Best Gastronomist Trophy PRADEEP RUSHAN MUDALIGE Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek 29-year-old Chef Rushan from Srilanka was born and raised in the city of Galle on the southern west tip of the island country. Watching his brother enjoy his career as a chef made Rushan too, take up cooking as a profession. While his 35-year-old elder brother is now Executive Chef at Radisson Blu in Muscat, this Demi Chef de Partie too is looking to reaching similar heights in the future. In an industry where chefs are known to jump ships every few months, Chef Rushan has been with Radisson Deira for 6 years and 9 months. He says, "Chef Uwe is an excellent mentor to have and I am constantly learning from him as well as my other seniors." He joined the hotel as a Commis I after finishing his studies and working for a year at a small restaurant in Sri Lanka. "I've always liked cooking and my parents were quite happy to see their two sons become chefs. Their only grouse is that despite spending long hours in the kitchen both me and my brother are yet to put on weight." Chef Tushan is not new to competitions and has already garnered 28 medals including 5 gold medals over the years. This was his third attempt at East Coast Salon (last year he lost the title by a few points to his colleague and this years Global Junior Chef finalist Rahil Rathod). To become the Best Gastronomist, he won a gold medal for three course meal, a gold medal for chicken live and a silver medal for beef live. Chef Rushan's future plan is to own a restaurant by the beach in Sri Lanka. Best Pastry Chef Trophy DINUM SANKALPA Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre At the young age of 25, Dinum is already an Assistant Pastry Chef thanks to his focused approach and advice from his 29-year-old elder brother, who works as pastry chef at Zero Gravity in Madinat Jumeirah. Following his culinary studies, Dinum has spent two years each working for some of the finest hotels under the mentorship of the best pastry chefs. He worked at Cinnamon Garden in Sri Lanka, the Four Seasons in Saudi Arabia and the Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi before joining Al Jawaher in early 2015. He says, "Everything went as per plan on the day of the competitions and there were no hiccups thankfully. I won a silver medal for the three plated dessert, a gold for the petit four and another silver for the live cake competition." The finally tally saw him gain more points that all the other competitors making him the Best Pastry Chef. Ask him if he's content and he says, "I'm really looking forward to Gulfood next." As for his future plans he hopes to someday be able to run his own business in Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016