Tracing his journey from the kitchens in Sri Lanka to the famed Dorchester Hotel in London, where he takes the helm of the kitchen, Executive Chef Mario Varun Perera recounts his adventurous culinary journey.
Words: Tina Edward Gunawardhana
Photographs: courtesy of The Dorchester
Realising his childhood dream of becoming the Executive Chef at The renowned Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, London, Mario Perera has come a long way from his humble beginnings serving an apprenticeship at the Taj Samudra in Colombo. After leaving his alma mater of
St Joseph’s College, Mario studied at Ceylon Hotel School before heading off to London where he furthered his education in Patisserie and Kitchen and Larder at the Thames Valley University. Mario began his career as a Commis III at The Dorchester over 18 years ago. Today he holds the coveted title of The Dorchester’s Executive Chef, a position he has earned through sheer hard work, dedication and ample culinary creativity.
What made you go to the UK?
My childhood dream was to be the Executive Chef at the Dorchester. When I was a child,
I saw an advertisement in a catering magazine for The Dorchester, titled ‘The Dorchester, The Place to be and The Place to Work…’ and from that very day, it became my dream. I told my parents at the time that that’s what I was going to do when I was older… and here I am.
What made you interested in a culinary career?
My parents are great cooks and they really inspired me in different ways. My mum, Prisca, is so creative and my dad, Vernon is extremely hard-working.