Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG), in an inspiring partnership with the esteemed Chefs Guild of Lanka, is thrilled to announce the launch of its highly anticipated “Digital Cookbook: 40 Authentic Dishes by Sri Lanka’s Youth” on World Tourism Day, September 27th, 2023. The launch of this remarkable digital cookbook was made possible through a partnership that blends the dedication and expertise of both organizations.
The digital version was unveiled during the “Sustainable Niche Tourism Learning Expo” organized by the USAID Indo Pacific Opportunity Project (IPOP), then launched at the World Tourism Day event hosted by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). These events served as the perfect platform to showcase the cookbook, not merely a collection of recipes but a vibrant celebration of Sri Lankan culinary traditions, showcasing the diverse flavours and rich heritage that have been passed down through generations.
“This cookbook is not only a culinary treasure; it’s a beacon of inclusivity and opportunity,” stated Stephen Lodziak, Consultant at Skills for Inclusive Growth. “Skills for Inclusive Growth is committed to transforming the perception of the chef profession, promoting inclusivity, and creating opportunities for women and people with disabilities. The cookbook underscores that working in a kitchen is a viable and rewarding career path, with the potential for participants to increase their income and actively contribute to the country’s culinary heritage.”
At the Sustainable Niche Tourism Learning Expo, S4IG had the privilege of hosting a stall where contestants from the esteemed Supreme Chef reality TV show, guided by Chef Mentors from the Chefs Guild of Lanka, prepared delicious curries, and other dishes from the cookbook for participants to taste. At the World Tourism Day event, we launched the book alongside a host of esteemed guests, and through a QR code on the screen, we invited attendees to download the digital cookbook.
The Chefs Guild of Lanka, deeply committed to preserving and promoting Sri Lanka’s culinary heritage, shared their perspective in a heartfelt message: “This initiative is very close to our heart. In collaboration with ‘The Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG) Program,’ our Chef Mentors from each region worked with 14 contestants of the local reality TV show ‘Supreme Chef’ to develop forty indigenous recipes from ten different locations in our island. Our trainees not only learnt from professional Chefs but sought the wisdom of village elders and the guidance of Ayurvedic doctors to rediscover ancient recipes and food preservation methods.”
S4IG’s commitment to transforming the culinary landscape goes far beyond this cookbook. They have developed several innovative models including the Foundational Hospitality Skills and the Professional Cookery Skills Model – these accredited courses promote collaboration between industry, public training providers, and the private training sector, including organizations such as NAITA, VTA, and NYSC. These models create systemic change as they are transparent, competency-based systems that enable trainees to progress based on the performance of demonstrated skills, ultimately achieving higher levels as professional chefs. This marks a significant shift away from training that is theory-centric, devoid of kitchen facilities or workplace engagement, toward menu preparation and workplace skills required by the industry.
Young chefs featured on Cookbook at the S4IG stall at the “Sustainable Niche Tourism Learning Expo”
S4IG presenting the digital cookbook at the “Sustainable Niche Tourism Learning Expo” to delegates at the exhibition
Cover page of the DIGITAL COOK BOOK
Image Caption : Stephen Lodziak, Consultant at Skills for Inclusive Growth presenting the first cookbook to Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Mr. Priantha Fernando at the National World Tourism Day event held in Colombo