Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Competition is an island wide culinary competition conducted by Nestlé Professional Sri Lanka, in collaboration with Chef’s Guild of Lanka, to nurture new talent in the hospitality industry, which is imperative to prepare itself for the expected tourism boom. As the B2B arm of Nestlé Lanka, Nestlé Professional endeavours to work together with food service professionals by offering solutions that address unique business challenges and opportunities to grow and succeed. Towards this end, the company partnered with the Swiss Hotel Management Academy which is among the top 3 hospitality schools in the world, with A. Baur & Co. (Pvt) Ltd. being its local affiliation partner.
Accordingly, two scholarships were awarded to the winners of the Nestlé Golden Chefs’ Hat Competition, with a further two scholarships awarded to two outstanding students at The Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM). These scholarships were handed over by Nestlé Professional to the Sri Lanka Hospitality Graduates Association (SLHGA) at an event held on 9 January 2023, with the participation of distinguished guests – Chief Guest, His Excellency the Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Mr. Dominik Furgler; Chairman of Chef Guild of Sri Lanka, Mr. Gerard Mendis; President of Sri Lanka Hospitality Graduates Association (SLHGA), Mr. Asela Wevita; MD/CEO of A. Baur & Co., Mr. Rolf Blaser; Chairman Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM), Shirantha Peiris; Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau, Mr. Chalaka Gajabahu and Mr. Jason Avanceña, Managing Director, Nestlé Lanka.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Jason Avanceña, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka said, “Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry, which is an important driver of the economy, experienced many setbacks over the past few years. As such, we are happy to be able to extend our support by fostering the country’s food service industry with not only the best quality solutions offered via Nestlé Professional, but also with platforms such as this. As a company that is committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of lives, we have stood by our stakeholders for over 115 years regardless the circumstances and we are proud to collaborate with like-minded organizations in this journey of doing good for Sri Lanka. Congratulations to the winners of the Nestlé Golden Chefs’ Hat Competition and the recipients of the scholarships!”
Sharing his thoughts, Chairman of Chef Guild of Sri Lanka, Mr. Gerard Mendis said “We have a massive challenge in training over 1,000 chefs across the island due to the brain drain the industry is facing currently. In such a backdrop, I’m happy that Nestlé Lanka took the bold initiative of sponsoring this worthy initiative of preparing young apprentice chefs to upskill, benefitting the tourism industry.”
“The Sri Lanka Hospitality Graduate Association is delighted to be a part of this noteworthy programme. The scholarships awarded by Nestlé Professional will surely help our students upskill themselves, ultimately leading to the betterment of hospitality sector of Sri Lanka” said Asela Wevita – President, Sri Lanka Hospitality Graduates Association.
Driven by its purpose of ‘unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come’, Nestlé has nourished generations of Sri Lankan families with high quality food and beverages from early childhood to old age. Having started its operations in Sri Lanka in 1906, today, Nestlé has become an integral part of Sri Lankan lives and contributes to the livelihoods of more than 25,000 Sri Lankan dairy and coconut farmers and out growers and provides direct employment to over 800. The company manufacture over 90% of its products sold in Sri Lanka locally at their state-of-the-art factory in Kurunegala, employing strict safety and quality controls.