In the Western Province of Sri Lanka, south of Colombo, is the small town of Wadduwa that Head Chef Nalinda Angage calls home.
His inspiration and drive to become a chef started there, in the kitchen of his family home watching the best cook he ever seen – his mother – cook for the family.
From a young age, Nalinda already knew his path.
“I always wanted to cook good food like my mum does. It was her kitchen that I commenced my cooking as an 11 year old and I loved it”, says Nalinda.
Little did he know that his love of cooking would take him from Sri Lanka to Dubai and Qatar before becoming Executive Chef for a large London based restaurant group and then on to Australia taking up position as Head Chef at The Cape Kitchen on Phillip Island.
Nalinda harboured thoughts of living and working in Australia for years but there were times that it seemed his dreams would progress no further. That was of course until he found TSS.
“I was working in Qatar and came across TSS online. Australia was a place I always wanted to be so I made contact and the rest is history”.
“TSS made the process really easy. It was a little daunting once it all started to become real but they made it smooth, fast and professional. I had travelled a few times in my career so I was quite used to it all”
Eight months later, Nalinda was in Australia and was soon followed by his wife Kalpani and his 7 year old daughter Ayishika.
Despite having worked in the UAE and the UK, the challenge for him and his family to find their feet and settle down remained. This part of the transition can take some time but his employer, Cape Kitchen owner Jodie Vogt, made him very much welcome.
“Jodie was amazing. It was a bit of a challenge for the family especially my daughter but she is now the one enjoying Australia the most. We have all made a lot of friends and Australians are so helpful” says Nalinda.
It will take time to accurately assess if their change of lifestyle is all they had hoped for. Settling in a new place particularly for partners and children can be difficult but Nalinda and his family are now very settled.
“[My Daughter] Ayishika is very happy and loves school very much. The plan was to do what we needed to do to provide her with a better education, a better life and to allow us to be in a place where we could one day open our own restaurant”.
“We believe we have found that place. Australia offers everything we were looking for and more. We are all very happy”.