Archive for November, 2009

Jazz at the Mount; Mount Lavinia Jazz Festival give rave reviews

Friday, November 27th, 2009

** Crowd attending the first ever Jazz at the Mount entertained into the morning hours by internationally renowned artists **

Vocalist and guitarist, known to be a calm and easy going “Galkissa Boy” however his voice swelters forth is so intense and upbeat swung his audience into a mood of exhilaration, Jerome Speldewinde, was one of the exciting closing night acts who set the tone for this year’s Jazz at the Mount with his fabulous version of, “What’s going on” by Marvin Gaye. That same sentiment and high energy level continued throughout the weekend festival, as world class performances showcased the unique mix of musical styles and blend of local, and international musical artists for which the Jazz at the Mount will definitely be known for.

Dylan Lye, a much respected modern jazz guitarist, moved over to Hongkong with the Jetliners in the early eighties.   A most sought after guitarist in the island with the talent of   synonymous vocalizing while improvising on the guitar, ended the nights, which also featured a group of Asian Jazz Greats, Anthony Fernandes, Tsang Tak Hong, Adonis de Jesus Hassan Musafer, softening the evening with contemporary singer Jennifer Palor who has taken the Asian jazz world by storm, who’s voice on the first night pressed the crowd up to the front of the stage, eager for more and indeed on the last night a duet with Jerome Speldewinde that drove the crowds to a dancing mood.

Eventhough Saturday drew the largest crowd, with Jags Quartet, Friends in Jazz, Upula Madushanka and Funk avenue featuring Rakitha Wickremeratne, followed by Jean Van Heer Quintet, Kumar De Silva Trio, and the best of the local artistes segment with Jazz venture belting out hit after hit, much to the delight of the appreciative audience ended with a conscious note. “The vibes of the people at Jazz at the Mount alone says it all,” said
Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. “They were so eager to participate and get into the act. There’s nothing but support and togetherness.”

Sunday saw The Jazz Quartet, whom trace its origins to its founder Grant Chamberlain, bringing a fresh sound and avid following who rarely stopped wanting for more on the night of the event. Jazz Unlimited’s own band Divya, also kept the festival mood in high spirits. Celebrity guest Mignonne Fernando with Grooving High brought back the nostalgia to the air that Sri Lanka is in dire need of. Closing the final night of the local artiste segments were the sultry voice of Natasha Ratnayake effortlessly tackled nuances of Jazz, Blues and R&B, along with the soulful vocal style of Dillain Joseph.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Mr Bernard Goonetilleke stated, “Jazz at the Mount was an interesting experience and we appreciate Mount Lavinia Hotel taking the initiative to give Sri Lanka a taste of Jazz. Also providing much needed entertainment to the island. He also adds, “And we hope that next year we could take on an active role to be part of this festival.”

“Sunday night was the best. The organizing and the atmosphere was fabulous.” states Mr Murad Ismail, renowned architect in Sri Lanka.
Throughout the two nights of the Festival, both the performing artists and the partying audience paid tribute to Mr Tita Nathanielsz. And as Mr Aruna Siriwardhana, President of the JU stated, “who would have love to witness the realisation of his long held dream for the JU to present a substantial Jazz event.”

Located in close proximity to the city, on a rocky promontory overlooking the beautiful bay of Galkissa, Mount Lavinia Hotel gracious, elegant and romantic as ever, the Hotel attracts travellers from all over the world, the expatriate community and the locals, remains the most sought after location for weddings and honeymoons….unsurprising, considering its history and location. The unusually extensive beach frontage with indeed a spectacular view of the ocean is an incredible setting for the perfect Jazz Festival, that is nothing short of picture perfect.

Rooted in Mount Lavinia Hotel’s legacy of churning out fabulous initiatives, Jazz at the Mount was indeed a logical fit.

The General Manager avers, “Plans are already underway for 2010’s Jazz at the Mount. However, marketing it internationally will begin six months ahead of the game.”

The main partners of this 2009’s Jazz at the Mount were Jazz Unlimited, together with SriLankan Airlines as the official travel sponsor along with Wijeya Newspapers as print media sponsors and electronic media sponsors solely to YES FM and MTV.

Mount Lavinia Hotel amongst the  REWE Touristic launch of summer 2010 brochures launch of ITS, JAHN REISEN & TJAEREBORG which started last week. Around 1500 travel agents were involved with this brochure launch. Here is the team from Sri Lanka consisting of SriLankan Airlines, and Thakshila Galapatthhy from Mount Lavinia Hotel flanked by others from the travel trade in Sri Lanka, on the first day at Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Good Jazz and Great Art at the Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, November 27th, 2009

“Looking for some good jazz, finest in cuisine and great arts, Mount Lavinia Hotel will have it all from 23rd to 26th Oct 2009,” states Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager, Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Mesmerize 2009 by S V A Harsha will be on exhibition from 23rd to 26th Oct 2009 at the hotel’s courtyard. His creations specially focusing on abstract expressionism will captivate you. He states that “My modern art paintings combined with contemporary artwork and abstract art’s main theme focuses on the rawness of art, colour, the relationship between paint and canvas, and the process of painting itself.” He further states, “My creations demonstrate my passion for painting itself, yet through a subconscious and spontaneous process.”This would be his second set of displays. His first was held at the Lionel Wendt titled “Hypnotize 2009”.

Jazz at the Mount on 24th and 25th Oct will ignite with Jazz in all forms. This year’s edition will be totally focused and will be held at the Paradise Beach at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. It’s said to be the greatest occasion, showcasing Sri Lanka’s very own talent who have made waves in the Jazz circuit across the globe, while importing significant acts from around the country too. Local artistes who claim the jazz union will also dazzle audiences with names like the Jazz quartet, Funk Avenue, Divya, Kumar De Silva Trio, Jean Van Heer Quartet, Jazz Venture, and Musty’s Band.

Singing practically any song in the book of jazz, blues, rock, etc; Jerome Speldewinde a calm and easy going individual, but the voice that swelters forth is intense and upbeat, will swing his audience into a mood of exhilaration. His talents lie in vocals and guitar. Dylan Lye – a much respected modern jazz guitarist, moved over to Hongkong with the Jetliners in the early eighties. A most sought after guitarist in the island has the talent of synonymous vocalizing while improvising on the guitar. Dylan who has also performed in Singapore , Macau , China and Australia flies down to the Colombo to perform at the Jazz Festival at Mount Lavinia with a group of Asian Jazz Greats… Jennifer Palor, Anthony Fernandes, Tsang Tak Hong, Adonis de Jesus and Hassan Musafer.

Jennifer Palor – for the past decade Manila-born vocalist Jennifer Palor has taken the Asian jazz world by storm and has today emerged as one of the finest contemporary singers, thrilling audiences on jazz club dates and festivals from Tokyo to Tasmania. Jennifer’s fans across the world have been delighted by the release of her debut CD Jenerations on Tableau Records in early 2009.

Anthony Fernandes was born in Calcutta, moved to Hong Kong and became the house drummer for the world famous Jazz Club where he performed with some of the world’s greatest Jazz & Blues artistes. Anthony has also worked with the Grammy and Academy Award winner Michel Legrand and has to date recorded on more than 250 albums in less than 9 years.

Tsang Tak Hong –   Born in Hong Kong, A Hong started learning bass at the age of 16 and performed in many international jazz festivals in HongKong , China , Vietnam, Taiwan and Bangkok . He also wrote the film score for the Cantonese movie “Sum Sze Sze” in the 90s .

Hassan Musafer a professional drummer and percussionist and has travelled all over the world in the past 30 years performing in countries in Europe, USA the Middle East and Asia. Hassan was born in Sri Lanka where he found his love for music a specifically for drums at a very young age. He also teaches drums and percussion and percussion classes of the Tabla at the Baptist University .

Adonis de Jesus, pianist, arranger and composer.A widely respected and sort after pianist in Hongkong.Has performed with reputed local and International artistes in Hongkong and Asia.He plans to release his debut CD with his originals soon.

24th October 2009
01) Jags Quartet      – Gananath  Dasanayake, Ashen Perera, Timal Jayamanne, and Senaka Perera
02) Friends in Jazz – Kanthi and Judy, Basil Paiva, Thushara Fernando, Royle de Andrews, Palitha
03) The Jazz Quartet comprising of Ray Gomes, Rodney Van Heer, Revel Crake, and Christopher Prins
04) Upula Madushanka & Funk Avenue: Billy Fernando, Harshan Gallage, Debbie Arnolda, Devashrie De Silva, Rakitha  Wickremeratne
05) Natasha and Dillain
06) Kumar de Silva Trio : Kumar De Silva, Dilip Gnanakan and Shiraz Nooramith
07) Jean Van Heer Quintet: Kumar De Silva, Dilip Gnanakan, Diren Sabaratnam, and Hans Mater
08) Jerome Speldewinde
09) Dylan Lye Band

Sun. 25 th October 2009
01) Jazz Venture: Basil Paiva, Dilukshi Sirimane, Royle de Andrews, Antoinette de Alwis, Rodney Rabot, and Sureka Amerasinghe
02) Divya: Dilukshi Sirimane, Alston Joachim, Gavin  Senn, Shiraz Nooramith, Kamal Perera, Rashid Abdur-Rahman of Puerto Rico on Congas.
03) Musty’s Band: Rovaan Weerasinghe, Mignonne Fernando, Gavin Senn, Christopher Prins, Rasmah Lye, and Umara Singhawansa
04) Jerome Speldewinde
05) Dylan Lye Band
10.00 pm onwards Jam!!!

Green Month celebrated by Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, November 27th, 2009

“Green Month is an opportunity for all Sri Lankans to take a positive and active role in helping protect our environment. By planting native trees and shrubs, we can help to combat climate change, provide food and shelter for our wildlife and beautify our surrounding,“ states Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Mount Lavinia Hotel‘s commitment to the environment by undertaking five aspects that will be assessed towards Certification in the future, is right on schedule. The hotel will be assessed according to performance criteria that will guarantee, among other things, better waste management, less air pollution, noise control, energy and water consumption control.

Celebrating the National Tree Planting Day along with Nilla Piruna Ratak programme under the Mahinda Chintana at the Mount Lavinia Hotel is indeed a logical fit given to its ongoing “GOING GREEN” commitment to working for the environment.

The main aim of the Green Month is to inspire, educate and recruit many to actively care for our unique land and create future generations of committed environmental custodians. And the objective behind Mount Lavinia Hotel’s initiative to plant coconut seedlings is to use species that are best suited to local conditions, since native plants use far less water than exotic species, in addition they help restore the natural character of an area, and finally they provide food and shelter for local native wildlife.

Delicious Symphony of Asparagus and Mushrooms at the Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Two favourite vegetables besides adding a wonderful earthy taste and texture to foods, both are great source of essential nutrients to one’s body. Asparagus is low in fat and sodium and an excellent source of the B vitamin folate whilst the latter is essential with minerals and other natural antioxidants often lacking in our highly processed food diets. There are many health benefits to eating mushrooms. They contain virtually no fat or cholesterol. Naturally low in sodium, mushrooms are also a good source of fiber.

When asked why an asparagus and mushroom promotion from 23rd to 30th September for dinner, The General Manager of the hotel avers, “the objective of such a promotion is twofold, we believe in the healthy cuisine lifestyle is fastly making waves in our society and the culinary magic that is created by our Chefs on these two fabulous vegetables is incredible.” Dishes like asparagus over Mushroom Hash topped with a Thyme Beurre Blanc, Boiled Green and white Asparagus served with Hollandaise Sauce and Brown Buttered New Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese, Cherry Tomato and Lemon Olive Oil are just some of what’s on the menu.

The general Manager adds, “Whether you’re counting carbs or calories or just trying to include more healthful foods in your diet – mushrooms and asparagus are an ideal fit.”

Mount Lavinia Hotel extends warm Lavinia experience for FTI-German Travel Agents

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Germany’s foremost tour operator FTI (Frosch Touristik International) organized a familiarization visit to Sri Lanka for 40 German travel agents from Germany.

The initiative was taken in association with Sri Lanka Tourism with strong support being offered by Sri Lanka’s hotels and various tourism service providers including Sri Lankan Airlines.

One of the participants stated that the German Travel Agents’ response to this initiative by FTI was overwhelming. This sort of feedback also indicated that Sri Lanka has been considered as a very desirable destination by German travel agents.

The objective of this familiarization was intended to give the German travel agents an insight on what Sri Lanka may offer after the civil strife that has ended and indeed the launch of the new promotion campaign of Sri Lanka: the small miracle. The key emphasis of the trip was to promote Sri Lanka’s authenticity and diversification, including beyond beaches, and indeed a safe destination offering a collection of lifestyle quality experiences.

A very satisfied participant avers, “All efforts that were made by Mount Lavinia Hotel to endorse the unique experience of Sri Lanka was completely felt with their own Lavinia experience.”

Chefs-go-Beyond: Mount Lavinia Hotel’s chefs take on a unique initiative

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The primary reason behind the survival of any species on this planet is food. Mount Lavinia Hotel for the basic purpose of filling one’s stomachs and satisfying the hunger of all who crave for good, classy, unique and quality cuisine, have initiated a concept that make their Chefs go beyond their call of service. Chef Leo, Cuban food expert at Mount Lavinia Hotel avers, “When guests are passionate about improving their standard of existence and the way of life, they deserve the best food available. The only problem is that guests lack the time and talent to prepare the food they desire and crave for. This is where we come in, to fill this requirement and serve personalized meals geared towards the specific tastes with all the delicacies that one dreams of only by a phone call to us personally.”

Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager of the Mount Lavinia Hotel avers, “Our Personal Chefs are skilled and talented in their jobs and are appropriate for all kinds of situations. They not only prepare quality food for you and your families but are also capable of serving delicious meals to whole group of individuals for occasions such as celebrations, business parties or just large gatherings.” The chefs are readily available for outside catering functions and indeed a phone call away for all your personal queries.

These personal Chefs at Mount Lavinia Hotel consisting of Chef Udo – specializing in European cuisine, Dr Publis – guru for authentic Sri Lanka cuisine, Senior Executive Sous Chef Leo – food specialist in Cuban, Caribbean and eco-gastronomy cooking, Sous Chef Lee – the specialist in molecular gastronomy, Chef Anura –  magician with all pastries, desserts and cakes, and Executive Chef Lal – specializes in fusion cuisine, are extremely beneficial for the kind of people who do not enjoy going away from their home and have dietary restrictions. Additionally, they provide one of the best kind of authentic dishes to gourmet dishes that one can buy only at Mount Lavinia Hotel. The Mount Lavinia Hotel’s personal chefs that have enlisted take proper care of the tastes and preferences of their guests and prepare a menu accordingly so that they are provided exactly what they called for. These personal chefs perform each task related to cooking from fetching the groceries to maintaining the kitchen premises and providing the guests with the opportunity to achieve their dream of having a proper and nutritious diet just as one will indulge in Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The General Manager continues, “The costs for our personalized chefs are absolutely free however conditions do apply like the time for mis-en-place, preparation of the dish. They are so personalized they talk to the local farmers, meat suppliers and even the fishmongers to get the best.” These Chefs at Mount Lavinia Hotel have earned fame in the culinary industry and have been in demand for quite some time. They are well known for providing guests with the best in the food business and thus, have received commendations from various corners of the world and indeed in every nook and corner of Sri Lanka.

The phone numbers of the enlisted Chefs are as follows:
Chef Leo – 0773 850966
Chef Lee – 0772 349844
Chef Udo – 0773 747356
Chef Lal – 0773 784581
Chef Anura – 0772 930116
Chef Publis – 0771 954407

Molecular gastronomy at the Governor’s at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The primary reason behind the survival of any species on this planet is food. Mount Lavinia Hotel for the basic purpose of filling one’s stomachs and satisfying the hunger of all who crave for good, classy, unique and quality cuisine, have initiated a concept that make their Chefs go beyond their call of service. Chef Leo, Cuban food expert at Mount Lavinia Hotel avers, “When guests are passionate about improving their standard of existence and the way of life, they deserve the best food available. The only problem is that guests lack the time and talent to prepare the food they desire and crave for. This is where we come in, to fill this requirement and serve personalized meals geared towards the specific tastes with all the delicacies that one dreams of only by a phone call to us personally.”

Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager of the Mount Lavinia Hotel avers, “Our Personal Chefs are skilled and talented in their jobs and are appropriate for all kinds of situations. They not only prepare quality food for you and your families but are also capable of serving delicious meals to whole group of individuals for occasions such as celebrations, business parties or just large gatherings.” The chefs are readily available for outside catering functions and indeed a phone call away for all your personal queries.

These personal Chefs at Mount Lavinia Hotel consisting of Chef Udo – specializing in European cuisine, Dr Publis – guru for authentic Sri Lanka cuisine, Senior Executive Sous Chef Leo – food specialist in Cuban, Caribbean and eco-gastronomy cooking, Sous Chef Lee – the specialist in molecular gastronomy, Chef Anura –  magician with all pastries, desserts and cakes, and Executive Chef Lal – specializes in fusion cuisine, are extremely beneficial for the kind of people who do not enjoy going away from their home and have dietary restrictions. Additionally, they provide one of the best kind of authentic dishes to gourmet dishes that one can buy only at Mount Lavinia Hotel. The Mount Lavinia Hotel’s personal chefs that have enlisted take proper care of the tastes and preferences of their guests and prepare a menu accordingly so that they are provided exactly what they called for. These personal chefs perform each task related to cooking from fetching the groceries to maintaining the kitchen premises and providing the guests with the opportunity to achieve their dream of having a proper and nutritious diet just as one will indulge in Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The General Manager continues, “The costs for our personalized chefs are absolutely free however conditions do apply like the time for mis-en-place, preparation of the dish. They are so personalized they talk to the local farmers, meat suppliers and even the fishmongers to get the best.” These Chefs at Mount Lavinia Hotel have earned fame in the culinary industry and have been in demand for quite some time. They are well known for providing guests with the best in the food business and thus, have received commendations from various corners of the world and indeed in every nook and corner of Sri Lanka.

Molecular Gastronomy meets Slow Food Cooking at Un Dîner Amical, Chaine des Rotisseurs at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The Sri Lankan National Bailliage of the Chaine des Rotisseurs held its Chaine event on 30th August 2009 at the premier colonial heritage hotel: Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The event departed from the usual formality of a Chaîne function. Whilst the food and service was maintained to the highest standards, the format at the wonderful Empire Ballroom was transformed into a “Kitchen Stadium”, complete with large viewing screens, such that, as with a Boxing Bout. As with the original Japanese Television series “Iron Men of Cooking”, the “cooking bout’’ however with a little Lavinia twist to it, an accomplished Protégé Chef Sanjeewa – Exponent in fusion food established in Maldives was given a team of an equally accomplished Protégé of experts to choose from. His choices were Chef Dharshan– known for his culinary excellence in Japanese cuisine, Chef Lee – Molecular food expert, Chef Udo – European Food specialist, Chef Publis – authentic Sri Lankan food, Chef Leo – Cuban American food specialist and he pitted against Chef Dharshan, to determine which Chef was able to ‘best express’ the unique qualities of the theme ingredients of each course.

The starry décor, the innovative mannequins, entertainment and friendly repartee in surfacing a Culinary Game Show was indeed established as the two challenging Chefs competed on Centre Stage to outdo and defeat each other and be worth of gaining the “Diners Ovation” and “Fame of recognition” for his culinary excellence established from the secret ingredient that was brought to the arena in a palanquin.

Throughout the cook-off, a running commentary was made by flamboyant presenter Koluu. Whilst three judges nominated from amongst the members of the Chaine des Rotisseurs namely Ms Shyamalee Tudawe – editor of the HI magazine, Mr Royston Ellis – a travel writer by profession and the Queen of Curry Ms Felicia Sorenson, to decide as to which of the Chefs wins the battle.

The International Gastronomic Society was founded in France in 1248 and reformed and registered in 1950 in Paris. The Chaîne is dedicated to bringing together those who share a mutual interest in cuisine, wine, and fine dining in a spirit of camaraderie. The Sri Lankan Association has been founded almost twelve years ago, by the late Mr Gamini Fernando, and now amateurs and professionals who are devoted to promoting fine dining are at the forefront of this prestigious bailliage. Members celebrate the pleasures of the table, the highest levels of national and international gastronomy based on traditions while being open to initiative and innovative ideas and methods. For professional members, such as chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers, the Chaîne offers opportunities to demonstrate their exceptional skills and creativity to a discerning, appreciative audience.

The Management headed by the Bailli Délégué, Baillage du Sri Lanka – Mr Nigel Austin planned the individual activities, organize diner amical using the practices of the old French royal guild of goose roasters, preserving the old and famous gastronomic traditions at the same time. The main target of a Chaine event is that amateurs share fine dining experience with fellow members, enjoy exceptional food and become connoisseurs of wines and crafted spirits and professional take the challenge and show the skills of the culinary and service staffs when demonstrating their expertise and creativity at events they host.

Break your fast at the best gathering place at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Considered one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is regarded the holiest month for Muslims. Ifthar being the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan, is usually done as a gathering with the community. Therefore, Mount Lavinia Hotel endorses that the best gathering place is open to break fast.

Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager of Mount Lavinia Hotel proffers, “One of the best athering places with rustic surroundings whilst you gaze into the Indian Ocean is ideal to all who plan to break fast.”

Mount Lavinia Hotel extends all Muslims to break fast at the Governor’s Restaurant daily from 7pm to 10.30pm, until 20th September 2009.  The Ifthar Buffet at the Governors Restaurant for Dinner is priced at LKR2000/-nett. Mr Dewapura states, “The Usual theme night menu will still be on however with a special Ifthar and Biriyani corner with all condiments.”
And that’s not all there is a special Biriyani Takeaway offer Mutton or Chicken Biriyani  Takeaways or the traditional Savan

will be available on this month of Ramadan. Priced at LKR4444/-nett which includes portion quantity for 6 and the ingredients for one takeway or savan will be Chicken or Mutton, Whole Roasted Chicken, Maldive Fish sambol, Green peas with Carrot, Onion Achcharu( Pickle), Pineapple slices, Traditional Islamic dessert – made up of Coconut Milk, Jaggery and spices named Wattalappan

Cuban Fare at its best at 2nd Slow Food Night at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Combining elements of traditional Spain with foods original to the region, Cuban food provides a powerful link to island memories and traditions. Cuban dinners receive more time and care as there will be a place for family and friends to congregate at the end of the day. Domino playing, dancing and indeed the congas are a usual sight at a Family Dinner. The special dishes begin with a flavorful mix of onions, green peppers, garlic, oregano and bay leaves which are sautéed together. From this blend, dishes such as Pork Picadillo, a ground meat and olive dish to, an oxtail soup, are begun. Many dishes are accompanied by the Cuban classic combination of black beans and rice as well as plantains. The plantain, a relative of the more familiar banana, can be prepared in a variety of ways, from the sweet maduros to the twice-fried tostones. Due to Cuba’s abundance of sugarcane, it is not surprising that sweet dishes are popular on the tropical island. A rich egg custard dripping in caramelized sugar, called flan, is arguably Cuba’s most famous dessert though it is by no means alone.

For example, those with a sweet tooth can choose from treats such as trés leche. Another popular dish is Cuban Rice pudding, In fact, many Cuban sweet and savory dishes are based on using what was readily available in the most appetizing way. That is why the style has translated so well across cultures – the desire to share good food and good times with family and friends is a universal one. 28th August, the Tropical Hut at the Mount Lavinia Hotel was transformed to a typical Family Style Dinner with one rectangular table seating 51 guests. Chef Leonel Velazquez, President of the Slow Food Movement in Sri Lanka, was the creator of the 2nd Slow Food evening dedicated to his Cuban background. He stated, “All ingredients used were from local growers within Sri Lanka and that is the essence of Slow Food.”

Chef Leo states, “Most people who haven’t tasted Cuban cuisine think our food is spicy. Wrong! We sure are spicy – as a culture – sniff the air and it smells exquisite, the wonderful beverages and other activities synonymous to Cuba is also very visible at a Cuban dinner”. And indeed it was the 2nd Slow Food event at the Mount Lavinia Hotel was Cuba in all its glory. A dominos playing corner, Congas being played, and other synonymous products that typify Cuba was very significant at the event.

The menu consisted of Western Cuban cuisine significantly forms the basis of criollo (“creole“) cooking. Criollo or Creole, basically meaning from European peoples and styles, born or created in the new world; The Prawn Creole in fact. Others in the menu were a Whole suckling Pig, Oxtail braised in red wine, Fricasse de pollo, Black beans, White rice, Yuca with pickled onion, Fufu plantain and pork rind mash, Maduros fried sweet plantains and the delicious Cuban Rice Pudding.

The menu consisted of Western Cuban cuisine significantly forms the basis of criollo (“creole“) cooking. Criollo or Creole, basically meaning from European peoples and styles, born or created in the new world; The Prawn Creole in fact. Others in the menu were a Whole suckling Pig, Oxtail braised in red wine, Fricasse de pollo, Black beans, White rice, Yuca with pickled onion, Fufu plantain and pork rind mash, Maduros fried sweet plantains and the delicious Cuban Rice Pudding.

One of the key tenets of Slow Food is the belief in the right to pleasure.  The Slow Food Movement manifesto declares that: Quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life therefore Slow Food is dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional foods, recipes and the pleasures of eating well. And indeed it was at the Mount Lavinia Hotel when Cuban culture was laid out in the open for all to feast on and indulge in.

Slow Food Colombo began in July 2009 at the Tropical Hut with Chef Leo being the President of the Sri Lanka Movement, and the objective of the movement is to create a unique experience for people to enjoy and indeed just how good genuine global cuisine can be, especially when it’s locally sourced, creatively presented, and enjoyed in a casual ambiance.