(News Release) Sri Lanka’s premier beach resort Heritance Ahungalla, emerged as the Most Outstanding Hotel Team in Sri Lanka for the third consecutive time after competing against 2500 participants from both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels at the 16th Culinary Art Competition which concluded on Monday. Heritance Hotels dominated the competition with Heritance Kandalama being adjudged the Best Culinary Team and Most Outstanding Regional Team at the competition. Organized by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka, the culinary competition is part of the industry’s largest food and trade exhibition. Thirty judges from the World Association of Chefs Societies (WAS) officiated at the event. WAS consists of over 10 million chef members from over 91 countries. Maintaining its reputation for offering the best cuisine in the country, Aitken Spence Hotels won 113 medals including 28 Gold medals which included 5 Excellence Gold medals and the prestigious award for the Most Culinary Team in Sri Lanka. There were 24 categories for the medals and the Aitken Spence Hotels medal tally displayed the sheer dominance the resort chain’s chefs had over its competitors in the field. Chef Lalith Gunasekera, Consultant Chef/General Manager, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels who led the team along with Chef R J Hassim, Corporate Chef, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels and Chef Kasun Premachandra, Executive Chef, Heritance Ahungalla whose continuous training and motivation guided the participants, were jubilant along with the teams from Aitken Spence Hotels who collectively won 13 special awards out of a total of 29 special awards. The special awards included the following: Best Pastry Chef - Chef Jagath Wjesundara, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Bartender Mixologist & Best Beer Cocktail- Mr. Praveen Sampath Fernando, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice - Chef M R D Fernando, Heritance Kandalama, Most Outstanding Artistic Show Piece - Chef Anil Gunawardane, Heritance Kandalama, Best Plated Appetizer - Chef Manoj Peiris, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Dessert Apprentice - Chef Kaveendra Heshan Balathanthri, Heritance Ahungalla, Best 5 Course Dinner - Chef H H K D Dayananda, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Mocktail - Ms. Lasitha Lakmini, Heritance Ahungalla, Best High Tea - Ms. Mandakini & Mr. Dharmasena, Heritance Kandalama, Best Culinary Team and Most Outstanding Regional Team - Heritance Kandalama, Most Outstanding Hotel - Heritance Ahungalla. "As in the previous years, I am tremendously proud of the achievements of our team, walking away as the most outstanding hotel, best culinary team, and the most outstanding regional team with 113 medals from a competition such as this is a tremendous achievement. We constantly strive to be the best and are firm believers of ensuring that our future generation is provided with the knowledge required to take on the baton when required”, said Mr. Gemunu Goonewardene, Director/Consultant, Aitken Spence Hotels. “Sri Lanka as a destination, is flourishing and gearing its offering to attract the premium indulgent traveler. Thus it is imperative to deliver the expected products and services in order to cater to our new target audience’s expectations. Aitken Spence Hotels is continuously committed towards reaching new heights and delivering a product or service that exceeds guest expectations. Receiving recognition as the Best Culinary Team is yet another endorsement of our continuous yearn to achieve greater standards. The loyalty, dedication, commitment and teamwork has made this achievement possible and I would like to congratulate the teams on their achievement.” said Mr. Chethiya Perera, Joint Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels. Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka from their modest beginnings in 1988 has emerged as the premier professional body of culinary professionals in the hospitality trade. A platform for recognizing true culinary talents, the competition symbolizes the pinnacle of excellence as hundreds of practitioners in the food & beverage industry in the country gathers to prove their mettle. Aitken Spence Hotels is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives with a portfolio of hotels in multiple locations in India and Oman. Its range of international award-wining properties, management & culinary expertise and environmental commitment has set industry benchmarks both domestically and internationally.