renowned for. Sri Lanka is blessed with an abundance of estuaries, lagoons, rivers, streams, natural lakes and man-made reservoirs, and 1,340 km of coastline and an unexploited ocean extending from the Equator to the South Pole. According to the experts behind the initiative, this makes our island paradise second to none when it comes to water based tourism.
The team at Citrus Aqua will be spearheaded by professional experts with a thorough knowledge of regional waters and international best practices: Suresh de Mel, the Managing Director of Lanka Fishing Flies, who arguably produces the world’s best quality fishing flies, has been dominating the global fly fishing industry for the past 30-years. Damith Wickramasinghe, a veteran angler who has fished in and around Sri Lanka for 40-years, is one who considers water to be his second home. Howard Martenstyn, a passionate conservationist and new-generation aqua recreation and outdoor personality, specialises in dolphin and whale watching and engages in research.
The Company, which was launched recently in Bolgoda Lake, is now geared to offer, carefully crafted packages to suit tourists with varied interests, with the resources of well trained staff and using state of the art equipment on par with international safety standards. Prema Cooray, the Chairman of Citrus Leisure Plc said “As believers of innovation, Citrus Leisure is proud to launch Citrus Aqua and I am confident that this will be one of the many ‘firsts’ our Company will achieve on the path to seeing our vision become reality. Through this initiative we hope to attract the attention of high spending and serious travelers around the world – luring them to visit Sri Lanka, adding unparalleled value to Sri Lankan Tourism.”
Suresh de Mel, Managing Director of Citrus Aqua further added that, “I’m so pleased to be part of a team who passionately believes in Sri Lanka’s immense potential for professional water based recreation. Our stance is to make Sri Lanka proud and we hope to actively promote good practices in responsible tourism on a global stage by participating in world tourist fairs and promoting these activities online via www.citrusaqua.com”.
Citrus Leisure Plc entered the tourism industry with a clear vision, to present the best of Sri Lankan hospitality to the world and the Company today owns 3 properties - Citrus Hikkaduwa (50 roomed property presently under refurbishment and expansion to 90 rooms) whilst also being in the process of finalising the construction of 2 more strategic coastal properties, namely Citrus Waskaduwa and Citrus Kalpitiya (both 150 roomed luxury resorts; to be completed in December 2012).Founded on creating “happiness moments” in the holiday maker’s stay in Sri Lanka, Citrus is focused on delighting their guests at the Citrus properties with a service standard that transcends ordinary expectations.


Latest Comedy ‘Balloth Ekka Be’ at Lionel Wendt

Two special shows of the hilarious comedy ‘Balloth Ekka Be,’ written and directed by Ravindra Ariyarathna will be staged at the will be staged on Sunday September 4 at the Colombo 7, Lionel Wendt Theater at 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Starring are the renowned Wijaya Nandasiri, Roshan Pilapitiya, Gihan Fernando, Kumara Thirimadura, Saman Hemarathna (Leelasena), and Anusha Dissanayake. With music of Shantha Peiris, stage set designed by Lovelin Vandervol, and stage management of Asoka De Zoysa and Shantha Udaya Kumara, the drama will be an experience too costly to miss, while costumes are designed by Gihan Fernando and Demal Fernando, lighting by Upali Weerasinghe and make up by Saman Hemarathna will create an unforgettable visual experience. On behalf of Easl J. Lanka Computer School, Sugath Jayasinghe presents the drama “Balloth Ekka Be”, with formidable Jude Srimal as chief organiser. Tickets are available at Lionel Wendt Theater. (All Seats have been Box planned)