Sri Lanka’s stock as a holiday destination has soared in recent years. Even the most casual social media observer will have spotted its stunning surfing beaches, tea plantations and rickety trains all over their news feeds. Visitor numbers have doubled since 2012, with the island nation’s charming locals and vibrant food culture among the draws for adventurous travellers. Yet the subtleties of its cuisine haven’t always translated back to our shores.
Helping bring the island’s authentic flavours to a wider audience is the book The Locals Kitchen: Sri Lanka by chef, author and photographer Mr Jon Lewin. Having trained at Mr Raymond Blanc’s restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Mr Lewin fell in love with Sri Lanka on his travels and spent three years immersing himself in its culture and cuisine. The Locals Kitchen takes us on a hands-on journey through the country’s fragrant curries, hoppers, sambols and sides, accompanied by rich photography of Sri Lanka’s striking landscapes and Mr Lewin’s new culinary companions. We’ve picked out some of its key observations.