A literary salon with world renowned writer Shankari Chandran, coupled with culinary delights from acclaimed Chef Charles Disa

Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo together with SCOR (Silent Community of Readers) presented a literary salon with world renowned writer Shankari Chandran on her latest book ‘The Barrier’. Joining this event was multi-award winning Chef Charles Disa who delighted guests with an extraordinary lunch inspired by the book, and showcased his authentic style of cooking. Both Shankari Chandran and Chef Charles Disa returned to their motherland Sri Lanka to partake in the Galle Literary Festival 2018, with this literary salon at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo being a much awaited prelude. The discussion was moderated by writer, Ashok Ferry who facilitated an enlightening and stimulating forum that was enthusiastically received by the literary lovers who attended.

Shankari Chandran, writer and lawyer, was born and raised in Australia. Shankari worked in the field of social justice in London where she was responsible for projects in over 30 countries ranging from representation for detainees in Guantanamo Bay to training lawyers in Rwanda, and even advising the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

For this literary salon, Shankari discussed her book ‘The Barrier’, a fast-paced literary thriller, in a world destroyed by a virulent strain of Ebola and religious wars. The book is set in 2040 and the surviving nations have been reorganised into the Western and Eastern Alliance. The books follows a gripping tale of conquest as each faction subjugates the other.

During the discussion Shankari spoke emotively of her own inspiration for writing. Having read many books by western authours set in eastern countries, Shankari felt her own roots would mean that she could better express such stories with her own childhood experiences of close knit families and communities, culinary traditions and daily routines of life in the east. These all form important facets of her books.

Multi-award winning Chef Charles Disa, Owner/Chef of the boutique catering company, ‘One World, One Kitchen’ based in New York together with Executive Chef Paul Lenz of Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, presented an outstanding lunch.  Originally hailing from Sri Lanka, Chef Disa has grown up and lived in many cultures and traditions from across the world including places as diverse as Ethiopia, Nigeria, England, Mexico and the United States. These global influences continue to inspire him in molding his culinary fingerprint as he establishes the attention of many high-profile clients and celebrities alike. For this Literary Salon, the lunch menu included many native Sri Lankan dishes that were mentioned in “The Barrier”. Chef Disa also presented his own take on Sri Lanka’s much loved Chocolate Biscuit pudding – a true delight!

Sarrah Sammoon, SCOR Founder opined, “A literary salon such as this plays a huge part in helping readers to commit to a book, opens discussions for individual growth, and develops fruitful networking and relationships”. On the whole, this is fulfilling for mind and soul.

Timothy Wright, Vice President and General Manager Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo had this to say. “We are delighted to have offered literary lovers an afternoon of sharing in the pleasures of an enthralling story coupled with a unique dining experience by Chef Charles Disa”.  He elaborates “Shangri-La is passionate about art and literature, and creating platforms to access the transformative power of knowledge”.

The moderator for the literary salon was best-selling Sri Lankan author Ashok Ferrey. A literary heavy weight himself, his first two books of short stories – ‘Colpetty People’ and ‘The Good Little Ceylonese Girl’, were both shortlisted for Sri Lanka’s Gratiaen Prize. His 3rd book, ‘Serendipity’ (2009) is part satire – part thriller, and was shortlisted for Sri Lanka’s State Literary Award.

Located at One Galle Face along the Galle Face Green promenade, the most exclusive address in Colombo, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo offers uninterrupted Indian Ocean views and stunning city panoramas from its 500 guestrooms and suites, and 41 serviced apartments.  The hotel’s six innovative restaurants and bars make Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo the city’s dining destination and social hotspot. The hotel also offers unique lifestyle experiences with Shangri-La’s signature CHI, The Spa, a 24-hour Health Club, and an elevated swimming pool overlooking the ocean. Boasting the largest events space in the region, the hotel can cater for up to 1500 guests in banquet style, and offers many other event spaces including a breezy outdoor lawn on the 4th Floor.

Taken from dilshanwrites.com


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