Executive Chef of the Jetwing Lighthouse and Jetwing Lighthouse Club, Nihal Senanayake is all set to be a participant of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017. He is armed with vast culinary knowledge and skills after having spent a number of years working overseas, and participating in programmes in Dubai, Hungary, Switzerland, China and Germany at five star hotels such as Radisson, SAS and Ramada. A true Southerner at heart, he gains inspiration from local ingredients and creates exemplary dishes with an international twist.
In a brief interview he speaks about his excitement at participating in FGLF 2017, and what single ingredient he can't do without.
How do you feel about participating at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017?
It sure is a very exciting experience. Jetwing Lighthouse has always been fond of the Galle Literary Festival, and has been working closely with the Festival over the years. With authors from different genres gathering at one place there is a sharing of expertise and knowledge, this is a learning experience in itself. This way I too get to share my culinary journey and interest all with authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
What would you say is your most favourite type of cuisine?
I have always liked Sri Lankan cuisine, and I love to play with Sri Lankan and Mediterranean fusion. I have worked in Dubai and also gained exposure in Hungary, Switzerland, China and Germany but to me nothing comes close to the flavours of Sri Lankan food. I am from Galle so a lot of my food has a Southern touch, an occasional walk in the locality helps me to pick my own ingredients and come up with dishes with an explosion of flavours.
What single ingredient can't you do without in your kitchen?
That would most definitely be salt. It is a heavily used ingredient in local food and no dish goes unserved with a balance of flavours accompanied by the right amount of salt.
What does cooking mean to you?
I believe cooking is an art. It is a combination of many things; ingredients, ideas, desire, love and skill all of which sums up into a dish with pleasant surprises in your mouth. To me cooking is a therapeutic process, and one can really enjoy cooking and presenting food.
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