Celebrating 210 years of history and colonial heritage, Mount Lavinia Hotel is a pioneer in promoting Sri Lankan cuisine to the world. The face synonymous to the hotel as well as traditional culinary art, none other than Dr. Chef Publis Silva, was felicitated for 60 years of dedicated service to MLH, at the recently held Annual Staff Day.
This was the 24th Staff Day where staff members and their families participated in a lunch hosted by the Chairman Sanath Ukwatte. Gold awards for the long serving staff, scholarships for the families and housing grants were distributed during the ceremony.
The highlight of the event was when the Management and staff of Mount Lavinia Hotel led by the Chairman Sanath Ukwatte and Group General Manager Bazeer Cassim, rewarded Chef Publis with a prestigious award for his service.
Chef Publis initially joined Mount Lavinia Hotel in 1956 as a coal carrier, dragging the heavy gunny bags of coal used for the kitchen stove. His other main duty at the time included scraping 80 coconuts along with another kitchen hand. With such humble beginnings, he soon became a kitchen help through sheer dedication and hard work. Winning the trust of the Head Cook, he gradually ascended the ladder in learning the art of cooking. He was subsequently promoted as Head Chef of Mount Lavinia Hotel. Chef Publis has been functioning as the Director Culinary Affairs since 2003 and has spearheaded numerous culinary projects, including the colossal task of popularising Sri Lankan cuisine around the world. He is also the author of 23 books, and has entered the Guinness Book of Records for creating the largest and longest Kiribath as well as the world’s smallest recipe book titled ‘Royal Meals of the Last Kings of Sri Lanka’. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Open International University of Sri Lanka in 2004 and is the only chef in the world to hold such a prestige in Culinary Art.
“We are honoured and proud to have a person such as Chef Publis with us, who is an ambassador of Sri Lankan cuisine and has taken the name of Mount Lavinia Hotel as well as Sri Lanka to the international world,” stated Chairman of Mount Lavinia Hotel Group Sanath Ukwatte.“He has done immense service to the hospitality industry through his research and teaching. His loyalty to the hotel has been a strength to us,” he further added. Commenting on the appreciation he received from Mount Lavinia Hotel, Chef Publis expressed the following thoughts, “Mount Lavinia Hotel is my home. Even after 60 long years, I still enjoy every day I spend serving the hotel, and continuing my research and writing. I have been blessed with the ability to bring international fame and I have met many people throughout the years, including royalty. Yet I always come back to the hotel. As the Director of Culinary Affairs, my main role is to be a consultant; to guests, wedding couples, and even staff. This allows me to share my knowledge with many people and I am grateful for it. This felicitation from my family at Mount Lavinia Hotel is closest to my heart than any other accolade I have received.” Mount Lavinia Hotel, will be hosting “Words on the Mount”, a literary festival to celebrate its 210th Anniversary on 8, 9, and 10 July 2016. Leading writers from the UK – Louis de Bernieres, Peter Grimsdale, Stephanie Calman, Rohan Candappa and Nicholas Allen are the chief participants in the event. The whole program is offered to the Sri Lankan public free of charge provided they register on a first come first serve basis. With 210 years of history, Mount Lavinia Hotel is a British Colonial themed beach-front resort in the city. With a selection of 210 rooms with idyllic views of the ocean, thematic dining experiences, dream weddings, enthralling entertainment and impeccable service together with a legacy of heritage, we offer the best of Sri Lankan hospitality. MLH is a subsidiary of Mount Lavinia Hotel Group, which includes Club Bentota, Aluthagama & Vakarufalhi Island Resort in the Maldives. Visit www.mountlaviniahotelgroup.com
This article originally appears on DailyFT