Sydney chef Peter Kuruvita, who heads up harbour-side restaurant Flying Fish, fronts a new food series for SBS in which he travels through his ancestral home of Sri Lanka.
My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita is a ten-part series combining cuisine, cultural and landscapes as he travels across the country, from seaside fishing village to lofty tea field, using his grandmother’s recipes as a guide.
“I am so proud of this series. It has reunited me with my childhood home, and allowed me to reconnect with special family and friends from my past. I have also been able to meet new friends along the way, and rediscover Sri Lanka as it exists in today’s modern world. I am looking forward to sharing my Sri Lanka – this journey is a personal one for me and I hope audiences will enjoy it,” he said.
Once called the jewel of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka possesses rich, prosperous soils and was a handy location on the old spice route. The country is often associated with social conflict and unrest however Peter’s journey ventures beneath these perceptions to tap into Sri Lanka’s largely unrecognised depth of history and cultural fortitude, all of which have patiently waited to be explored.
Chef Peter Kuruvita’s culinary love affair began at a young age in the beautiful surrounds of Sri Lanka. The Kuruvita family’s wood-fired kitchen in vibrant Colombo was where Peter’s grandmother first patiently taught him the intricacies of Sri Lankan cuisine. In My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita Peter revisits his familial homeland, exploring kitchens, restaurants and eateries across the country, following childhood recollections and discovering traditional Sri Lankan recipes along the way. Propelled by personal anecdotes, local ingredients and ancient attractions, Peter travels from his childhood hometown of Colombo during the colourful celebrations for the Kelaniya Perahera festival, to the inland sacred city of Kandy, onwards through tea country, Hambantota and Galle, to the pristine eastern beaches of Arugam Bay before eventually concluding the series in the previously war-torn northern Jaffna Peninsula.
Throughout his travels, Peter is joined by old friends and new and together they explore the area’s culture, site-specific ingredients and recipes. Peter cooks at Colombo’s buzzing Pettah Markets with his childhood nanny, finally perfects a hopper recipe he has spent 20 years pursuing in Mrs Amarasakara’s kitchen near Kataragama, and learns how to search for Sri Lankan bush tucker with local conservationists in Yala National Park.
Each episode of My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita is a unique expression of Sri Lankan lifestyle and cooking, with Peter Kuruvita’s charm and ancestral ties providing an exceptional level of insight and previously unseen perspective bound to leave audiences yearning for more.
Thursdays at 7.30pm from 3 November on SBS ONE.