As a boy growing up in Sri Lanka off the southern coast of India I used to watch as my grandmother gathered fresh ingredients from our garden every day to make simple yet delicious dishes for our family. Everyone in the village grew their own food: garlic, red onions, coconuts, chili and lemons on either small farms or in their own back gardens. Rice was harvested twice a year and the children would help to beat off the husks by hand before it was stored indoors. Everything the family ate was fresh and natural which I believe is the essence of good, healthy food.
My mother and grandmother would create mouth watering lunimaris a traditional Sri Lankan paste at our kitchen table. The ingredients chili, lemon, garlic, spices were stone ground on a Mirisgala , a traditional grinding stone, into a paste to be served with rice or roti, a flatbread which can be flavoured with chili or coconut.
Our small sun-drenched village was a far cry from the ….?. Where I later worked as a chef honing my skills and learning how to create and develop recipes for dishes and sauces with unique flavours and taste.
But there was one message that stayed with me as I traveled the world and worked as a chef in international 5 star hotels across the Middle East and Europe, "Keep your ingredients fresh and natural."
I came to Ireland in 2002 to work in the highly acclaimed Hayfield Manor in Cork earning the title Employee of the Year in 2010.
Athula’s new Fusion Sauce Range
The compliments from my customer’s inspired me to take the next step and produce my range of fusion sauces for the Irish market. I’ve invested 27 years in perfecting my recipes and at this stage, I am excited to bring their flavors to your table. My sauces can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, such as chicken, duck, fish and vegetables, to quickly and easily, create an authentic and delicious meal. All this is done without compromising my commitment to using fresh and natural ingredients.
Back in sunny Sri Lanka, I now have a farm where I grow a whole range of spices along with coconut and lemon trees. In time, as my range grows and develops, I intend to use this produce to make my sauces together with Irish herbs and spices sourced locally.
My promise is to deliver a range of great tasting fusion sauces blended with expertise using fresh and natural ingredients, at a fair price! Athula’s Food Ltd will use the highest industry standards and will be environmentally friendly.
My grandmother, (who by the way, lived to be almost 100 years old), would be so proud to see her authentic recipes and expertise brought to life far, far from her village in Sri Lanka and onto the Irish table.
As a child I always wanted to run my own restaurant and that dream came true in 2012 when Rooster Pil Pil opened in Ballincollig specializing in Asian Fusion food with a nod towards the Irish palate. Here I could experiment and develop my own stone ground lunimaris which were the base for a range of my signature dishes and sauces. I wanted to capture the unique flavors of my childhood while adding ingredients that I know Irish people particularly enjoy. My recipes blend the traditional south Asian flavors with a subtle mix of Irish herbs and spices.
The Irish and Sri Lankans, seem to share this opinion: we both have a strong tradition of cooking simple, fresh and natural ingredients. Our Trip Advisers reviews of Rooster Pil Pil said it all: “wonderful food”, “the best chicken ever”, “superb”, “excellent food”, “crunchy and tasty”.