The day’s destination is Ceylon Tea Trails – a cluster of luxurious plantation bungalows nestled in the heart of the spectacular Sri Lankan tea country. A cycle ride, a tea-inspired high tea hosted by the Fernando family and an evening spent in the company of the finest tea is all on the cards. Chefs Andrea Ferrero from Italy and Jarek U?ci?ski from Poland will be conducting their tea culinary demonstrations today.
Updated 5.00pm, 18th May 2014
As the sun stole over the tranquil waters of the Castlereagh Reservoir to greet the seventh day of the Chefs & the Teamaker programme chef Andrea Ferrero was up early to commune with the muses of tea, food and art. The executive chef of the Bugalri Hotel in Milan where fashion is a religion and luxury is a way of life, Andrea’s culinary creations presented food in its most artistic, natural yet whimsical.
The fact that Andrea wanted to become an artist is apparent in his cooking. Born to a family of food lovers, it seems that Andrea claimed his love of food as a birthright. The smoked beef fillet he grilled on an open fire constructed just outside the verdant lawns of the beautiful Castlereagh Bungalow owned by Ceylon Tea Trails, using Dilmah t-Series VSRT Lapsang Suchong tea and accompanied with spring onions, broken potatoes and unusual herbs, resonated the purity of nature that surrounded us. As Andrea says, “This is food the way it was meant to be eaten”.
Meanwhile the great Polish chef Jarek U?ci?ski was prepping up to create his own Dilmah tea inspired dishes at the Tientsin Bungalow, also owned by Ceylon tea Trails. Using the Dilmah Exceptional range of teas Jarek prepared some mouth-watering dishes which included Chanterelle and dried apricot pate served on groats barley mousse boiled in berry sensation tea and touch of clove dressed with green asparagus drizzled with sunflower seeds and a tuna tartar layered with gelled green tea, avocado and fresh mango dressed with fired cinnamon and black pepper.
The rest of the chefs spent the morning breezing through the scenic roads that led from Dunkheld Turnoff to Castlereagh on their bicycles. At the halfway point of their ride they stopped to join Merrill J. Fernando and his sons Dilhan and Malik to handover a housing scheme constructed by the MJF Charitable Foundation to their recipients.
Later, as the gardens outside basked in the slanting sun and the long shadows of afternoon crept up the walls of the regal Tientsin Bungalow, the chefs and the teamaker met for a tea inspired high tea in the cool shade of the bungalow’s long veranda. We raise a cup to those who grace that tea table this evening: each a genius in his or her own right, each celebrated for their exceptional talent, where their love for what they do and their passionate pursuit of settling for nothing but the best has brought them from across the oceans to this beautiful isle of Sri Lanka – the home of Dilmah.