Santani Journal

Santani Chefs Win Big at Hotel Asia 2024: A Culinary Triumph

At the Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge 2024 in Male, Maldives, our chefs P.J.M. Nilantha Priyalal Jayasinhe and Indunila Bandara Uduwerella excelled under the guidance of head chef Indika Bandara.

The prestigious Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge 2024, celebrated as the biggest and best food and hospitality event, took place from May 12th to 15th at the Maldives National University in Male, Maldives. Organised by Maldives Exhibition & Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd, and endorsed by the Chefs Guild of Maldives and the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS), the event was a remarkable convergence of culinary talent from around the globe.

We are thrilled to announce the outstanding achievements of our culinary maestros, Chef P.J.M. Nilantha Priyalal Jayasinhe and Chef Indunila Bandara Uduwerella, who showcased their exceptional skills and creativity on an international platform, thanks to the invaluable guidance of our head chef, Indika Bandara.

Chef Indunila Bandara:

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  • Silver Medal in Hot Cooking Fish Dish
  • Bronze Medal in Hot Cooking Beef Dish
  • Bronze Medal in Hot Cooking Chicken Dish

Chef Nilantha Priyalal:

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  • Silver Medal in Hot Cooking Chicken Dish
  • Bronze Medal in Hot Cooking Fish Dish
  • Bronze Medal in Hot Cooking Seafood Dish

These stellar results are a testament to their dedication, skill, and passion for the culinary arts. Their dishes not only impressed the judges with their flavours but also showcased the chefs’ ability to incorporate wellness cuisine principles, focusing on healthy and nutritious ingredients without compromising on taste.
The success of our chefs was significantly bolstered by the expert guidance and mentorship of our esteemed head chef, Indika Bandara. His leadership and insights were instrumental in honing their skills and preparing them for the rigours of the competition. Chef Indika’s philosophy emphasises the importance of wellness cuisine, where the art of cooking meets the science of nutrition. This approach ensures that every dish is a harmonious blend of flavours and health benefits, catering to the growing demand for healthier dining options.

One of the highlights of the competition was the emphasis on wellness cuisine. This trend reflects a broader movement in the culinary world towards healthy and environmentally conscious cooking, where the focus is on using fresh, sustainably-sourced ingredients, and incorporating techniques that preserve the nutritional value of the food.

In line with this, our chefs have been exploring the use of ingredients from the “Future 50 Foods” report by Knorr and the WWF. This initiative highlights 50 foods that are nutritious, have a lower environmental impact, and can contribute to a sustainable global food system. By integrating these ingredients into their recipes, our chefs are not only elevating their culinary creations but also promoting a healthier and more sustainable way of eating.

The Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge saw the participation of over 1,600 chefs from Asia, and we are proud to say that we were the only Sri Lankan team to win awards. This incredible achievement sets a new benchmark for our culinary team and complements our qualification for the prestigious Culinary Olympiad. As we reflect on this remarkable journey, we are incredibly proud of Chef Indunila and Chef Nilantha. Their achievements not only bring honour to our establishment but also inspire and set a benchmark for aspiring chefs. Their success at the Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge underscores the importance of culinary innovation and the growing relevance of wellness cuisine in today’s food industry.

We look forward to supporting our chefs in future endeavours and continuing our legacy of culinary excellence. Stay tuned for more updates on our culinary adventures and successes!

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