“Heritage Days” highlights authentic Sri Lankan Cuisine and Culture

On Tuesday (23 February 2010), Restaurants Associates (RA) at the World Bank and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington, D.C. inaugurated the first day of “Celebrating Sri Lankan Cuisine, a special country promotion, launched under the RA’s “Heritage Days” luncheon series.

Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya in conversation with Chef Gerard Mendis of Hilton, Colombo and his colleague,
Chef Madhawa Weerabaddhana.

The inaugural luncheon, prepared by two leading chefs specially flown from Sri Lanka, namely, Chef Gerard Mendis of Hilton, Colombo and his colleague, Chef Madhawa Weerabaddhana, featured a colorful spread of seafood, curries and vegetarian dishes laced with authentic Sri Lankan spices.

The occasion was attended by as many as two hundred guests, including a large number of senior executives representing the World Bank, the IMF, the Office of the USTR and the US Departments of State, Commerce and Defense.

Chef Gerard Mendis of Hilton, Colombo and his colleague,Chef Madhawa Weerabaddhana

“Welcome to Sri Lanka,” Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya greeted the busy executive dining room. “As I was arriving at this restaurant, I saw a Sri Lankan Airlines hostess, I saw a Sri Lanka Tourism video playing and I smelled the Sri Lankan food. I felt like I was in Sri Lanka. I believe our food will tempt all our guests to visit Sri Lanka on their next vacation.”

Apart from stunning, spicy entrees, the luncheon also highlighted Sri Lanka as a premiere travel destination, following the “New York Times” recent designation of Sri Lanka as the number one place to visit in 2010.

Mr. Dillan Ariyawansa, Sri Lankan Airlines' Senior Vice President in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean, also attended the lunch to boost travel prospects.

The guests, who were highly pleased with the feast, were deeply appreciative of the Restaurant Associates and the Sri Lankan Embassy for the rare opportunity given.

With over 240 guests, the second day luncheon, 24th Feb., the bank’s executive dinning room saw the highest number of diners at in the entire history of “Heritage Days” series so far.

On 25th and 26th, Chefs Gerard and Madhawa will offer their specialties in the bank’s larger cafeteria, which serves over 3,500 meals a day and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.(IFC) dining room respectively.

On March 2, the chefs will stage a special Sri Lankan dinner at the prestigious Time Warner Center in New York City for another executive gathering that will include a large number of representatives from the travel trade.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

26 February 2010


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