Peter Kuruvita is an award-winning chef, who headed up Flying Fish in Sydney for eight years. With a rich family history and food culture from his beloved Sri Lanka, Peter talks about his food education from his family, Aussie cooks and street food.
Where were you born?
I was born in London, spent my early childhood in Sri Lanka and moved to Sydney in my teens.
What are your fondest childhood memories?
I have fond memories of cooking with my grandmother in the simple kitchen in our 600-year-old house in Colombo. Our house was always full of relatives; we went to the markets every weekend and lived an ayurvedic life.
What influenced your cooking?
I’ve always looked up to my parents because they sacrificed a lot to come to Australia in 1974. It was a different world, but it was so good for us kids. My cooking is influenced by my grandmother and many great Australian chefs, such as Neil Perry, Greg and Peter Doyle and Tony Bilson.
How long have you been involved with World Expeditions?
I have been involved with adventure-tour company World Expeditions since 2010. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to share Sri Lanka’s history, food and flavours with travellers. This year I’m leading two tours to Sri Lanka and I can’t wait to show my guests the undiscovered areas of this beautiful country.
Tell us about the tours you lead
My tours go off the beaten path, into villages where there are no tourists. We catch fish and cook them over clay pots on the beach and learn the secrets of traditional recipes from my family and friends. We also eat real street food, like prawn vadai, pan rolls, fish cutlets, egg roti, hoppers and kottu roti. My favourite is egg hoppers; a crispy rice-flour pancake with an egg set into a soft, crumpet‑like centre.