Renowned restaurateur Manjula Fernando's product launch

Reporting from the event desk

350 guests, friends and well-wishers converged at the Don Moore Community Centre, North Rocks with one thing in common; the love of Sri Lankan food and who better to tantalize their taste buds but renowned Sydney Chef Manjula Fernando.

The night represented the unveiling of this dynamic restaurateur's "ALL IN ONE CURRY MIXES" and the congruous promotion of his tour venture Sri Lankan Travels.

Amidst the buzz of heightened conversations and entrees emcee extraordinaire Duke Ramachandran warmly welcomed the attendees and in true Sri Lankan style the night got underway with the traditional lighting of the lamp by distinguished guests.

Flanked by legendary Sri Lankan singer Desmond De Silva it was his wife Phyllis who took to the mike and warmly acknowledge Manjula's dedication to his profession and his selfless service to the community at large. Her words struck a chord with many who applauded heartily.

Usually clad in his chef garb and overseeing all culinary matters that goes with being a top notch professional, our master chef was smartly attired in a suit and cut a perfect figure! When he came up to speak and thank everyone for attending, the raptures were galore.

So what promoted Manjula to launch this wonderful range of easy to use spice mixes?

Well that romantic perception of individual spices tenderly roasted and pulverized in the mortar and pestle does still have its pride of place, especially among the older generation but a product such as this offers the convenience we are all seeking today. Manjula's extensive experience blending spices is what inspired him with this latest offering to the local community.

Based on authentic, family and industry recipes the hand-roasted and ground spices are bound to be a hit in a day and age when we crave quality food with minimal fuss. Through the delicate blending of various spices he wants his customers to enjoy the natural flavours. Proper balance means no need for excessive amounts of salt, sugar and artificial ingredients. These spices are full of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds and full of antioxidants. Fielding a question from the audience he happily stated these products are proudly manufactured under his endorsement in Sri Lanka.

No Sri Lankan event of this measure is complete without entertainment to compliment the delicious buffet offering of the night.

The students of Manjula's wife Vidusha who runs a dance school impressed the audience with beautiful dance routines in their striking outfits and looks.

Maestro Roger Menzies during his preamble gave the audience a taste of what was to come musically with his wide array of song selections. Socialite Walter Seneviratne did not disappoint either with a few old favourites and when Desmond De Silva took to the stage, the audience in turn took to the floor!

Having completed over 50 years in the music industry Desmond continues to prove why he is still regarded as one of Sri Lankan's finest entertainers.

To those who missed out on this eventful night, do not despair. Discover the range of flavours of Manjula's no fuss, easy to use curry mixes at leading spice shops around Sydney/Melbourne.

A selection of photos attached courtesy Lakshan Sangakkara of framelabs.



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