I was fortunate to meet Mr. Sudusinghe the Executive Chef at Cinnamon Grand to discuss matters relevant to the above topic. Our conversation got off to a splendid start, when Sudusinghe started giving a detailed description of the celebration party hosted by the Cinnamon Grand Colombo, to the World Cup winners of the T20 tournament held in Colombo. It was an exclusive party thrown to the West Indian cricket team, who won the final beating Sri Lanka, at the Premadasa Stadium.

Delving back to the T20 final itself, the West Indies got to 137 runs in their allotted 20 overs, mainly due to a belligerent 78 by Marlon Samuels who was going “hammer and tongs” and it took him a mere 56 balls. His knock was studded with 3 fours and 6 sixes. Sri Lanka in reply started the chase with a promising partnership by Jayawardene and Sangakkara, but once the big guns were dismissed, The Sri Lankans folded up tamely for 101 in 18.4 overs.

The Sri Lankans were jubilant at the start, due to the early dismissal of Chris Gayle, however with the advent of Samuels to the arena, who massacred Lasith Malinga’s bowling, Malinga going for 54 runs in his allotted 4 overs. The impact of Samuels innings on Malinga was such that Malinga’s curled up hair nearly straightened and this was a rare spectacle for the spectators. This little gem of an innings changed the whole complexion of the proceedings, and the West Indies took the game away from the Lankans then and there. Thus The West Indies became the worthy winners of the 2013, T20 World Cup.

The celebration party for the winners began at 10.30 pm and went on nonstop till 3.00 am states the Executive Chef.

The West Indies team as a whole was thoroughly enjoying the ambiance and they blended very well with the superb surroundings that were offered by the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. It was party time from the word go states Sudusinghe. The typical West Indian thirst for excitement and enjoyment was clearly evident. Everybody was sharing the joy and happiness at full blast which I could reminisce with the parties we had in Kingston in the early eighties.

The West Indians themselves provided their own music, which was Afro, Calypso and Reggae which set the toes tapping on one and all. Chris Gayle the West Indian Super Star was seen mingling well with everyone including the waiters, states Sudusinghe, this itself showed the humble nature of the great man.

The meals of the Test cricketers were strictly governed by their respective nutritional experts. A typical West Indian breakfast would consist of; cereals, fruits, boiled eggs, smoothies, yoghurts etc. A lunch would consist of lean meat, beef steak, chicken breast, grilled fish, pasta and potatoes, accompanied by fresh salads and a light soup.

A typical dinner would be roast chicken or fish stew with steamed vegetables. The facilities provided for catering in the cricket stadiums all over our country was highly inadequate in comparison to the cricket stadiums in the Middle East recalled Sudusinghe. He further stated that the transportation of food items to the higher levels of the stadiums here should be transported via lifts so that the food will be well preserved. If the food had to be carried by hand up the staircases on trays the hygiene of the food cannot be guaranteed.

Through sheer dint of hard work Sudusinghe has reached the pinnacle of his profession, to be the Executive Chef of the top most hotel in Sri Lanka. He further stated that Cricket vs. the culinary art goes hand in hand because both need good team work and understanding. He goes on to add that his role as the Executive Chef is much similar to the role played by a captain of a Sri Lankan Cricket team, to achieve victory in a Test Match. All members must put their heart and soul into their performance likewise to get a good dish out of the culinary team.

They will also have to put their body and soul to it. He also states that a chef will never remove his hat even in front of Royalty, due to the fact that they respect the food and also the health and hygiene aspect of it. 

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