New South Wales

Age: 42

Occupation: Doctor

Cooking dishes packed with flavour and punch is a necessity for Ray, who loves foods with layer and depth to heighten the tastebuds. Born in Chicago, Ray spent his childhood years in the US before returning to his homeland of Sri Lanka with his family at the age of 10. Together with his sister Meneka, the family remained in Sri Lanka until Ray was 15, at which time they relocated to Australia. Ray says his passion for food started with his parents’ cooking, citing his Dad’s crab curry as the best he has ever eaten.

Settling in Wollongong NSW, Ray completed high school before embarking on a degree in Chemistry from the University of Wollongong. In 1998 he began a degree in Medicine from the University of Queensland. Ray says his passion for both organic chemistry and food stems from an interest in precision and the skill and ability of following a recipe precisely to get a required result. After university, Ray embarked on placements in hospitals across Australia, spending time in Cooktown, Brisbane, Batemans Bay, Cairns and Sydney across a variety of specialties including neurology, plastic surgery and emergency surgery.

Ray’s daughter Maya was born in 2010 and three years later, he welcomed his second daughter, Lana. Ray decided to commence his general practitioner training in 2014 and now works as a GP in a medical centre in Bondi Junction.

Away from medicine and caring for his patients, Ray says one of his greatest loves is food. He loves to throw dinner parties for friends and family, and enjoys experimenting with different food techniques. He describes his cooking style as contemporary and his food idols include Shannon Bennett, Brent Savage, Ben Shewry and Martin Benn.