In 2012, I launched a line of spices called Skiz’s Original to promote and support the release of my cookbook, Rice & Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking (Hippocrene Books). The ‘line’ was anchored by only two products, a roasted and raw curry powder blend. Since most of the recipes in my book required one of these two blends, I thought I would make life easier for people who were bold enough to try making Sri Lankan food at home. Instead of going through the laborious and fragrant process of roasting and grinding spices, I did the work for them and bottled it. I sold Skiz’s Original Spice Blends mostly online through a gourmet food site, and though business never really took off, I introduced a lot of people to the complexity of Sri Lankan roasted curry powder, which I believe to be the best in the world. Unfortunately, I had to shut down the business midway through last year because the demand wasn’t there. I still, however, lovingly craft a few batches now and again for friends, family, and, of course, yours truly.
On this inaugural day of 2016, I am pleased to announce that I am relaunching Skiz’s Original, but not as a spice company. As a traveler by nature, what really makes me feel alive is being out there in the world. This time, instead of bringing a little piece of Sri Lanka to you, as I did with the curry powder, I want to take you to Sri Lanka. So please join me as I break a bottle of bubbly on the hull of my newest venture–Skiz’s Original Tours.
I feel blessed to have traveled as much as I have since these experiences have proven to be some of the most educational and enlightening of my life. They have made me a huge proponent of accumulating experiences over material things.
Since I was a young kid I’ve been going to Sri Lanka to visit my huge extended family there. Even though the island itself is comparatively tiny, every time I go I always experience something new, unique, and original. By now I’ve seen more of the country than even my family members who live there. I’ve shown Anthony Bourdain around for an episode of No Reservations, as well as crews from MTV and VICE. I like to go off the beaten path to exclusive spots, and stay at small boutique hotels that provide the utmost in comfort and hospitality. In addition, my insider’s knowledge of the culture, history, and, of course, cuisine of Sri Lanka is something you can’t get from a guidebook.
Planning a trip is something I love to do. As a touring musician, I single-handedly put together tours of Europe and Japan booking clubs to play in, hotels to stay in, and transportation. I also put these organizational skills to work when I travel to places I’ve never been before such as Peru, Bosnia, and Ethiopia. I bring all these qualities, along with an unbridled passion for Sri Lanka and its people, to Skiz’s Original 2.0.
Sri Lanka was named Lonely Planet’s top destination for 2013. I’m sure it’s gained many other accolades since then as tourism is booming. But don’t just take a trip to Sri Lanka–make it an experience of a lifetime. I have carefully designed a 10-day premium tour with a crucial balance between activities and downtime to give you the opportunity to fully relax, enjoy, and optimize your time there. All aboard for Skiz’s Original Tours!
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