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

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.

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