Chef Matias Palomo from Chile will cook with Dilmah Green Tea at Mankada today while the rest of the chefs learn to master the pottery wheel and later go on safari to spot elephants at the Udawalawe National Park.

Updated 7.00 pm, 15th May 2014

On Udawalawe Road a little way past the magnificent Udawalawe Reservoir is Mankada, the MJF Centre for Traditional Arts and Crafts. At Mankada, supported by the MJF Charitable Foundation as well as Dilmah Conservation and guided by the master potter Ajith, beautiful pottery items are handcrafted by the villagers whose lives have taken a turn for the better along with the turn of the pottery wheel. This was where our team of chefs stopped over for their lunch. After trying their hands at the pottery wheel, they settled down to a feast of local cuisine – the Sri Lankan rice and curry, juts the way the locals do it.

Mankada was also the chosen location for the Chilean chef Matias Palomo to show us his culinary flare. Using teas from the Dilmah Green Tea range he created some exotic dishes which included white fish ceviche with Dilmah Green Tea with Jasmine tea foam.

Earlier in the day the group visited the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe where the orphaned baby elephants are cared for to be eventually released back in to their natural habitat. By afternoon everyone was ready for some adventure and headed out to the Udawalawe National Park famous for its elephant population. The park was lush and green with recent rains and its iconic gentle giants were at home with quite a few young calves in tow.

Dinner and an early night tonight because tomorrow will be an early start.