New heads for Cinnamon Hotels | Daily News

New heads for Cinnamon Hotels

British national Dermot Gale counts over 40 years in the hospitality industry with stints in some of the leading hotel brands. Prior to this appointment as the General Manager of Cinnamon Grand, Gale was the General Manager of Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo, the premier five-star resort in the city. He is also Vice President, John Keells Holdings.

During his tenure, he led the Hotel to achieve several coveted accolades, including the title of Best Culinary Hotel at the Chefs’ Guild Culinary Awards 2018, Best Five Star City Hotel at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018, and the property being ranked 11th place in the Top 25 properties in Sri Lanka by Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards for 2019.

A driven, passionate hotelier, he has worked for various leading hotel brands around the world including France, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, Barbados, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Maldives.

Gale began his career in 1989 as a chef in Europe before moving to Bermuda in 1999 where he was appointed as Executive Chef of the Newstead Hotel. His zeal for the hospitality industry prompted him to pursue his interest in the culinary field at the age of 15. This fueled his passion even further and became a career option after winning several awards as a chef. He holds to his credit the achievement of receiving the prestigious “Young Chef of the Year” award presented by AA Rosettes.

Now in his new role, Gale aims to ensure the continuation of services at their existing high standard at Cinnamon Grand, the city’s premier five-star hotel. “I am happy to be back here; this time in a different role and capacity to lead a strong team that has made their mark in the hospitality landscape in Sri Lanka,” he said. Dermot Gale is no stranger to the Grand, having worked as Director Catering at the Hotel from 2003 to 2006.

Gale is also responsible for working with Cinnamon Grand in the pre-opening of Cinnamon Life, the newest luxury integrated project undertaken by the John Keells Group.


Rohan Fernandopulle is a celebrated chef with nearly four decades of experience, both locally and internationally. He has won several prestigious awards for his culinary expertise, as well as F&B initiatives that have helped to showcase contemporary Sri Lanka with a modern twist.

Fernandopulle, in his new role, takes the helm of Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. He is also Vice President, John Keells Holdings, and overlooks F&B initiatives for Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts.

He also conceptualized a restaurant to bring in the rural face of Sri Lanka in a very contemporary setting, serving food with flair, with a story unfolding on each plate served. Sustainability and community are subjects close to his heart and he incorporated knowledge enhancement and life skill development among the community youth. He incorporated these concepts into the new restaurants with organic ingredients, service staff sourced from the community and intensive hospitality training to enhance their knowledge and livelihoods.

His accolades include gold and silver medals at the Culinary Olympics, Bocuse d’Or, and the distinction of being placed second in the world at the ‘Black Box’ competition in Japan. Fernandopulle is also a President’s Award winner for the Best Chef award.

“Given the country’s current situation, it is vital that we think out of the box and develop concepts that enable diners to enjoy an eclectic range of food experiences, get into different markets. I look forward to working with the talented team at Cinnamon Lakeside and taking the property to greater heights,” he said.

Fernandopulle is the President of Bocuse d’Or. He is also the only Sri Lankan member of the prestigious ‘Club Des Chefs Des Chefs’ and is a member of the famous club, Chain des Rotisseurs as Chef de Rotisseur. His specialty is trans-ethnic cuisine which he pioneered in Sri Lanka.


Add new comment