The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks wasn’t on the curriculum but the 11 Sri Lanka army commandos who trained for three months under the top chefs and bartenders at Taj Samudra would now be ready to mix a few heady ones.
For the first time, the Indian five-star hotel trained 11 army commandos in rustling up pastas with the right sauce and making cocktails, both shaken and stirred, to serve at VIP banquets.
With the end of the civil war in May, 2009, and an increase in official visits and exchanges, the army has increasingly been called upon to host official banquets and high-level exchange programmes.
The defence ministry quoted Lieutenant Colonel Chaminda Chandrasekara, centre commandant of the commando unit, as saying that “…there was a dearth of professional knowledge among soldiers handling military banquets, officers’ messes and similar other occasions.’’ “The army approached us, enquiring whether we would help in sharpening food and beverage skills of some of its personnel. We gladly agreed,’’ Rohit Khosla, general manager of Taj Samudra told HT.
A three-month training course was drawn up. “The focus was on Sri Lankan and European cuisine; how to make some exotic dishes and how to serve.