Chefs Dammika Herath and Tharindu Ganihiarachchi of Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, were presented with the Award for the Best use of Tea at the Global Chefs Challenge. The competition recognizes the most innovative and respectful use of tea in dessert and is judged by a panel of culinary judges that includes Chefs Gilles Renusson, Otto Weibel , Chern Chee Hoong, Kenny Kong, Rudy Muller & Florian Guillemenot. The floating Dilmah Earl Grey tea chocolate mousse with chocolate crumble with passion fruit sorbet and strawberry sensation was selected by the judges for the best use of tea and the award presented at the Gala Dinner event that concluded the 4-day Global Chefs Congress in Kuala Lumpur.
WorldChefs President Thomas Gugler and Continental Director Rick Smith were joined by Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando in presenting the Award to the winning team. Total of 70 countries took part at the Global Chefs challenge of which eight countries competed in the final competition that is amongst the most prestigious culinary challenges in the world and involved several months of preparation and fine tuning.
The Dilmah Tea Gastronomy initiative first started in 1998 with the use of tea in soup, and has since evolved into a pioneering, global initiative that involves Chefs, Bartenders and tea aficionados. The concept builds on the ancient Chinese principle of using tea in food for medicinal purposes, to add the dimension of taste indulgence.
Focusing on respect for the traditional, orthodox method of picking tea, and the emphasis that method places on the influence of Nature on the aroma, taste and texture in tea, at the heart of the Dilmah Tea gastronomy initiative is respect for tea. It involves tea pairing, using different teas with different provenance to dignify food, and enhance flavour and texture, also to build on the natural antioxidant properties in tea in relation to the functional connection between tea and food in relation to digestion and wellness.
Chef Dammika Herath was amongst the national winners of the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge and is in the Real High Tea Hall of Fame for his outstanding performance at the Real High Tea Challenge UAE in 2014 and Real High Tea Global in 2015. The winning team will visit Sri Lanka for the Dilmah School of Tea in 2019, for six days of tea inspiration and an all-expenses paid visit to Sri Lanka.