Continuing their winning streak in the culinary sphere, Aitken Spence Hotels’ newest opening in the Maldives, Heritance Aarah, brought home multiple wins from the prestigious International IKA Culinary Olympics 2020 which included four Gold, seven Silver and two Bronze medals, marking their third gastronomic win since the opening of the resort last year.Having embarked on the Culinary Olympic journey just months after their previous win at the Culinary Food Expo in September 2019, the eight member team from Heritance Aarah included Lalith Gunasekera, the Corporate Chef / General Manager of the Maldives Sector; and Executive Chef Amila Silva, who were assisted by Culinary Olympic Record Holder and nine time Gold medallist Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, the Aitken Spence Hotels Assistant Vice President for Food and Beverage and Ambassador for Heritance Cuisine/Chefs & Culinary Art Development.

Excellence in skill and the expertise of the team, together with hard work and commitment to driving innovation, along with the spirit of Aitken Spence, proved to be the prize-winning ingredients for Heritance Aarah.

Held in Stuttgart, Germany from 14-19 February 2020, the competition saw over 2,000 chefs from 59 countries craft over 7,000 menus then judged by an elite panel of global chefs. IKA Culinary Olympics, which is acknowledged as the oldest, largest and most diverse international culinary art competition in the world, is one of the the most competitive and challenging culinary competitions in the industry.

Upon return to Bandaranaike Airport, the winning team was welcomed by the Management of Aitken Spence Hotels and then treated to a celebratory lunch and ceremony, which was attended by Group Chairman Deshamanya D.H.S Jayawardena, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake and Chairperson Stasshani Jayawardena, as well as well-wishers from across the Aitken Spence collective.

Heritance Aarah, which boasts 150 villas and a premium All-Inclusive offering through its six restaurants and five bars, has fast made a name for itself as a hub for gastronomic fineness among its global clientele. Introducing a unique food culture to the Maldives hospitality industry, Heritance Aarah’s culinary success is owed to its innovative approach and simple food structure.

Speaking about the recent wins, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism and Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management, Stasshani Jayawardena, congratulated the team; “Heritance Aarah has successfully followed in the footsteps of its sister properties in Sri Lanka and made a name for itself in the culinary field. Through our distinct identification of unique food culture from the Maldives as well as from around the world, our kitchen experts have developed flavours and aromas that are exclusive and exceptional, reiterating our commitment to curating distinctive dishes that take diners on a sensory journey,” she said. “The win reflects the up and coming talent that we are proud to call part of the Aitken Spence family. Our hope is that they utilise all available resources to better their skillset and create memorable holiday experiences for our guests.”

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Notes To Editors:

Heritance Aarah Culinary Olympic Wins

  1. F. Gihan Maduranga Fonseka:Gold – Pastry Artistic – D2 and Silver – Regional Team
  2. Chamaka Nadeeshan Perera: Gold – Culinary Art Cooking, Silver – Regional Teamand and Bronze – Pastry Artistic – D2
  3. Shrimal Kulatunge: Gold – Pastry Artistic – D2 and Silver – Regional Team
  4. Lalith Gunasekera: Gold – Culinary Art Cooking
  5. Amila Sathsara Silva: Silver – Culinary Artistic – D1 and Silver – Regional Team
  6. Rayon Delon: Silver – Regional Team
  7. A. Dananjaya Fernando – Silver – Regional Team and Bronze – Pastry Artistic – D2

Image Captions:
Image 1: Stasshani Jayawardena – Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism and Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management greeting Chef Dimuthu and the team upon their return to Bandaranaike Airport.
Image 2: Heritance Aarah’s Culinary Olympic 2020 Team with Aitken Spence PLC Chairman Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism and Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management Stasshani Jayawardena, Aitken Spence Hotel Managments Managing Director Susith Jayawickrama, COO Sri Lanka Jeevaka Weerakone, VP F&B Bjorn Van Der Host and Group Supervisory Board.
Image 3: A traditional welcome was waiting for the champions.

About Aitken Spence Hotels
Aitken Spence Hotels is part of the Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC and operates 23 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes 11 resorts spread across the island, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to seven, four in Oman and one in India.

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