Fresh from celebrating Nordic restaurant FINDS’ seventh anniversary, the Finnish chef (and president of Disciples Escoffier’s Hong Kong sub-delegation) shares with us the good and the bad of his mealtime moments.
Being a chef and having a profession of tasting, my life is filled with so many lovely food memories. For instance, my childhood summers were spent enjoying the magic of grandmother Ida’s delicious traditional dishes cooked in a wood-burning oven on her island in the Lakeland, which is in the middle of Finland’s 200,000 lakes. But my most recent best moment was my introduction to Yunnan cuisine. I enjoyed it in Shanghai in a lovely place called Lost Heaven [www.lostheaven.com.cn]. It wasn’t just a discovery of a dish or a flavour, it was the discovery of a whole world of new flavours. Just like a long time ago, when I had Thai food for the first time, everything on the table tasted great. Sometimes I was not even sure what was on the plate!
July 2004 – my first visit week to HK to meet potential future FINDS shareholders. We had a tight schedule: meetings, shopping for plates, lunches, dinners and nightly visits to Drop until the early morning. Then the last day came before returning to Finland, so Colette [Koo, FINDS founder] took me and the other Finnish chef to Maxim’s for dim sum. We were terribly hungover, and the food fiesta began with chicken knuckles – that gristly piece which you can chew forever and nothing happens. I still haven’t learned to appreciate that dish yet, but maybe you can ask me again in five years..