The IKA World Culinary Olympics 2012 – the Culinary World’s equivalence of the Olympics Games – was recently concluded in Erfurt, Germany. Sri Lanka’s own culinary excellence was highlighted when Chef Prageeth Kumara de Silva of Eden Resort & Spa, a participant under LOLC Leisure, won the Gold Medal for pastillage showpiece titled “Inspiring Affection”. He also won a Silver medal for the ‘Vegetable Display’ category and a Merit accolade for the ‘Live Vegetable Carving’ category.
This is the first time that the LOLC Leisure Group has taken part in an international apex culinary competition of this kind and won the top-class medals – Gold and Silver – at the maiden entry itself.
Chef Prageeth Kumara hailing from Kaluwamodara, Aluthgama has been a part of Eden’s culinary team since 2010 and has showcased tremendous versatility in Pastry, Carving, Cake Structures and Showpieces. His entry into the professional culinary world began with the Riverina Hotel – an LOLC Leisure Group Hotel – as a Kitchen Trainee at the age of 19. With over 17 years of experience in Sri Lanka’s tourism and leisure sector, Chef Prageeth’s creative culinary skills have been previously recognized and rewarded with a total of 29 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at various competitions held in Sri Lanka and abroad. Some of those noteworthy wins include, winning the Best Artist award three times at the Hotel Asia competition held in the Maldives and winning the Best Artist award at the Culinary Art 2011 held in Sri Lanka.
The World Culinary Olympics is known as the oldest competition of its kind in the world with a tradition that dates back to the year 1900 in Germany. Held every four years since then, Chefs from around the world vie to display their most spectacular culinary skills to the world.
The 23rd IKA World Culinary Olympics held this year saw 1,800 chefs from 54 nations competing with one another for a period of five days. Sweden won the overall Gold Medal whilst Norway won Silver, with host nation Germany bagging the bronze position. Canada, Switzerland, USA, Finland, Netherlands, Australia and Japan shared the top ten positions.
Commenting, Mr. Eksath Wijeratne, General Manager of Eden Resort & Spa, said, “I am extremely proud that our very own Chef Prageeth Kumara has brought such prestigious accolades to Eden and to Sri Lanka. He has been resilient and disciplined in his preparations prior to departure, showing tremendous focus, assuring us that he would bring home the gold – and he did just that. He has paved the way for aspiring Sri Lankan chefs to put their culinary skills to the ultimate test, to win a top medal at a global platform. I wish him all the best.”
Eden Resort & Spa is a member hotel of the LOLC Leisure Group, with a rich history of over 16 years in the hospitality business in Sri Lanka. This ISO 9001:2008 and HACCP certified 5 star resort has 158 elegantly furnished luxury rooms, suites and penthouses and an exclusive spa, which has earned the hotel the prestige of being the first 5 star hotel in Sri Lanka to offer spa facilities. Other facilities provided by Eden Resort & Spa include, the availability of local and international cuisine at a choice of indoor and outdoor dining venues, fresh Sea Food, 24 hour Coffee Shop which caters to both Sri Lankan and foreign tourists, Sunday Buffet, Wedding and Conference facilities and a range of Water Sports, including diving facilities with PADI certified diving instructors.