Inspiration Destinations Sri Lanka Signature Series Insider: Matt Preston on Our Exclusive Sri Lanka Tour

Signature Series Insider: Matt Preston on Our Exclusive Sri Lanka Tour

Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston, excited about exploring Sri Lanka - Luxury Escapes

Uncover the flavours of Sri Lanka with former MasterChef Australia judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan, co-creators of Luxury Escapes’ newest Signature Series foodie tour. 

As renowned for its top-tier tea as it is for fresh seafood, Sri Lanka is more than just the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ - it’s the whole oyster. 

With upcoming Signature Series tours of Vietnam and India already sold out, former MasterChef Australia judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan are turning their hungry eyes to Sri Lanka for their third Signature Series Tour. This 11-day once-in-a-lifetime journey carries you from pavement to palm trees and back again, charting a course through the island’s famed Cultural Triangle in pursuit of the unique ingredients that define the nation's rich culinary traditions. 

We checked in with Matt Preston to talk Sri Lanka’s vibrant cuisine and his favourite experiences in Colombo, Kandy, Galle and beyond.  

Luxury Escapes: What kind of travellers will love this curated tour? 

Matt Preston: Sri Lanka has been on many people’s bucket list for a long time, and this is the perfect way – and the perfect time – to sample the best of this amazing country. It’s among my most favourite locations. 

LE: Do travellers need to be experts in Sri Lankan food to get the most from this itinerary? 

MP: Nope. We’ll help you taste everything you need to know! 

LE: What should travellers expect from Sri Lanka’s culinary scene? 

MP: It’s really matured in the past few years. The produce and street food has always been amazing, but now there are interesting, independent restaurants and bars increasingly joining the best hotel dining. 

LE: What were your highlights when researching this tour? Did anything surprise you? 

MP: The growth of cocktail and small bar culture, and the elevation of the national drink ‘arrack’ to a must-try experience. Plus, rediscovering the best banana I’ve ever tasted – there are about 37 varieties grown around Galle. And I never get tired of the hoppers and the sambols. 

LE: If you had to choose, what’s your top Sri Lankan dish? 

MP: Curds and kithul. This breakfast of yoghurt with an organic palm treacle is so simple, but with the range of small artisan producers, every kithul can be different. Under the sweetness there’s tanginess, smokiness or even a little bit of fermenty complexity. Obviously, the hoppers, black pork curry and the crab are equally as amazing for me. 

LE: Last but not least, what makes Sri Lanka a dream destination? 

MP: Sri Lanka is full of great people – it’s a stunning country that changes so quickly as you travel around. There’s Bawa’s architecture, the long history, and bucket-list sites like Sigiriya and Galle. Then the unique food that’s not too spicy but wonderfully bright. I find it constantly surprising and delightful. It’s got surf, elephants and spectacular terraced tea plantations… and I’m only just getting started! 

After more? Check out India with MasterChef Australia's Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan.

About Finn
With an insatiable appetite for fine food, live music and the world's very best craft chocolate, Finn loves stumbling on the unexpected by taking the path less travelled (after meticulously planning the route, of course).

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