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Trainee Chef at Fair View Hotel, Colombo, Alumni of Empower Culinary & Hospitality School - East

I grew up in a house where we did not even have an electric oven in the kitchen. Given the circumstances of my family, opting to do a culinary diploma seemed like a far -fetched dream for me. Thanks to Dilmah’s Empower Culinary & Hospitality School in the East, I work as a trainee chef in a leading boutique hotel in Colombo now. I owe a lot to our Founder, Merrill J. Fernando for guiding youth like us to a world full of possibilities when we felt like all roads were closed.

“I spent my early 20s, doing odd jobs in various sectors that were hardly of my interest or passion. I was desperate for money and all I wanted was to find a job that paid my bills. Right around that time, I applied for Empower Culinary and Hospitality School and got selected for the first intake of their Culinary Boot Camp in the East. Over 5 months, I was able to learn the basics of cooking and rekindle my passion for pastry and bakery. With the support of my father, I built a firewood furnace at home and tried baking pizza with home-made mozzarella cheese. I kept on learning from every source possible. YouTube became my inspiration to put my skills into practice and experiment with new ingredients and recipes. 3 months after I completed my course, I was able to find a job in a boutique hotel in Colombo. My life has seen extraordinary growth over the last 12 months. It is amazing how one right choice can change your life drastically within a year.