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Dina

To showcase food from my Sri Lankan Malay culture & different cultures I have been influenced by living in a multicultural city like Toronto

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Voting for TOP 5 ends Thursday the 11th of March at 6PM PST
How long have you been cooking?

My interest in cooking started at the age of 6 when I helped my parents in the kitchen. In my grade 11 co-op class, I did my work placement at a restaurant as a cook, and soon discovered my passion for culinary. After graduating high school, I went to culinary school and travelled to Australia to work at a fine dining restaurant for 6 months. Since then I've worked in culinary at a variety of establishments from bars, fine dining, sports arenas, golf clubhouse to catered events and banquets.

What is your signature dish?

I love making dishes from cultures around the world, so it's hard for me to pick just one signature dish. Some of my favorites to make are my Creamy Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with jumbo seared scallops on a bed of gremolata, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Fried Chicken Tacos, Moroccan Spiced Lambchops with a Tagine Stew served with a Couscous Medley but my all time favorite would be the Sri Lankan Hot Butter Cuttlefish, similar to fried calamari but with a spicy twist.

What will you do with the $50,000?

It's been a life long goal and dream of mine to open up a beach cafe somewhere tropical like Mexico or Costa Rica. Every morning I would buy seafood from the fishermen that go out to sea at night, I would visit the local market to buy fresh produce from the farmers, I would hire local and pay them fair wages. My menu will showcase the local cuisine of this destination, my culture and cultures from around the world. Winning this contest would allow me the opportunity to bring this dream to life.