Vipula Athukorale is part of a dying breed of chefs - a kitchen artist, who can magically transform any edible substance - even a slippery, slimy stick of butter, into a piece of art. His latest creations earned him two gold and one silver medal at London's Salon Culinaire 2010, a prestigious competition for world-class chefs.
Vipula, who now lives in Leicester, UK, grew up in Sri Lanka. He has had a passion for sculpting ever since he touched his first piece of clay. Today, the amazingly talented man can make a masterpiece from almost any material, ranging from polystrene (plastic) to watermelon and now even butter!
Vipula's prize-winning butter sculptures comprised of a Rolls Royce, a scene from Pinnochio and one from The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The chef who uses pastry margarine because of its higher melting point, says it took him between 80-90 hours to sculpt each piece.
While sculpting, he had to keep his hands cold, so that the butter would not melt, and also, not breath! The artist says that everytime he took a breath, his hand would sway, jeapordizing his intricate carvings. He would therefore take a deep breath, carve, and then move away from the sculpture, when he just couldn't hold it in anymore!
Vipula doesn't know what his next project will be - maybe something for the Soccer World Cup in June? For now, he plans to take a few days and rest on his laurels.