Heading up to Nawalapitiya, home to the Craighead Estate renowned for its luxurious white tea and the extremely rare Seasonal Flush. It’s Dutch chef Jeroen van Oijen’s day in the limelight as he cooks up a storm using teas from Dilmah Teamaker’s Private Reserve.
Updated 6.00pm, 16th May 2014
The fifth day of the Dilmah Chefs & the Teamaker programme saw the team of chefs making their way to Craighead, one of the most recognised and awarded estates owned by Dilmah. Dilmah white tea – the Silver Tips, which is one of the finest teas in the world, is made in this factory not to mention the extremely rare Seasonal Flush that captures the fleeting magic of nature. The factory is over a hundred years old and stunning landscape of the estate attest to the beauty of the tea it produces.
Chef Jeroen van Oijen from the Netherlands was up before the rest, because it was his day in the limelight. Sri Lanka which was known as Ceylon in the bygone days is interlinked to the Netherlands in many ways. The Dutch seafarers discovered the isle of spice in the Indian Ocean. They interaction with each other had a lasting influence and the fusion of two cultures in apparent, in both countries. This fusion was the focus of all of Jeroen’s dishes who loves to look at food in a different light. His signature dish, the Appletaart was a remake of the Dutch apple pie with Dilmah Teamaker’s Private Reserve Artisanal Spice Chai poached apples. It was stunning in its minimalist presentation and complexity of flavours.
The rest of the chefs drove up the hill and walked along the tea covered slopes picking tea buds to make their very own Silver Tips. The delicate flavour of Silver Tips is a result of its manufacturing process. The tenderest bud is plucked and processed under filtered sunlight and completely handmade. By the time the chefs make their way back to Colombo the tender green buds would have become the priceless silvery green Ceylon Silver Tips and would be ready to make the journey along with the chefs back to their countries.