Travel addict, fitness fanatic and dog lover are just a few ways to describe the man behind Superfood Café; Amande Panditaratne. Read on to find out more about his not-so-obvious passions (think kottu and pork belly)!
1. How was Superfood Café born?
When I was living in Lithuania, I opened the country’s first Sri Lankan pop-up called Café Colombo, which served authentic kottu. It was during this time, when I was literally making my own godamba roti and various curries from scratch that my passion for food was really ignited. Once I returned to Sri Lanka, I realized that the high quality organic ingredients that I had gotten used to in my travels and life in Europe was so difficult to find. In order to satiate my need for healthy food, I decided to look for locally-grown produce that I could use in my own cooking at home and soon realized that I was not alone in my desire to eat better, especially given the recent boom in fitness centers and gyms in Colombo. After stumbling across a farm in Nuwara Eliya that delivers fresh organic fruits and vegetables and discovering that Sri Lanka is a natural hotbed for super foods such as moringa, turmeric and jack fruit, I decided to try my hand at creating clean, delicious and nutritious meals from scratch.
2. Were you always into eating healthy and staying fit?
Keeping fit has always been a part of my ethos, in a huge way thanks to both my parents who are fitness fanatics. I’ve always played sports, but I began taking my health and fitness more seriously after university, when the gym and eating healthy became an integral to my daily life. It occurred to me that whatever I ate had a direct impact on my health and overall wellness. Although it sounds clichéd, you really are what you eat.
3. If you could have anyone living or dead to have lunch with you at Superfood, who do you think you’d pick and why?
I think it would have to be Kumar Sangakkara, the living legend! He’s simultaneously a world-class sportsman, entrepreneur, gentleman, philanthropist and a proud Sri Lankan, which is my ultimate dream.
4. Owning your own restaurant must keep you on your toes but what do you like to do when you get some free time?
Since we opened to the public just over 3 months ago, my fiancée and I have been super busy. Whilst it’s been tough to maintain my fitness regime of late, I do my best to hit the gym at least 3-4 times a week after work. When I do get free time, I like to seek out undiscovered destinations in Sri Lanka and beyond, make travel vlogs, and take my dog, Heidi, for runs on the beach.
5. If Superfood hadn’t happened, what would your dream job be and why?
During my time at school and university I worked at several event management companies, organizing events and festivals and bringing down DJs and musicians from all over the world. I enjoy the fast-paced and ever changing dynamics of events, so had I not opened Superfood, I think having my own world-class event management company would have been the dream.
6. What’s the best gift someone’s ever gotten you?
My rescue dog from Lithuania, Heidi!
A. Go-to Karaoke Song?
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
B. Favourite Scent?
C. Hidden Talent?
Making killer kottu!
D. Favourite Thing About My Partner:
Unconditional love & support!
E. Favourite Travel Destination?
Prague, Czech Republic
F. Worst Nightmare?
Finding a snake or any other reptile in my toilet!
G. Guilty Pleasure?
H. Bacon or broccoli?
That’s a toughie! Can I say BOTH?
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