Sri Lankan-born chef Rishi Naleendra wins first Michelin star

Courtesy: Cheek by Jowl

Aug 02, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lankan-born chef Rishi Naleendra, who heads Cheek by Jowl, a Singaporean restaurant serving Australian cuisine, has become the first Sri Lankan to win a Michelin star.

After working at top restaurants in Australia such as Taxi Kitchen in Melbourne, and Yellow and Tetsuya’s in Sydney, he opened Cheek by Jowl with restaurateur Loh Lik Peng earlier this year.

“Ever since reading The Perfectionist (by Rudolph Chelminski), I wanted (a Michelin star); I really wanted it. It still feels like a dream,” Naleendra was quoted as saying on the Michelin Guide website.

Although he didn’t want to follow after his father, who used to run a restaurant before starting a catering business, Naleendra fell in love with the profession when he began working part-time in an Australian café .

According to the Michelin Guide Inspectors: “The husband and wife team chose the name to reflect how closely they work together.”

“His ‘modern Australian’ cuisine is far more complex than it at first seems and his confidence in the ingredients pays dividends in fresh tasting dishes that display a number of influences.”

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