Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Young Swiss Chefs to enhance the Swiss Food Festival

Swiss people love good food, music and wine. Savoring the world famous Swiss cheeses is considered an everlasting memory. The Embassy of Switzerland in collaboration with the Mount Lavinia Hotel is now promoting “A Taste of Switzerland”. Seven days of distinctive, regionally influenced cuisine from the diverse areas of German, French, Romantsch and Italian speaking Switzerland. This experience includes some culinary icons that have crossed the linguistic borders and have become Swiss national dishes loved by all Swiss alike. Cheese Fondue, Raclette and Roesti, accompanied by Switzerland’s popular and fragrant white, rosé and red wines are enjoyed throughout the country with minor alterations in preparation according to the region it is savored in. Be sure to have your taste buds tingling. This gastronomic experience, unique in Sri Lanka, is held from July 29 to August 4 at the Maitland State Room of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Whether you prefer to experience the full range of diverse Swiss food - priced at LKR3000/-nett (buffet, dinner only) – or wish to enjoy the unique Swiss fondue on its own – priced at  LKR2500/-nett for a large pot (a la carte, dinner only) – it is all there for you to decide how to best enjoy this rare opportunity.

The young and dynamic chef team in charge has vast experience in preparing dishes from all regions of Switzerland.  The chefs Simon Meier, Alexander Buechi and Marco Amatore, who are natives of Switzerland, will bring out the best of authentic Swiss cuisine in Sri Lanka. Simon who hails from the Meilen district’s unique “Hotel Hirschen am See” will present traditional Swiss German and Romantsch dishes, well known in the eastern region of the country. Whilst Alexander who is at present chef at the extraordinarily designed Culture and Convention Center at the restaurant “Gersag” will introduce you to many different dishes synonymous to the Swiss German region of Switzerland. Marco, currently working as the executive chef of the well known “Candrian Catering” completes the extensive knowledge of the team through his well founded experience in cuisine from French and Italian speaking parts of Switzerland.

To further enhance the enjoyment of the Swiss culinary specialties on offer, traditional folkloric musicians, also especially flown in from Switzerland for the occasion, will be entertaining our guests. The distinct “Swiss Örgeli” and “Swiss Alphorn” will be amongst the instruments these Swiss native musicians will bring to contribute to the distinctiveness and the authenticity of this event, making a night at the Mount Lavinia Hotel a truly genuine Swiss experience.

A Taste of Switzerland

Monday, July 8, 2013

Diamond Jubilee of the Beetles celebrated in style at the Mount

The Volkswagen Beetle Owners Club (VBOC) held the “Bug drive” of jubilation to commemorate their diamond jubilee in partnership with the Mount Lavinia Hotel on the 7th July 2013. MLH have been in partnership with the VBOC, for the 3rd consecutive year to highlight the only car with an international significance and indeed a national day. The day was felicitated with 75 cars that took to the streets and ended the show and shine rally at the Mount Lavinia Hotel courtyard with the celebration at the regency Pavilion.. The flag off was headed by H E Dr Juergen Morhad – Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sri Lanka and Patron of the VBOC Mr Kapila Jayawardena.

However the celebration does not end there as Mount Lavinia Hotel will kick start “Herbie goes Bananas at the Mount” a week-long promotion from the 8th to the 13th July where an all day banana menu awaits you. The highlight of the day would be the showing off of the ole classics in all ages and colours at the hotel courtyard from 8pm to 9pm each night till the 13th July.

So come and go Bananas over the bugs!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Two giants of the Culinary World meet to launch friendship dish at the MLH

Two premier culinary experts showcase their styles of cooking and unique tastes to launch a friendship dish that will be on the cards: SlovLanka Friendship Dish – Bloody Mary Octopus with Cheese Gnocchi accented by Stuffed Chicken Dummassa with Curd Rice, that will be on the menu card at the Governors Restaurant and Terrace.

Josef Oseli from Slovenia, having more than 22 years of executive level experience, including State Protocol of Slovenia in the former Yugoslavia Residence. Josef was the ex butler for Marshal Josip Broz Tito who was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans. Chef Oselia has conducted individual ceremony Protocol Lunches and Dinners for many different Presidents, Kings and Emperors in the President Residence in the Brdo Castle in Kranj from 1972 to 1989. Further he has participated in matters related to catering for the Viktor's Awards of the year in Slovenia in 1996, 1997, 1998. When he was Kitchen Master and the second time as a Crew – leader of the Slovenian team and Kitchen Chef he assisted Miss World Competition in Seychelles Island in 1997 and 1998. He also is an external Lecturer in Academy Couliner in Croatia. And Last two years he began to assist in organizations and as an adjudicator in Chef Competitions across the world. In July 2009 he was the Marshal in the Chefs Competition held in Dubai by ACG. In September 2009 was the judge for Asia Culinary Cup Bangkok. The Judge in Salon Culinary Dubai. Accredited Judge of the World Association if Chefs Societies. He is a Member of Amnay Associations including President of Slovenian Culinary Academy, Member of Academie Coulinaire de France, Member of Emirates Culinary Guild, Member of Slovenien Sommelier, Member of WACS / World Association of Chefs Societies, WACS  global approved Judge,  Manager l'Escole Superieure de l'Hotellerie et de la Gastronomie Poznan,  Pologne and many more.

Pubilis Silva, a legendary figure responsible for the authenticity of Sri Lankan food partners with Josef Oseli to launch a dish that emphasizes the unique diplomacy of friendship shared between Slovenia and Sri Lanka. He is affectionately known as a legend synonymous to the Mount Lavinia Hotel where he serves with great loyalty for many decades to date. His prowess in authentic food, the compilation of its nutritious qualities and connections to Ayurveda, is priority in his literary works. As a consultant to many countries, both in the west and east, he is a flag bearer of Sri Lankan food. He is the center of attraction, inculcating interest in the large variety of local food on offer. The winner of the Presidential Award for Travel and Tourism 2009 – where he was named The Legend. Dr. Publis Silva is the only Chef in the world to hold a doctorate in culinary art, awarded for his effort in the upkeep of traditional values of local food. Apart from his numerous awards, his presence as a live demonstrator in many T.V. programmes has guided housewives and entrepreneurs towards a journey of culinary splendour.
The menu:
The cold shooter and starter
Bloody Mary Octopus
Cheese Gnocchi

Main course
Stuffed Chicken Dummassa with Curd Rice

Bloody Mary Octopus

·         1.5 oz. Tomato juice
·         100g Octopus
·         30g cherry tomatoes
·         20ml vodka
·         10ml lime or lemon juice
·         1 dash tabasco sauce
·         1 dash Worcestershire sauce
·         Salt to taste
·         Slice of lemon or lime for decoration


·         Boil octopus with salt and water for I hour.
·         Take out of boiler and cut into cubes and slices
·         Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and skewer with the octopus
·         In a glass bowl add the tomato juice, lemon or lime juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt
·         Place the cut octopus into the juice
·         Place in a glass(rock glass type) the juice and the skewer for decoration on the rim of the glass

Cheese Gnocchi

·         3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for your work bench
·         1/2 cup (28 grams) packed finely grated Parmesan cheese/cottage cheese (about 1 ounce)
·         Zest of 1 lemon or lime
·         1 cup (250 grams) whole milk
·         1 large egg
·         Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Add about 3 tablespoons of flour then set aside.
·         In a large bowl, use your fingers or a whisk to mix lemon/lime zest with 3/4 cup (95 grams) flour and the Parmesan cheese or cottage cheese. (The lemon or lime zest can clump, make sure you break it up so that it’s evenly mixed in). It is important to not add wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are well mixed.
·         Now, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk and egg. Using a wooden spoon (or your fingers), stir until the dough comes together. The dough should come together within 20 to 30 strokes of your spoon. (Be careful not to overwork the dough. If you do, the dough could become tough and heavy).
·         Transfer the dough onto a well-floured work bench then using your hands bring it together and shape into a square. (If the dough is tacky, add a little more flour). Cut the dough into 4 even pieces.
·         Now, gently roll each piece into 12-inch long ropes (and about 3/4-inch thick). While rolling, add a little extra flour as needed to prevent the rope from sticking to your hands or the work bench.
·         Use a bench scraper or knife to cut ropes into 3/4-inch wide pieces. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheet with flour and shimmy or shake the sheet so that the flour lightly coats each piece.
·         (If freezing, place baking sheet with gnocchi into freezer and freeze about 2 hours until gnocchi are hardened. Then, transfer frozen gnocchi to plastic container or resealable bag. When you are ready to cook gnocchi, remove from freezer and continue with the directions below).
·         To cook (refrigerated or frozen) gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until gnocchi begin to float.
·         Take out of the pan put some butter on top and parsley for colour before serving to plate

Gnocchi is delicious tossed in a little olive oil and parmesan cheese. You could also add a buttery crisp crust. To do this, melt some butter in a pan with one smashed clove of garlic. Once the gnocchi float to the top of your pot of boiling water, throw them into the butter and cook until browned on all sides.You could even add fresh herbs to the butter, too – sage or rosemary would be lovely.

Stuffed Chicken Dummassa with Curd Rice

·         400g Chicken Drumsticks
·         100g Katta Sambol
·         40g Onions
·         1no. Green Chilli
·         1 tbsp Curry leaves
·         1 tsp Garlic minced
·         ½ tsp Ginger minced
·         2nos. Cloves
·         1 ½ tbsp. Mango Chutney
·         2nos. Cardamom
·         ½” Cinnamon stick
·         1 tsp Lime Pickle
·         2 tsp Curry Powder
·         ½ tsp Chilli Powder
·         ½” Rampe or Pandan leaf
·         50g Tomatoes
·         2 tbsp Oil
·         Salt to taste


·         After thawing the chicken, debone the chicken and fill them with Katta Sambol, roll it up and tie with a twine thread and seal
·         On the stove place the oil, onions, rampe leaf, curry leaves, cloves, cinnamon and green chilli into a saucepan and let it fry for a little while. Add ginger, garlic, curry powder, chilli powder, salt and tomatoes.
·         Place the chicken onto the above mixture and let it cook for a while (20 to 30 minutes). Add 4 tbsp of water if needed. This can be boiled in the oven aswell(350°F at 30 to 40 minutes).
·         Remove the chicken and filter the gravy. Add the mango chutney and lime pickle to it and blend in the mixture. Toss it a bit on the saucepan.
·         Finally add the chicken onto the mixture.

Curd Rice

·         250g Boiled Rice
·         100g plain yoghurt or Curd
·         200g Carrot
·         200g Leeks
·         1no. Boiled Quail Egg for garnish
·         5g Spring Onions
·         1tsp Sugar
·         Salt to taste

·         Sauté the spring onions, carrot, leeks and sugar for a fifteen to twenty minutes then add in the boiled rice.
·         Just before serving mix in the salt and curd.
·         Then place the chicken with its gravy and spicy mixture on top of the rice.

·         Garnish place the quail egg

Four times the Swiss