Rushani grew up in a family where both my mum and dad used spices prolifically. As a child I was always an adventurous eater, trying the various curries that mum had made, even though she thought they would be too hot for us kids to eat. I believe that because of the variety of flavours that have lingered on my tastebuds from a young age, I now understand what it means to layer flavour with the use of herbs and spices in particular. My food philosophy is still young, but definitely influenced by my Sri Lankan parents; a legacy I hold dear to my heart. Read about it here.
Having been interested in cooking since I was extremely young (as a 2 year old, I would play with my nana's bowl and hand whisk, mimicking her cooking) its probably no wonder that I ended up learning and working in the hospitality industry. From corporate hotels, boutique hotels, privately owned restaurants to luxury lodges, (Blanket Bay, Glenorchy being a particular highlight), I have worked in all areas of hospitality, but funnily enough never
the kitchen. I always preferred being in a restaurant and forever
admired the beauty coming from the kitchen.
In February 2014 Jonny and I got married and perhaps its no surprise that I undertook the task of catering for it. We had a smallish wedding, but catering for 60 or so people is still quite a bit! I decided upon an Italian-style shared antipasti meal, shared between 4 people followed by a 'help yourself' cake table. It created so much conversation and laughter and I enjoyed hearing wine poured and joy shared amongst all our friends and family. We pulled it off without a hitch and everyone enjoyed themselves very much.
Below are a selection of photos.
My dream is to own a cafe where I sell honest, simple and uncomplicated food and a diverse selection of cookbooks. We'll be open from early till late and I would like to hold kids' cooking classes, cookbook evenings and be a venue for eclectic music. Lyttelton will, of course, be the home of this, and hopefully in the next few years we'll be up and running. Ideas and planning are in progress and I look forward to seeing how it develops.