Dish It Out: ‘Singing chef’ Don Sherman

May 18 2022. views 308

How do our food experts cook and eat? This week, entertainer, chef and one of Sri Lanka’s most popular television hosts lovingly dubbed as the ‘Singing Chef’ – Chef Don Sherman takes our Q&A!

1 How did you get the name ‘Singing Chef’?  
My life is all about cooking and singing so this name was nominated by the mass majority of Sri Lankans. Now, everyone knows me as the Singing Chef! 

2 What inspired you to combine cooking and entertaining? 
My passion and love for both, really. It’s also about being able to be authentic to myself. I always love to be different in what I do and I think both cooking and entertaining satisfy people in two different ways.

3 What made you fall in love with cooking? 
While I was waiting for my O/L results, I worked in my uncle's catering service. I was about 15 years of age. I loved it. It inspired me to pursue a career in food. 

4 What was your favourite childhood meal? 
Honestly, any curry with less chillie! I didn’t like hot chillies so growing up, my mum used to cook vegetables and meat with mild curry flavours.

5 What do you love about being a chef?
It’s the simple satisfaction of someone saying ‘ooh, your food was delicious!’. I think that’s the best compliment any chef could expect. 

6 Who are your dream dinner-party guests to cook and entertain for?
Hmm.. maybe Jon Bon Jovi and his band? I would cook and sing Bad Medicine for entertainment!

7 What’s your favourite season to cook for? 
Christmas of course! There are so many dishes you can make and they are all filled with lots of memories.  

8 Easiest dish to impress someone? 
Cos Noodles A’La me.

9 Since you’ve travelled a lot, which country had the most exotic food? 
I tasted a lot of extraordinary food while I was on a tour in Korea. Thailand also had a lot to offer with its cuisine.

10 Your favourite odd food pairing?
Fruit cake and French fries 

11 If you could open your own restaurant, what would it be? 
Actually, before I migrated to Australia, I had my own restaurant chain in Colombo, Sri Lanka called ‘My Goodness’. We served Crêpes in various different flavours which were new to local people at that time. 

12 Your favourite recipe that has been passed down to you from family?
Homestyle Mongolian Fried Rice that you can cook with whatever is available at home. My son loves to cook that dish too! 

13 What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt as a chef?
There is no winning without dedication and commitment.

14 Your proudest food invention?
 Ice cream koththu and the song for it! 

15 You are now training the next generations of chefs, what do you want to teach them the most? 
As a trainer in cookery, I always teach the fundamentals of cooking but I also try to instil the concept that a passion for food and creativity is the key to surviving and doing well in this trade.

16 What’s a dish you’d love to relive for the first time?
I am a Noodles lover so I would love to relive the first time I’ve had noodles! 

17 What are your favourite leftovers to make new dishes with?
I’m a big fan of making things with whatever is available in hand. But I think leftover bread is the most versatile because it can make a lot of things – both savoury and sweet dishes. 

18 If you are put on the spot to prepare a dish – savoury or sweet?
Savoury, as I am sweet anyway!!  

19 Which country has the best food? 
Without a doubt, my country Sri Lanka. The variety of food is unbelievable! 


Panchali Illankoon

Law Graduate, food and travel enthusiast and full time dog mom..


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