SLYCAN Trust and Jetwing Hotels unveil ‘Plant-based Gastronomy’

January 25, 2024

SLYCAN Trust, a non-profit think tank committed to climate action and sustainable development, announced the launch of ‘Plant-based Gastronomy: Tales of Sri Lanka’s Culinary Heritage’ in the south of Sri Lanka in partnership with Jetwing Hotels. This groundbreaking initiative seeks to celebrate Sri Lanka’s rich culinary heritage and highlight the essence of plant-based cuisine and culinary tourism in Sri Lanka.

The partnership between SLYCAN Trust and Jetwing Hotels was formalised by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 25th January at Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle. 

The partnership and the ‘Plant-based Gastronomy: Tales of Sri Lanka’s Culinary Heritage’ programme aims to explore and promote Sri Lanka’s traditional culinary practices and products, emphasising the vibrant array of plant-based ingredients and the ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly food options that are deeply rooted in the country’s unique culinary heritage. 

The initiative will focus on expanding the availability of plant-based food options, providing world-class culinary experiences, increasing awareness of ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly food systems, building relevant capacities, and engaging entrepreneurs and key actors from the tourism and hospitality industry.

Key highlights of the MOU include hosting events focused on ethical, sustainable, climate-friendly plant-based gastronomy. 

The launch event featured a 60-person delectable six-course, plant-based sit-down dinner at The Verandah, Jetwing Lighthouse in collaboration with the ‘Galle Literary Festival 2024,’ featuring the authors attending the festival, esteemed invitees, and food entrepreneurs from the region. 

It also hopes to develop and make available plant-based and sustainable menus for restaurants and events, including dishes based on Sri Lankan culinary heritage and traditions; facilitate, support, contribute to, and implement capacity-building and training on ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly food systems, entrepreneurship, and related thematic areas in Sri Lanka; work towards enhancing the use of locally-sourced and plant-based ingredients for gastronomy and culinary tourism in Sri Lanka; and collect data and conduct research case studies on relevant thematic areas to enhance evidence-based promotion and activities related to sustainable food systems in Sri Lanka and other agreed areas.

SLYCAN Trust Sri Lanka Country Director Kavindu Ediriweera, expressing enthusiasm about the partnership, stated: “Our partnership with Jetwing Hotels is a key component of our larger programme, which is focused on sustainable, ethical, and climate-friendly culinary tourism. This partnership marks a significant step in our commitment as a think tank in contributing to building resilience, both in food systems and the tourism sector. Our work, rooted in evidence-based research for supporting policy and action aims to enhance the food process chain in the tourism industry, which reflects Sri Lanka’s culinary heritage in ethical, sustainable and climate-friendly practices. By launching this initiative, we are scaling up our existing commitment to activities in building long term resilience in both food systems and the tourism sector. we strive to not only contribute to policy but also to implement actionable items that highlight and improve food systems in Sri Lanka, reflecting our dedication to both outreach and impactful change.”

“We have always believed in locally sourced products. Almost a decade ago, we were the first chain of hotels in Sri Lanka to refrain from serving imported fruits and imported seafood. About 75-80% of our produce comprises locally sourced items,” Jetwing Hotels - Managing Director Dmitri Cooray stated. 

Welcoming the partnership with SLYCAN, he asserted: “We are very happy to join in and enhance this programme in partnership with SLYCAN Trust. When it comes to ethical choices in hospitality, there are many aspects we can implement, such as enhancing the livelihoods of local communities by providing employment and education to the youth in our neighbourhoods and ensuring local and ethical food sourcing methods.”

For more information about ‘Plant-based Gastronomy: Tales of Sri Lanka’s Culinary Heritage,’ please reach out to [email protected].

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About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.