Hello! My name is Ajith Perera. I was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka and did my hotel management and chef training there, ending up as a chef for a Buddhist pilgrimage to various places in India and Nepal (the Lord Buddha’s historic sites).
In my early 20’s I got the travel bug and moved to Dubai where I worked as a private butler for Emirates, also as food presenter for the Gulf Food Show, American Pavilion, and Dubai’s best-known advertising company. Through that, I got a chance to work on the Hollywood movie ‘Syriana’, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, styling Arabic costumes for them.
Me, with Matt Damon on the set of Syriana, Dubai, 2004
The travel bug bit again and I explored Germany, Amsterdam, Tashkent and Samarkand, also Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Thailand, Malaysia, Kuwait and the USA.
Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, New York, 2010
After all my amazing experiences seeing the world, I returned to Sri Lanka after 13 years and built my dream house. Here is my kitchen!
I decided to take a bit of a break from my career, and gave my assistance to the monks from the Buddhist Temple and cooked for local pension homes, and for the victims of the tsunami.
My temple in Sri Lanka
Then, out of the blue, I got a good opportunity to move to London, and took up a job as Head Chef for Sri Lankan Airlines. During my early days here, I also worked as a chef for the annual Festival of Cricket, and cooked for the Winter Night Shelters programmes at the Holy Cross Church and St. Pancras Parish Church, also the Buddhist Temple in Kingsbury.
At London’s Kings Cross Church
This led to a position in the Hilton chain, where I have completed four years already.
THE CEYLON CHEF BLOG
After all my travelling experiences, I have gained much experience cooking in the various cuisines of the world. And yet, I remain very connected to my traditional Sri Lankan recipes. I would like to dedicate this blog to the memory of my loving, late mother, Hema, who passed from me 16 years ago.
My beloved mother, Hema
My mother taught me many secrets of Sri Lankan (Ceylonese) cuisine, as well as the science – the nutritional values of the various spices and dishes. Because of this, I had the idea to set up this blog so that I can introduce you all to the simple and practical approach to our cooking. Enjoy!
Hi Aja – thank you for this delightful blog and I can’t wait to try the Sweet Pumpkin and Vegetable Curry recipes. At last I know how to make and store Raw Curry Powder – though it will take some effort for me to grind all those coriander seeds at once with my inadequate pestle & mortar. Looking forward to doing this – speak again soon. xxx
oh my goodness!!!
Very inspiring autobiography, your mother would be honored. I am excited about learning more about Ceylonese cuisine and eating it! Please continue to blog me recipes and I will definitely share this with my friends and family x
I have to say that I am speechless in front of this presentation .
So many delicious recipes and the way you presented is amazing.
Keep on going with your recipes and help us discover the Ceylon kitchen !
I`m so lucky to have you as a colleague.
Thank you very much George! Happy Christmas to you and your family.
Hope u enjoy my latest recipes.
love all you blogs and reciepies—i am trying every thing— hope all is well—
Hi how ru doing? Hope u all are ok and enjoy my recipes.
Will meet up soon.
The way your recipes presented is amazing.
Hi Deepi! Thank you so much, looking forward to more comments!
Are you still a chef at the Hilton? I’ve been looking for a traditional Ceylonese restaurant in London but have been unable to find one since The Prince of Ceylon closed down in Hendon.
How are you doing? I am not with Hilton any more was there four years.
Now I’m with Red Carnation Hotel chain Kensington Court Milestone Hotel
Opposite Kensington palace.
In London very hard to find Sri Lankan Restaurant most of them with Indian, Bangladesh.
Where are living?
If ever you are in Brisbane, please drop in and say “hello”. People like you should be respected for your drive and skills. You have achieved a great deal and should be congratulated wholeheartedly. Good luck. I just love cooking but it’s my own style. I put chillie powder in my tea.
Great to hear your comments definitely will pass by when I am in Brisbane. When ever you visit London please contact me.
Have a lovely weekend.
Yes, we know how great your cooking is, and we will probably sample some more later today !! Our little baby “Bonnie” is looking forward to discovering some K9 dishes too!!
Great website, we can almost smell the food. The dishes look very accessible to make.
Thanks Peter and Cathy! What would Bonnie like for her tea? Is she into spicy curry, or something a little plainer? 🙂
hi ajith..what an inspiring impressiveprofile!!!im a filipina but married to a srilankan since 2005.i began my love affair with food and passion for cooking srilankan dishes just 2years ago.and i admit that im doing ok with it knowing that my cooking skill before was only limited to cooking rice,frying eggs,bacon and luncheon meat and making sunny side up eggs,too.i’ve been looking for very good recipes online to please my husband of course and my little boy.i dont cook filipino dishes based on the internet because they are only eating srilakan foods.and then i got across your page in facebook.im so glad.i tried some of your dishes already and you made my domestic life easier now.my son specificaly liked your chickpeas and chicken curry while my husbie loved the potato curry and stuffed chili.i wish to see more of your recipes in your page.well done!!!
Hi Daisy, I’m so glad you like my recipes and your little boy enjoyed the chickpea and chicken curry! I hope you will like the Fish Chilli Dry Curry (Ambulthiyal) that I posted just now. Please request whatever dish you like and I will feature it in my blog. Thanks again for commenting. Ajith 🙂
Hi Ajith how can i contact you for business matters?
Impressive resume. Let me know if you are going to visit California U.S.A. during 2021.I appreciate any contacts of Sri Lankan chefs in Los Angeles orSanFrancisco or Sacramento.
Hope you all are keeping good. I’m looking forward visit U.S this year.let me think any chefs are available for you. Add me on FB Ajith Perera then we can chat. Be safe sorry for late reply.
i write to confirm i throughly enjoyed the ccarrot oats cake it was so delicious your improvised culernery venture has gone from strenth to strenth i am so impressed i certainly will recomend to my
Keep up your good work,