UAE chef wins gold for culinary masterpieces

A UAE chef Sameera Madushanka Dahanayaka won four medals at the 26th IKA Culinary Olympiad in Germany. Representing the UAE national team, the Sri Lankan-born chef wowed the judges in the pastry and culinary arts categories.

He won two gold medals for his salt sculptures and two for his sugar creations, demonstrating his exceptional skills. Another 27 silver medals were also taken away by the UAE team.

The chef works in the carving technique. To take part in the competition and prepare his sculptures, Sameera worked for more than six months.

According to the chef, the intricate salt structure took much longer than the sugar artwork. “In this sculpture, salt granules are ground into powder, mixed with maize flour starch, water and other ingredients and then shaped. But such creations can be stored for up to four years,” said Sameera.

The competition attracted 1,500 chefs from 70 countries and the jury consisted of more than 60 international experts, including renowned chefs such as Gerard Mendis and Uwe Mikel.

“This is the best competition I have participated in and to win gold is a great achievement. I am so happy to have earned this prize for the UAE,” Samira said.

It is learnt that the Sri Lankan moved to the UAE six years ago and is currently working at Mister Baker as a cake decorator. “I first came to the UAE six years ago and since then the Emirates has become my second home. Living here gives me ample opportunities to compete at the highest level,” added Mr Dahanayaka.

Sameera is now preparing for the World Culinary Championships to be held in 2026 and is looking forward to representing the UAE again.

Source: Khaleej Times

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