TV Chef Shantha Mayadunne and her daughter Nisanga were two of the 207 people killed in a horrific Easter Sunday attack on Sri Lanka on April 21.
Sri Lanka was devastated on Easter Sunday when its hotels and churches were attacked, the BBC reported. Three churches in Colombo, Batticaloa, and Negombo were attacked on the Christian holiday, as well as four luxurious hotels: The Kingsbury Colombo Sri Lanka, Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand Colombo, and one other. The attacks are believed to be orchestrated by suicide bombers, according to Manisha Gunasekera, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom. “There is also information that these have been suicide bombings carried out. These are certainly acts of terror,” Gunasekera told CNN. “It’s been a day of great tragedy for Sri Lanka. The scale is unprecedented.” One of the hundreds who have been reported to be killed was TV Chef Shantha Mayadunne. Learn five things to know about the chef whose life was taken far too soon, below.
1. Shantha Mayadunne died during an attack on Sri Lanka. Shantha and her family stayed at the Shangri-La hotel, which is in the capital Colombo, and was one of the hotels attacked on April 21, according to The Mirror.
2. Shantha had a daughter, named Nisanga Mayadunne, who was killed at the hotel as well. The two were eating Easter breakfast together when they were killed, according to Gulf News. Nisanga, who was around 30 years old according to the Standard, reportedly studied at the University of London. “Nilanga was a very popular girl in college,” Radha Fonseca, 34, a friend of Nisanga’s, told Gulf News. “Besides the fact that she was bright and smart, her mother Shantha Mayadume, a renowned chef, made her more popular in college. [Shantha] was well-respected and an inspirational chef for Sri Lankans.” Radha added, “Destiny has taken away both of them. I am devastated.”
3. Shantha had been in the culinary field for 30 years. Shantha was the first chef to have a live television cooking show in Sri Lanka according to her website – she did this on the Independent Television Network. Shantha was known in Sri Lanka for her “quick and easy cooking.” She ran the Shantha Mayadunne School of Cooking Art, in which she taught beginner’s classes, cake-decorating courses, and workshops to learn how to cook Chinese and Indian food.
4. Shantha learned cooking techniques around the world. The Sri Lankan chef studied in Australia, Singapore, Thailand, India, the United Kingdom, and held an Advanced Diploma from the Wilton School of Cake Making and Decorating in Chicago.
5. The chef published two cookbooks. Her first, “Rasa Bojun,” came out in 2001, and her second, “Rasa Bojun – 2,” was released in 2005.
Our thoughts are with Shantha and Nisanga’s friends and family, as well as the hundreds more affected by the attack.