Dharshan Munidasa honoured for dedication to Japanese cuisine

Saturday, 13 December 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Having worked over the last 20 years to promote Japanese cuisine and its philosophies in Sri Lanka, Dharshan Munidasa’s efforts were recognised by the Japanese Government, as a recipient of the Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food on 21 November 2014.

This official distinction from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was awarded to Munidasa for his outstanding contribution towards the popularisation of Japanese cuisine in Sri Lanka at a special commemorative ceremony held at the Capital Hotel in Tokyo. He also has the distinction of being the first South Asian recipient of this award and the second youngest.

The Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food is awarded annually to five people who have made outstanding contributions to the introduction and spread of Japanese cuisine, Japanese food and other Japanese agricultural and fishery products overseas. Its purpose is to further expand exports of Japanese agricultural, fishery and food products. Both foreign nationals and Japanese nationals residing overseas are eligible and past winners have included world renowned chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.

“The recognition of fine Japanese cuisine, known as ‘Washoku’, by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage in 2013 has placed an added emphasis on the awards this year and it was a privilege to see Japanese cuisine reach such great heights of world recognition,” said Dharshan. “It was a humbling experience to be recognised by the Government of Japanand I was honoured to receive this award not only for myself but also on behalf of the team at Nihonbashi, who have understood the philosophies of Japanese cuisine and continue to create high quality, authentic dishes.”

Dharshan’s group of restaurants (Nihonbashi, Ministry of Crab and Kaema Sutra) are known the world over for their high quality gastronomy and innovation, where he makes no secret of the fact that he employs the best of Japanese knife skills and other culinary philosophies. He has also generously contributed towards the popularisation of Japanese food in Sri Lanka for the past two decades, via his TV show introducing the finer elements of Japanese food and cooking to the general public, through his participation at the Japanese festivals held in Sri Lanka and through all his restaurants which have had continued international recognition.

“This award has really put Sri Lanka on the world map and it was an amazing feeling to see what I do being recognised by the People of Japan,” added Dharshan.