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!