Governors of the Empower Culinary & Hospitality School

Governors of the Empower Culinary Hospitality and Inspirational School


Travelling Europe after completing his chef apprenticeship landed Peter his first role as a commis chef at the One Star Michelin restaurant – Rue St Jacques in London.

Now, after 3 decades as an award-winning chef and restaurateur, Peter’s career now encompasses the roles of TV presenter, author, industry speaker and restaurant consultant.

Well known for opening Sydney’s iconic Flying Fish Restaurant & Bar in 2004, Peter currently operates Flying Fish at Sheraton Fiji Resort, recently voted on Tripadvisor as one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the Pacific Region, and Flying Fish Tokariki located at Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokariki Island, Fiji

His signature style of waterside locations and fresh quality seafood spiced with his cultural flavors can also be experienced in Australia at Noosa Beach House, his restaurant partnership with Sheraton Noosa Resort.

Peter’s childhood experiences cooking with his Grandmother in the traditional kitchen of his ancestral home in Colombo, Sri Lanka inspired his first cookbook “Serendip – My Sri Lankan Kitchen”

His next cookbook “My Feast with Peter Kuruvita” takes a culinary and cultural journey through the island communities of Asia and the South Pacific.

Peter has now presented 3 TV series; My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita, Island Feast with Peter Kuruvita and Mexican Fiesta with Peter Kuruvita which air on many networks worldwide.

His shows combine beautiful scenery with sensational local cuisine and culture.

Peter also keeps busy with his ambassadorial work with Dilmah Tea, hosting food tours for World Expeditions and frequent guest chef appearances at leading hotels around the world.


Bernd Uber

Bernd’s culinary journey began when he walked into a commercial kitchen 50 years ago. During his career Bernd has worked passionately as a chef de Cuisine in many establishments. He has also owned two very successful restaurants and now teaches commercial cookery at various institutes in Melbourne.

Bernd is the recipient of many culinary awards, the most prestigious being the Sidney Taylor Memorial Black Hat Award, issued by the Australian Culinary Federation, Victoria. Only chefs who have made outstanding contributions to Australian culinary progress and development at the highest trade or professional level receive this honour.

Over the past 25 years Bernd has been invited to judge many culinary competitions, including being the international judge for Gulfood, Dubai, Melbourne Culinary Challenge and the Dilmah Real High Tea and Tea Sommelier competitions in collaboration with the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka and endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) at Culinary Art, 2003, 2005 & 2007.


Dilhan C. Fernando

Dilhan C. Fernando is the younger son of Dilmah Founder, Merrill J. Fernando. The names of Dilhan and his brother Malik form the ‘Dilmah’ brand, the first producer owned tea brand. Dilhan is the Director of the Dilmah School of Tea, the first international school of tea, which has sessions in Colombo and, in partnership with the Institute Paul Bocuse, in Ecully, France. His desire to share the pleasure in tea with a new generation of tea drinkers saw the birth of the t-Series, designer gourmet teas and an entirely contemporary approach to a traditional beverage.

He is described by Herve Fleury, Director of the Institute Paul Bocuse as, “A man who is passionate, totally supple in his expertise, simple and delicate in his approach and his words. In the very image of tea.” In addition to his responsibilities in tea, Dilhan also manages the humanitarian and environmental outcomes of Dilmah. These are the fulfillment of his family’s commitment to making business a matter of human service. The MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation utilise revenue from the global sales of Dilmah in implementing humanitarian and conservation projects in Sri Lanka.


Rohan Fernandopulle

Rohan Fernandopulle spearheaded the culinary operations at Hilton International for 27 years prior to assuming duties as the General Manager of Waters Edge in 2013. Renowned as the culinary hub of Sri Lanka, the property encompasses 7 F&B outlets and over 8 banquet venues with extensive services.

In 2002 he led the Culinary Team of Hilton to Japan for the Black Box Regional Championship (live cooking) winning Silver whilst whisking away Gold & Silver medals at the Culinary Olympics. He won the Chef of the Year Presidential Award in Travel & Tourism in 2008 and many medals at the Food & Hotel Asia International culinary competitions in Singapore.

Besides being the 1st Sri Lankan Executive Chef of Hilton Colombo, Rohan Fernandopulle is also the only Sri Lankan member of the prestigious ‘Le Club Des Chefs Des Chefs’; where, as a member of this elite group he had the privilege of visiting the White House in July 2013. He is also a member of the renowned, Chain des Rotisseurs as Chef Rotisseur.

He was appointed as the president of Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka by the Bocuse d’Or International Committee in France in 2011. Having judged many international culinary events he also served on the panel of judges at the Bocuse d’Or world finals in Lyon in January 2013.

Presently Rohan – as the General Manager of Waters Edge, is associated as a culinary advisor for much institution including Dilmah. He was the ‘Culinary Coordinator’ for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, November 2013; where he had the honour of being involved in organizing the menus at each location for the visiting dignitaries.