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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lentil as Anything - Shanaka Fernando

Shanaka Fernando is often hailed as a modern-day revolutionary best known for his 'pay-what-you-can-afford' community restaurants in Melbourne. He was named Australia's Local Hero in the Australian of the Year Awards and was a guest judge on MasterChef alongside the Dalai Lama. This book strips back the labels that have been slapped onto Shanaka's media-built poster boy persona and gives us an insight into some of the experiences that have shaped the man he has become.
This entrancingly honest and refreshingly candid memoir hints at the roots of Shanaka's early social awakening with tales of a 1970s childhood in Sri Lanka's capital, Columbo. From his upbringing within an eccentric extended family living in a residential compound populated with a throng of memorable characters, we accompany the grown up Shanaka on his travels from Australia to Asia to South America and back as he explores new ways of living his life.

He leads a simple, modest life as he continues to inspire and challenge perhaps millions as he advocates an inclusive, ethical approach to business and life, and a belief in the innate goodness and generosity of his fellow man.

The socially responsible Lentil as Anything restaurants feed thousands every week, and set an example for other restaurants and businesses to follow – an example which illustrates what an inclusive, ethical approach to business, and life, can achieve. In the Lentil as Anything restaurants it is people that qualify life, not property. ‘You get fed and treated with dignity even if you don’t have any money, and the colour of your skin and your education and your beliefs only put you on a par with everyone else.’

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