Exploring Chilean Wines at the Winemaker’s Night at MLH

Premium wines from Valdivieso distributed by Favourite International will be the highlight on Winemakers’ Night….

Known as a country with climatic conditions perfect for growing grapes, Chile is able to grow a whole host of varieties across its many varied regions. From the Maipo Valley, known for its cool maritime climate and well balanced reds. And the Maule Valley, one of Chile’s oldest and largest regions, ideal for producing the classic Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. To the southern Bio Bio region, with its high levels of rainfall, strong winds and cool nights, producing some of the new world’s finest Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Chile is a country of contrasts.

Valdivieso wines have since had a very successful career, triumphing in major world markets and achieving the highest honours in international competitions. These achievements are not an objective in themselves, but rather the result of the search for superior quality wines that are both distinctive and attractive.
Brett Jackson, a native of New Zealand, began his winemaking career in 1990 at Stonyridge Vineyard in Waiheke, New Zealand. His early success gave him the opportunity to continue his skills at Flora Springs Winery in Napa Valley, California. In 1993, Brett wanted to broaden his international experience and provided his services at Thelema Mountian Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Later, he obtained valuable French winemaking ideas by working with Jacques and Francois Lurton in Narbonne, France.

In 1994, Brett came to Chile and began working with Viña San Pedro. During the next seven years, he became head winemaker and through his direction the quality of San Pedro’s wines, improved to worldwide recognition. After San Pedro, early 2001, Brett became the chief winemaker for the Chilean winery, Viña Tarapaca.
Through his guidance, the winery was awarded a gold medal for their 2001 Sauvignon Blanc wine.
Overall, Brett’s winemaking skills helped to achieve no less than five gold medals at various international wine events, which include the 1995 Vinexpo in Bordeaux, France, as well as the 1999 International Wine Challenge in London, England. During Brett’s tenure at Viña San Pedro, their Cabernets were positioned within the top 10 Cabernets of Chile several times.

Viña Valdivieso under Brett and his commended team has achieved outstanding results in all major international wine competitions. Viña Valdivieso looks forward to continue its quality performance under Brett’s guidance.
And with Valdivieso’s winemaker Brett Jackson stopping by at MLH on 3rd of September 2011 for the Winemakers’ Night complementing the evening with five course dinner and your evening could be exalted on his thoughts on how the vintage went down in Chile.


Hilton Colombo tops in eight categories - Culinary Art 2011

“We’ve done exceptionally well,” Executive Chef, Rohan Fernandopulle

By Shabna Cader
Culinary enthusiasts from around the country prepare themselves months in advance. They drill and sharpen their skills, work hard for weeks towards one goal and endure gruelling work hours. But as they say, nothing ever comes easy and all the sweat and gore, sleepless nights and months of preparations all come down to one annual event – the Culinary Art 2011.

Held from July 29 to August 1 at the BMICH, this is the epitome of all culinary chefs’ careers and the one event where nothing but sheer passion, determination and team work comes together; all within three days! In total, there were 16-18 categories, which are divided into two further categories – static and live. Static cooking involves already prepared dishes displayed at the final event and live cooking involves dishes being prepared at the event itself.

Hilton Colombo is known for exceptional creativity and performance in culinary competitions. Their team of chefs are a passionate group of people, highly skilled, oozing with creativity and originality and so, it comes as no surprise that they should top the Culinary Art 2011 in eight different categories and bad 11 Most Outstanding awards.
“We’ve done exceptionally well this year, managing to get the award for Best Chef, Best Five Course Set Menu, Best Plated Appetizers, Best Apprentice, Best Apprentice Hot Cooking Live, Best Hot Cooking Live, Best Petit Fours Pralines, Best Butter Sculpture, Best New Sri Lankan Cooking and Best Dilmah High Tea Challenge. Our selected team of chefs also managed to receive the highest Gold in eight categories – four in the static category and four in the live category. We are certainly immensely proud of their great skills and efforts” said Executive Chef, Rohan Fernandopulle.

Chamaka Perera
– This is the third time I participated in Culinary Arts. For the past two years, I entered this competition in the same categories as I did this year, but think I really gave it my all this time. When they announced that I had won the Best Chef Most Outstanding award it was a surreal moment for me.

Sheran Liyanamodarage
I’ve been a part of the Hilton Colombo since last November and am working as an apprentice. The couple of weeks prior to the competition were certainly the most hectic and gruelling. There certainly was no time for fooling around. I received a lot of advice and support from Chef Rohan, Chef Buddhika as well as the rest of the team which meant a lot to me. Winning the Best Apprentice and Best Apprentice Hot Cooking Live were two of the best moments; next year I hope to give the opportunity to a friend of mine and show him my support in return.

Viraj Perera
I won the award for Best Chef last year and this year I won the Best Hot Cooking Live award which was equally fulfilling to me. People assume that the life of a chef is an easy one, that all you have to do is cook and make your dishes look good but there is a lot more than that to it. Hours are tough and there is a lot of energy, passion and dedication that goes into creating a single dish. This award proves that my work has been appreciated and I am thankful and content.

Ayeasha Paiva
This was a first for me and I was completely ecstatic to have won the Best Dilmah High Tea Challenge with my partner chef Janaka Bandara. It was certainly tough preparing for a competition like this, especially when we still had to continue our usual routines at Hilton Colombo and then calculate how much free time the two of us would have to practice and get our act together. All in all our efforts were worth it which makes this win all the better.


Grilling and getting it right

 Get a good grill first if you don’t already have one. So after you have got a barbecue make sure you get that grill clean first before use. No-one likes a fishy taste with other food, unless you want a hint of other flavours, you need to clean your grill before cooking. It is recommended that you clean you grill each and every time you use it. Wait until it cools down, and then clean the surfaces with baking soda and just use dish soap and water for the racks.
Before you begin cooking, spray your cooking area with a nonstick cooking spray. The prevention of meat sticking is important when you are rotating or removing it. Sticking meat will also tear and your meat may dry out.
The temperature has got to be right before cooking. Get the temperature just right otherwise your food might burn. If you are using a charcoal grill, get the charcoal a good grey colour before grilling. This will allow the temperatures to level out; any lighter fluid then will not affect any flavour as it would have burnt off.
Marinating meat will increase flavour, but any sauces you put on meat before cooking might cause it to dry out, and may even cause it to burn. This happens because most barbeques sauces contain high amounts of fat and sugar; therefore you end up with meat that’s burnt. Alternatively, lightly seasoning your meat will work well, and will not have any adverse consequences. If deciding to use barbeque sauce, only add it in the final minutes before taking your meat off the grill. Don’t forget that meat has its own flavour this is extracted when barbequed, so take care not to do too much and ruin any flavours.
Keep the juices together by searing; just sear the meat for a short amount of time. After searing each side, just lower the temperature a bit. This will ensure that your meat is full of flavour and tender.
Once meat is cooked, never put it back in on the same plate you had it on when it was raw. This could cause the spread of many unwanted illnesses. The utensils must also be kept separate the raw and cooked meat.
Also make sure you don’t prod meat to much. When you do this juices drip on to the grill. This really changes flavour and taste, but it also could potentially ruin your barbeque grill. At the very least, you end up with grease on your cooking surface , which will make cleanup harder.
Source- www.articlesfactory.com


Culinary of Vietnam at Ceylon Continental

Ceylon Continental rolls out an appetising and typically fresh assortment of Vietnamese meals at the Emerald restaurant, beginning August 26. The Vietnamese Food Festival which will run for 4 days will offer authentic Vietnamese food prepared by the extraordinary Chef Duong Tran Thai.
Chef Duong Tran Thai has honed his talents through a history of stints spanning Asia and Europe. A former Chief Cook at Sea Lion Ship in Denmark, Chef of Caravelle Hotel in Saigon Vietnam, and Chief Cook, Saigon World Company in Japan, over 15 years of experience has led him to stop by the culinary capital of the world, Sri Lanka.
The mainstream culinary traditions in all three regions of Vietnam share fundamental features and Chef Duong plans to bring these out through Continental’s Vietnamese Food Festival.
Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for freshness of the ingredients and for promoting a healthy eating style. “Most meats are only briefly cooked to preserve their original textures and colours. Vegetables are rarely cooked; if they are, they’re boiled or only briefly stir-fried. The freshness of food will be maintained. Herbs and vegetables are used abundantly, and colourful condiments will accompany all dishes. Broth and soup based options will be on offer too – a culinary trademark of all three Vietnamese regions.” Chef Duong Tran Thai explained. This tantalizing food promotion will feature saute pork with five spices & lemon grass, pho shrimp noodle soup, variety of rice paper rolls served with peanut sauce, chicken meat cooked with coconut juice, pineapple, onions & spicy fish sauce, tender beef saute with coconut milk and black mushrooms, and grilled beef and prawn over vermicelli.


Celebrate Eid at Galadari

Relive the pageantry and flamboyance of the mystical and exotic world of Arabic cuisine at Galadari, as the Coffee Shop prepares itself to host a lavish dinner buffer in celebration of the joyous festival of Eid.
Dishing out an Arabic gastronomy known for its rich mixture of various ingredients coming from diverse Middle Eastern regions, the buffet includes speciality Arabic main dishes such as Canji, Hummus, Mezza, Biriyani, Magluba Rice, Kebabs, Shawarma, Arabic Sweets, Basboosa, Faluda, Lassi, and many more delicious items. From 31st August to 1st September from 7 pm – 11 pm the Coffee shop turns its venue to a grand Middle Eastern dinner buffet bringing friends and family together in celebration.
Combining the rich flavours of Arabic gastronomy, the Hotel prepares itself for the flamboyance of Arabic delicacies giving guests an array of popular, delectable dishes. With authentic ingredients combined to bring out the distinct flavours of each dish, the restaurant presents a richer, fuller mouth feel with every bite.
Featuring a variety of age old favourites of Middle Eastern gastronomy, well kept recipes of a thousand years will be perfecting on the sizzling stoves at the Coffee Shop distributing mouth watering aromas inviting the guests to a splendid dinner buffet. Bringing together the richness and grandeur of a mysterious land the Coffee Shop puts together a perfect unison of culture, food and tradition to offer a truly rewarding experience.