Off the back of its 2019 success, Supreme Chef with its judges, Chef Ben Fernando and Wimal Wimalagoonaratna, is moving to a brand new kitchen which will accommodate a group of amateur cooks all hoping to be the next champion and Supreme Chef 2020. The show, featuring head-to-head cooking demonstrations and fun challenges, will hit the four districts of Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa.
Designed by the Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG) program, Supreme Chef is an initiative of the Australian Government’s aid program implemented jointly with the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations.
S4IG, as an integrated skills development program, aims to empower and showcase the emerging tourism sector in the Polonnaruwa and Eastern region through Supreme Chef. It also supports and contributes toward S4IG’s flagship program, Gateway to the East and is a fantastic opportunity for all home chefs to hone their cooking skills and increase their chances at a career path in hospitality.
In Sri Lanka, work in the hospitality industry is viewed as subservient, low paid and a no-go for women, especially in the rural areas. Supreme Chef directly challenges this negative perception by showcasing and supporting inclusive employment, sustainable job creation and income improvement for marginalised and disadvantaged individuals, particularly women and persons with disabilities in remote districts.
The program has commissioned MTV to produce the second season of Supreme Chef as 30-minute TV episodes with a one-hour grand finale episode. Kicking off the action, Chef Ben and Wimal along with Master Chef Australia 2019 contestants Dhayanie (Dee) Williams and Top 5 finalist Nicole Scott will audition amateur chefs chosen from over 500 applicants.
Over the course of the auditions, 24 best contestants will be chosen to don the Supreme Chef apron and be awarded the opportunity to undergo a seven months kitchen skills training including the completion of an NVQ Level 4 course with additional modules making it a more internationally recognised cooking training program. The course has been developed by S4IG with the support of the Chef Guild of Sri Lanka. All lucky 24 contestants across the series, will be faced with ambitious challenges and tests, designed to develop their culinary skills, and test their limits, and viewers will be able to follow them through their journey until one contestant claims the title of Supreme Chef 2020.
Supreme Chef is influenced and inspired by Australia’s successful ‘Master Chef’ format and the competition’s lucky winner and two runners up will get the opportunity to complete work-based skilled training placements in Australia with top chefs to further develop skills and knowledge. The reality show is a holistic approach to recruiting, training and career building for people that want to cook and will be of interest to industry employers looking out for new talent. Season 1 was a hit with over 200,000 television viewers and in the new season viewers will get to see a fun competition that celebrates Sri Lankan cooking styles using local ingredients, but will also get to see and experience lesser known districts through a combination of food challenges linked with places of interest. The show again feature many celebrities, both local and international, throughout the series to keep viewers entertained. This season is proudly supported by the World Food Program that is supporting the use of ingredients that improve nutrition and through the preparation of healthy meal options that will become available through the Supreme Chef website.
S4IG Team Leader David Ablett said: “This season will be much more compact and exciting than Season 1 and we are very excited to have the opportunity to work with a group of new home cooks, give our viewers a chance to engage with them, and follow them throughout the series. The program celebrates the close cooperation between Sri Lanka and Australia and be a cooking competition with a truly international flavour.”
The show will also contribute towards supporting the tourism recovery and will promote local activities, experiences and food that are unique and only available in Polonnaruwa and the Eastern region of Sri Lanka. Visitors will be encouraged to come across and experience the authentic and unique activities and assets that are only available in these four districts. Supreme Chef 2 will be aired from May 2020 onwards and promises to be an enjoyable and immersive audience experience for all ages.