Recipe of success from Cinnamon Lakeside’s Executive Chef Kapila Jayasinghe

Friday, 4 March 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

What does it take to be a great chef? 

Persistence, punctuality, efficiency and drive, says Cinnamon Lakeside Executive Chef Kapila Jayasinghe. And he would know. Starting off as a trainee cook with an aspiration to become a professional whiz in the kitchen, Chef Kapila has cooked his way to the top, one spoon at a time with the above mentioned ingredients he described as musts. Always with a smile, Chef Kapila seems laid back and suave, but wait till he steps in to the kitchen.6

His kitchen brigade, consisting of 150 chefs from all walks of life, looks up to him for inspiration, encouragement and innovation. With 23 years of experience in the kitchen, where pressure builds up so high that many are out of the door even before they completely step in, Chef Kapila is a professional that seems to be in-line with the pace.

With few minutes to spare in between main meals, Chef Kapila shared his story in the hope of inspiring many others, who dream yet are afraid to believe. “For as long as I remember, I wanted to be a chef. This was a dream I had from quite a young age,” he said, reminiscing. “I have been inspired by many that I consider good cooks. These are friends and family. But the most influential role model was my mother. It was always a pleasure to help her in the kitchen and see her work.”

Born and raised in Kandy, Chef Kapila began his journey into the hospitality industry at a young age, working in a small hotel where he covered all the basics of kitchen operations, specialising in butchery and pastry before following a culinary course at the Ceylon Hotel School in Kandy.

His ability to absorb the culinary techniques that were being taught helped him carve out a niche for himself and over the course of his career, he left his mark in many hotels both here and abroad, with the latter including Abu Dhabi Hilton, Abu Dhabi Millennium Hotel, Katara Hotels in Doha Qatar.

Chef Kapila believes that a dish you create must have its own identity but also speak volumes about the chef. “My style of cooking encompasses a few key points. Its creative, clean, tasty, simple, colourful and reminds me of home.” Having mastered Mediterranean and seafood, his interest is now in molecular gastronomy, a style of cuisine in which chefs explore new culinary possibilities by cooking with tools ordinarily found in a science lab. “This is an area of expertise for like forward-thinking cooks and involves scientific culinary theory where you blend physics and chemistry to transform the tastes and texture of food. It’s about playing with so many aspects of food. I am currently experimenting on this.” 

With an idol like Chef Ferran Adria who is known as one of world’s best molecular gastronomy chefs, Chef Kapila is on a roll to introduce new tastes and flavours to Cinnamon Lakeside.

While that is part of his plans for the hotel for 2016, Chef Kapila is also looking at menu enhancements and new concept menus, which are currently on the drawing board.

Any last words for aspiring chefs? “Your goal is to be someone that is unlike anyone else; the idea is to become the person everyone else wants to be. Don’t look for shortcuts. Don’t undercut. Just work hard.”