Archive for January, 2010

The countdown has begun for the International Day of Italian Cuisines (IDIC) 2010 at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Tagliatelle al ragù Bolognese, the official dish of the IDIC 2010

On 17th January 2010 Mount Lavinia Hotel will be the epicentre of the great ola of tagliatelle al ragù. Falling on Sunday, the 2010 IDIC will be a unique opportunity to celebrate the Italian Sunday Dinner, that according to the Italian tradition it´s the day reserved for a special meal done the right way. These meals deserve an exclusive chapter in the history and life of Italian Cuisines. Mount Lavinia Hotel and Resorts’s own Chef Ira is an Italian-GVCI(Gruppo Virtuale Chef Italiani), his assistant Chef Leo interpret the Italian Dinner in its truest form. Mount Lavinia Hotel will have video clips in connection with the celebration of past years, and will be, of course, clips on Bologna, where a great honor to tagliatelle al ragù will be held.

The annual appeal to Italian culinary professionals and lovers of Italian food, is a tradition by now. Thousands of them will join Italian Chefs-GVCI on January 17th to celebrate authentic Italian cuisine and to protect it from forgery and counterfeiting.

The International Day of Italian Cuisines is born from a mission with an aim to educate worldwide patrons, but more than anything else, to protect the right to get what guests pay for when going to restaurants labelled as “Italian”, that is: authentic and quality Italian cuisine.” Organized by Chef Leo and Chef Ira of Mount Lavinia Hotels and Resorts chain the International Day of Italian Cuisines promises to be an exciting and successful event at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The dish of the 2010 International Day of Italian Cuisines (IDIC) will be Tagliatelle al ragù alla bolognese. Hundreds of Italian chefs around the world will repeat on January 17th 2010 the ola of the last two years, when the dishes to be celebrated and protected were Carbonara and Risotto alla Milanese. Tagliatelle al ragù, originally and symbolic of the city of Bologna and its surroundings, is by now one of the most popular dishes of Italian Cuisine and therefore the most counterfeited around the world. “We want to let Italian food lovers all around the world know how to cook and enjoy a quality authentic tagliatelle al ragù which, in the majority of the cases, has nothing to do with the awful, wrongly called ‘bolognaise sauces’”, says Maldives based GVCI’s Chef Ira.

Peace the silver lining as Thai Pongal is celebrated at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Kolam being created

Thai Pongal is an important aspect of Thamil culture and tradition, and indeed a  gesture to thank nature and indeed for celebrating the life cycles that give us grain. Hence, Mount Lavinia Hotel has made plans to celebrate this festival quintessentially with a fabulous spread and the traditions observed for this time of giving thanks on the 14th of Jan at the Governor’s Restaurant.

This festival is the equivalent of Canada’s Thanks Giving Day. Pongal is a four-days-long harvest festival celebrated by Thamils living all around the world. To give a brief  summary on the festival takes its name from the Tamil word meaning “to boil” and is held on the first day of the month of Thai (January -February) when rice and other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric (an essential ingredient in Tamil cooking) are harvested.

“By celebrating this festival it helps to publicize the rich culture, traditions, and much aspiration, of our own kith and kin. Also indeed to give an emotional link to them for the first time in two decades who are celebrating Pongal in an atmosphere of relative peace,” states Mr Anura Dewpaura, General Manager of Mount Lavinia Hotel, who is spearheading a major change at the hotel and indeed giving unity as the wayforward as the silverlining.

It is a joyous and happy occasion when the poor, the rich, the farmer, the villager all celebrate the harvest festival together irrespective of their individual faith. Celebrations include drawing of Kolam, swinging and cooking of delicious Pongal.

The harvest festival, Pongal, falls typically on the 14th or the 15th of January and is the quintessential ‘Tamil Festival’. Interestingly in Japan too, the harvesting day is celebrated on January 15 of every year and is called “Kosho Katsu”.

Pongal refers to rice cooked in milk and sweetened with jaggery. Therefore the Mount Lavinia Hotel will serve typical savory pongal, it can be eaten as is or one can have it with varieties like sambar/rasam and/or coconut chutney and other dishes like payasam and many others that are synonymous to pongal celebrations.

The countdown has begun for the International Day of Italian Cuisines (IDIC) 2010 at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Tagliatelle al ragù Bolognese, the official dish of the IDIC 2010

On 17th January 2010 Mount Lavinia Hotel will be the epicentre of the great ola of tagliatelle al ragù. Falling on Sunday, the 2010 IDIC will be a unique opportunity to celebrate the Italian Sunday Dinner, that according to the Italian tradition it´s the day reserved for a special meal done the right way. These meals deserve an exclusive chapter in the history and life of Italian Cuisines. Mount Lavinia Hotel and Resorts’s own Chef Ira is an Italian-GVCI(Gruppo Virtuale Chef Italiani), his assistant Chef Leo interpret the Italian Dinner in its truest form. Mount Lavinia Hotel will have video clips in connection with the celebration, and will be, of course, clips on Bologna, where a great honor to tagliatelle al ragù will be held.

The annual appeal to Italian culinary professionals and lovers of Italian food, is a tradition by now. Thousands of them will join Italian Chefs-GVCI on January 17th to celebrate authentic Italian cuisine and to protect it from forgery and counterfeiting.

The International Day of Italian Cuisines is born from a mission with an aim to educate worldwide patrons, but more than anything else, to protect the right to get what guests pay for when going to restaurants labelled as “Italian”, that is: authentic and quality Italian cuisine.” Organized by Chef Leo and Chef Ira of Mount Lavinia Hotels and Resorts chain the International Day of Italian Cuisines promises to be an exciting and successful event at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The dish of the 2010 International Day of Italian Cuisines (IDIC) will be Tagliatelle al ragù alla bolognese. Hundreds of Italian chefs around the world will repeat on January 17th 2010 the ola of the last two years, when the dishes to be celebrated and protected were Carbonara and Risotto alla Milanese. Tagliatelle al ragù, originally and symbolic of the city of Bologna and its surroundings, is by now one of the most popular dishes of Italian Cuisine and therefore the most counterfeited around the world. “We want to let Italian food lovers all around the world know how to cook and enjoy a quality authentic tagliatelle al ragù which, in the majority of the cases, has nothing to do with the awful, wrongly called ‘bolognaise sauces’”, says Maldives based GVCI’s Chef Ira.

Spicy Floribbean Cuisine South Beach Style is the hottest topic at the 7th Slow Food Night at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Florida plus Caribbean equals spicy fusion cuisine, states Chef Leo President of the Slow Food Chapter in Sri Lanka and Senior Sous Chef of Mount Lavinia Hotel. Enjoy yourself, and in my view experimentation with recipes is how this wonderful cuisine came to be in the first place. There will be many dishes for you to try and once you have the taste of it you will crave for more. The complexity of the spices and soft fruit and citrus flavors can be a bit daunting at first, but then again, no great dish was loved on the first taste.”

“What on earth is Floribbean Food?” The answer ties back into the wonderful melting pot of cultures found in the city of Miami. Floribbean is generally a mingling of culinary influences from Caribbean islands like The Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti and Jamaica. These island cooking styles have mixed with Miami’s proximity cities including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and creation style unlike anything else in the world.

In addition Miami, like New Orleans, could lay claim to being “fusion” cuisine before “fusion” became a hot buzzword. Both places incorporate the best of a variety of culinary traditions and this is beautifully expressed in the food you will find at the 7th Slow Food Night at the Governor’s Roof Top at Mount Lavinia Hotel.

So why Floribbean Food on the Slow Food Night on 16th January? When asked the General Manager Mr Anura Dewapura who began his career as an Executive Chef and indeed he knows his food, he stated this, “A dynamic mixing of flavors: elaborate pairings of powerful spices which Sri Lanka too can claim to, slowly melts away into softer flavors. And no doubt Fresh Food which is the heart of Slow Food: There is a huge emphasis on freshness when it comes to cooking Floribbean Cuisine. Because of the density of the dishes, the only way to have your recipe come out perfect is to ensure that the taste of the ingredients play off each other as they were meant to. Lots of Fruit and Sri Lankan fruit could lay claim to this to: A wide variety of fruits and fruit juices are used to augment the flavors of the spices. Mango, papaya, and others are popular favorites.”

Key elements of the Floribbean style food include spices, citrus (like intense Key limes) and other fruits like mamey (a tropical fruit with a flavor something like a cross between peach and apricot), mango, and papaya are very common. The spice trade that went through most of the Caribbean also contributed to this region’s flavor profile adding spices as diverse as ginger, allspice and cumin. When Floribbean dishes combine elements from all these traditions, you will definitely see heat from peppers balanced by sweetness from fruit. Other elements such as coconut and rum are common, too. Chef Leo will incorporate all these elements. He will also add new techniques and flavors, keeping the evolving Floribbean cuisine deliciously exciting. His culinary masterpiece was borne from of Miami so grab on to your cutlery because this will be one heck of a ride!

Authentic Cuban Tapas by Chef Leo at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Cuban Tapasxxxxcuban-sandwiches-

Chef Leo, the specialist in Cuban American cuisine at the Mount Lavinia Hotel has decided to add some Cuban flavor to your evenings from 11th to 17th Jan 2009. So the hotel known to many as a complete getaway from the hustle and bustle of the citylife is ready to make your evenings, charming by spoiling you with an intimate and relaxing venue. The Mount Lavinia Hotel’s Terrace that is endorsed by the Newsweek magazine, as “One of the World’s Best Gathering Places” will be the buzzword for tapas lovers. The General Manager of the hotel endorses, “the menu is extremely reasonable and the ambience is absolutely the best; and will make the Tapas right before your eyes and what more can you ask for with a view of the ocean and soothing music.”

Tapas are basically snacks, canapés or fingerfood in modern day terms. Typically loved by Spaniards and indeed as the Spanish term La Tapa which means meaningful, has to be eaten between main meals as food that allows the body to survive until lunch or dinnertime. Because of the length of time between the early-morning breakfast, and the midday meal, which in fact is really only eaten in the early evening, some Mediterranean countries have adopted the custom of taking a “tentempié” (snack), an appetizer or the “tapita”. This break gives people a chance to socialize and to discuss work-related topics. And indeed it has made waves in Sri Lanka too for all the executives of Colombo who have made their way to Mount Lavinia Hotel for some socializing with tapas.

As one guest states, “Mount Lavinia Hotel is the newest hangout place for all food connoisseurs and especially if you want authentic Cuban food.” The menu on the cards will have Cold tapas like Avocado and Onion Salad, Mariqutas con Mojo picante: Fried Plantain chips with spicy Mojo, Pulpo en Escabeche: Pickled Octopus served with Crispy Bread, Ceviche Mixto: Mixture of fish, prawns, and Crab served with cilantro lime juice and Tomato, Sandwiches like Media Noche : Mid night sandwich Soft egg bread with smoked duck, chicken sausauge, Swisss cheese , Mustard aioli and Pickles , Frita Cubana: Cuban Pork and Beef Burger topped with shoe string fries (try with Batido de Mango y naranja), Elena Ruiz: Slow Roasted Turkey, Cream Cheese, and Homemade strawberry jam. Hot Tapas like Guiso de maiz: Cuban Corn Chowder Cuban corn chowder with tomato broth, ham & pumpkin, Chicharones de Puerco: Crispy Pork Tossed In Citrus Mojo, Papa Rellena de Hongos: Stuffed Potato with Exotic Mushrooms, Frituras De Jaiba: Crispy Crab Fritters with Lime Tartar sauce, Tostones: Double Fried Plantains with Garlic Tomato dipping sauce , Frita Cubana: Cuban Pork and Beef Burger topped with shoe string fries (try with Batido de Mango y naranja), Ham Croquettes with spiced tomato marmalade, Empandas, Ropa Vieja, black beans and Cheese with Green chilli Chimi churri, Arroz Imperial: Yellow rice and Chicken topped with aioli and melted cheese, Batidos: Cuban Milk Shakes Very Creamy Mango and Orange, Papaya