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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 10/02/2013

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) He is the man behind Pirate's Fantasy, which hit headlines after being touted as the world's most expensive cake at US35mn. He has popularised Sri Lankan delicacies among celebrity guests like singer Cliff Richards and cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But Dimuthu Kumarasinghe is not the one who gets carried away by fame and believes in sharing his culinary knowledge. 

Kumarasinghe, group skills development chef of Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence Group's premier hotels, is currently in Muscat for a three-day Sri Lankan food festival at Al Falaj hotel, which will feature the island nation's traditional dishes, music and dances.

Kumarasinghe said, ''I believe in sharing culinary knowledge. Last year, Pirate's Fantasy brought me success but I wish to evolve further. What I am going to do at the festival is bring the flavours of a Sri Lankan village kitchen to the poolside of the Al Falaj hotel, one of five properties managed by Aitken Spence hotels in Muscat.''

Pirate's Fantasy is ten-layered, each offering a different flavour. Ingredients in the 14'' tall cake include cinnamon, zucchini, purple yam, coconut chips, pistachio, rosemary, almond cookies, white chocolate, coconut meringue, baked cheese, sweet wine berry, pineapple, walnut, pumpkin and lemon. It is adorned with jewels worth US10mn, including gems, necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches pendents, tie pins, cuff links and toe rings.

Though Pirate's Fantasy won't be displayed at the festival, its creator is sure to spread out a sumptuous buffet.

Besides winning fame over the cake, the chef has won four gold medals in individual events at Culinary World Cup 2006 and five gold medals at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2004.  He is also the head coach of the Golden Horseshoe Culinary Team Canada and was a culinary art coach for 2008 Olympic in Germany. He team also won the World Pastry Team Championship in Germany last year.

''Though I specialise in pastries, my other culinary skills are in preparing seafood, lobsters, and desserts among others. I like to experiment with techniques of preparation and ingredients.


''For instance, inspired from the beach view of Heritance Ahungalla in Sri Lanka, I created Sand Baked Fish. It involves baking fish wrapped in dried cinnamon leaves and letting it rest in a warm oven placed 4ft under the sand. The smoky taste is worth the bake of around eight hours under the sand,'' said Kumarasinghe.


For Kumarasinghe, interest in cooking began at an young age and immense support from his family has helped him reach where he is now. ''I spend only a day or two a month at home, so without the help of my family, embarking on my culinary voyage would not have been possible. Travelling around the world and providing training keeps me busy,'' said the celebrity chef.

Dishes at the festival will include string hoppers, chicken black curry, prawns and cuttle fish devilled, fish mustered curry, traditional Sri Lankan kotthu, milk toffee, watalappan, pani pol pancake, bibikkan, mango cheese cake, coconut toffee and bread and butter pudding.

On the upcoming food festival, Srinith De Silva, chief operating officer, Aitken Spence Hotels, said, ''Along with the food, we would be creating an authentic ambience by flying in dancers from Sri Lanka. We are going to transform the poolside into a village area with the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka.''

For Kumarasinghe, it's the hotel's beach front property on the coastal fishing village of Ahungalla that takes his mind on an elevated culinary journey, which is one without a destination.''The journey never ends for me.'' h


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