As Sri Lankans we are inherited with a rich background of cuisine characterized with many fresh herbs and spices. We are all so proud of how our ancestors have mixed and mingled the homegrown spices to make the most flavorful dishes unique to Sri Lanka. We also believe that the “kitchen” is a gathering place for friends and family ;a place where memories are homemade and seasoned with love. Bearing this thought Rotaractors of KDU organized the annual cook off “Delicióso Grand Kitchenétte” bringing all the Rotaractors into one kitchen to learn the quintessential expressions of European cuisine.
The evening started off at the Singer showroom in Mount Lavinia under the guidance of Chef Mrs. Sujiva Withana. The cookery demonstration of few exquisitely unadorned and simple western dishes was lined up for the evening.
The first off was the “Cream of Asparagus Soup”. This dish was flavored with the richness of Asparagus shoots and herb mixture of thyme, bay leaf and rosemary. The aroma of the herb mixture in hot boiling chicken stock thickened with fresh cream filled the room in no time after kept on stove.
Meanwhile the Soup cooked into a creamy texture the Chef demonstrated the ingredients for the next dish; the “Shepherd’s Pie”. The base of this dish was the minced chicken saute topped with the rich creamy mashed potato made with butter and milk.This too was a simple mouthwatering dish which encapsulated the richness of Worcestershire sauce; a sauce unique to European dishes.
The final demonstration was the “Grilled Aubergines with Pesto Sauce”. The eggplant slices was brushed with olive oil and grilled until softened and lightly charred. The freshly ground basil gave the pesto sauce its lovely green texture flavored with the garlic and cashew-nuts.
Preparing the Apple Crumble was a cook off among the Rotaractors divided into 4 groups. It was a very simple but rich in sweetness and flavor. Just one clove added a lot of flavor to this dish and the aroma it gave was amazing! All 4 groups were pretty enthusiastic to unleash their hidden cooking skills. It was just like a real life experience of a “Fox Life” or a “TLC” cooking show. Every group made sure that their apple mixture got the correct consistency and tried their very best to make the dish perfect even by garnishing it with red and green apple peels! All the Rotaractors turned into passionate chefs for a while!
Chef Mrs. Sujiva Withana who is a professional cooking instructor at the Singer Cookery School gave us a lot of tips on how to make these fancy dishes easily with the help of the ingredients available in Sri Lanka, how to saute the ingredients perfectly and make tender and pillowy mashed potato that melts in your mouth! We saw many flavors mingle together to form soul food that is easy to make! The evening was an absolute delight!
The annual cook off was proof that a kitchen is indeed a place where memories are homemade and seasoned with love. Hence it is safe to say “Delicióso Grand Kitchenétte” did its best in bringing the young Rotaractors in harmony to blend in the culinary riches and witness the European cuisine.
Article by Co-Editor Rtr. M.Pasqual