BARCEILAN: Interview With Sasha Dayal Fernando
1.Tell us something about your upbringing, travels and experiences
I have lived my whole life in the U.K but spent three years studying at the Overseas School in Sri Lanka, in my early teens. After returning to the UK, I studied cooking and hotel management. Due to having a Chef’s qualification, this enabled me to travel and cook in countries like Australia where the food industry was beginning to boom. On my return to the UK, eating out had become very trendy. I was very lucky to work for companies such as ‘Hard Rock Café’ that enabled me to travel and manage places in some great cities such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Barcelona, Madrid and, of course, the Hard Rock Café in London.
2. What was it like running a hotel in Sri Lanka?
Returning back to Sri Lanka was an amazing experience. Although I had visited the Island many times on holiday, it was great to work there. I was contracted to build and manage a luxury business boutique hotel which had a Scottish theme. We had a great pub with British food. The team I worked with was amazing, never have I worked with people so dedicated. The food in Sri Lanka is also absolutely amazing and I would call it a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
3. Could you tell us in detail all about your new Sri Lankan restaurant ‘Barcelain’, which is in Valencia?
I left Sri Lanka to follow my dream to open up a Sri Lankan restaurant in Valencia, Spain. So, in June 2016, ‘Barceilan’ was born. It takes its name from the original name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese settlers. We aim to be unique and create a choice that is different. Our Spanish guests love our coconut-based curries and so do the expat community! I have had the pleasure to meet some incredible people here; we do everything from curries to fish ‘n’ chips to satay dishes and tapas. My travels have given me the opportunity to build menus with ingredients that are healthy and well-priced. I also have to mention our very hippy music in Barceilan, which is a definite crowd pleaser.
4. What are your plans for the future?
My future plan is to build 5 restaurants. We also aim to work with various charity organisations, via Barceilan, by donating 1€ from every bill on themed nights. Our next event will be Oktoberfest and Halloween where we will donate money to ‘Save the Children’.
Interview by Owl
Barceilan (Sri Lankan Restaurant)
C/ de la Llosa de Ranes, 3 (Off Blasco Ibañez)
Mobile: 657 387 579
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