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Gfron dreams of elintarvikekriisit (Helsinki, Estonia, Christmas Markets & Michelin)


gfron1
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Oh so you didnt get  karjalanpiirakka?   Because  those do not contain cheese, what so ever, they are with rice, barley or potatoes.   I love them!

But yeah, Finland is stunning, I love the architecture   but when it comes to produce well not much  happening right now, summer is when Finland  really shines.

 

Will you come back and then in the summer?

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Oh so you didnt get  karjalanpiirakka?   Because  those do not contain cheese, what so ever, they are with rice, barley or potatoes.   I love them!

But yeah, Finland is stunning, I love the architecture   but when it comes to produce well not much  happening right now, summer is when Finland  really shines.

 

Will you come back and then in the summer?

I don't know which we bought because Tyler bought when he got away from me. It had rice for sure. And the number of places that I "have to" visit  is so lengthy that a return is unlikely although it certainly deserves it. My travels are much more spontaneous and esoteric than that. We'll probably hear about some noodle maker on an island in the middle of a mountain lake and we'll head out to have a bowl of noodles :)

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Also, I found reindeer to be much tastier than moose (elk). What's your take on that?

Since these were tasting menus the meat portions were small, so my memory I didn't notice a difference. What I do know is that reindeeer filet at Sea Horse was an amazing piece of meat in flavor and tenderness.

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So to recap - 7 words from EdselL are the reason we dropped a few thousand and a week and a half of our lives to go have dinner on the other side of the planet. 7 words. No pressure on Edsel! With two other nordic inspired tasting dinners down and we were off to the Ravintola Olo

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About two weeks ago they entered the Facebook and Instagram worlds when one of the kitchen staff from Portugal (Carlos Henriques) brought them online. Fortunately I was able to engage Carlos and so I was primed for my visit and they were primed for mine. My sole goal was to eat the type of food that I make since I don't get that opportunity very often. Secondarily I wanted to have a chance to compare my food to a Michelin starred restaurant. And lastly, I was looking to see how they handle service - I like mine proper but friendly, and so I was curious to see Michelin service can look like.

 

We were offerered sparkling and were brought a Sumarocca Brut 2011 along with Linseed rice crisps and pickled cucumber mousse.

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Then we were directed to see the bread that we were later to be served rising at our table.

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Sea Buckthorn and yogurt encapsulated in cocoa butter.

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Fermented carrot and yogurt on oat cracker with vinegar powder

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Duck prosciutto, gooseberry mousse and gooseberry powder. Pic missing.

 

Benoit Chablis

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Salt baked celeriac, apple, nasturtium on warm marble.

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Adele Cotes du Rhone 2012 clairette blanc - really interesting wine that has strong hints of yeasty sea water. I'll pursue this wine. Reindeer heart, celeriac stock sphere, spruce introduced to us as "memories of home in Greenland."

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Marcona, parsnip, moose tartare, yolk, pickled elderberry and mustard seed.

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Austrian Stroheiemer Trauben Liebe and Zeit Rot Nº5 - another really nice wine. Rhutabaga, smoked egg whites, and a chicken broth of tarragon and fennel. I said this was their take on an egg drop soup.

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Roasted sunchoke, fermented and raw; white fish, white wine sauce, salmon roe...essentially an au gratin.

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Malmgarden Eumer Tripel beer. Our previously risen bread with Finnish butter (pretty salty), garlic soup (less salty).

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Taleia 2011 (Catalan monks) - another tasty selection. Pike, potato, parsley powder, pike scales and pickle

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Urchin, fennel, apple granité, seaweed broth with dill.

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Ramnista 2010 Kir Yianni Greece. Very dry, not our favorite. Reindeer loin and tongue, moss, blueberry, mushroom sauce.

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Quinta de la Rosa port and Graham & Co. '66 Port

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3 Finnish cheeses with gooseberry jam with elderflower juice, onion caramel

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Local berry tea with bay, thyme, cardamon and black pepper with a goat cheese ice cream sandwich cooked with powdered berry.

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Errazuriz late harvest SV blanc from Chile. Roasted sunflower seed praline, sunchoke puree, roasted sunchoke, roasted yeast syrup consomme.

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Birch sap ice cream, licorice syrup, pine tree crumble.

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Wild & Pure liquors (Lingonberry and Cloudberry). And then we sat and let it all sink in.

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I'll stop here and in the next post show the tour of the kitchen.

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So after we settled our bellies a bit,

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the chef came out and chatted with us, and ultimately invited us into the kitchen.

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I asked him about the Global sponsorship and he said his bosses arranged it. Its always good to see how others do their prep schedules

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Chef Heikki Liekola

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Id like to hear and see that.

 

of course, you could encrypt your posts so that the 'locals' don't get that idea.

 

BTW  Im a very big Cheese Fan.

 

to make a long story very short,  Brie and Camembert are some of my favorites, having lived in FR.

 

I have not been there in a long while, but way back when they declined for economic reasons:

 

Why Age ? Sell Now  etc.

 

in VT there is this place :

 

http://www.vtcheese.com/members/blythedale/blythedale.htm

 

sometimes I pick the oldest the local market has, and 'age' it opened on the counter or in the cabinet for 5 - 7 days.

 

a zillion times better than anything you can get in FR these days i bet.

 

they probably are not available in your area.

 

a shame, as I bet you would appreciate them

 

and then turn into a Blimp ! 

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Now just a few touristy pics. 

The main Christmas market

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Us walking the streets looking at the architecture

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We finally saw the sun for 10 minutes after a week of no sun...how, you ask. Well, we took the tall ferris wheel right at sunset and got to see a little bitty sliver of sun!

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Another view from the ferris wheel

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Quick! The sun! Get a picture of me in it

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And just like that...it was gone.

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We walked over to the city museum which was ok and ran into a concert at the Christmas market

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How about squeezing one more tasting menu in before we leave! Apparently we hadn't had enough yet, so the somm at Olo recommended we eat at Passio. I was tainted at this point in the trip, so I'll hold my negative comments back because it was actually a very nice meal at a decent price. Its newer and is owned by a beer brewer from the western part of the country. They paired 3 of his beers (saison, wit, and porter) with the dishes along with a couple of wines. You'll see that I didn't take notes but the ingredients were essentially the same as what I had at all three previous tasting menus. If I could say one thing to all of these chefs - dig deeper! Find something that isn't the cookie cutter model. But enough...let's eat.

 

I don't remember but I'm sure this was something with dill, sour cream, fish and fermented carrots or cucumbers

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Reindeer, blueberries

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He made bread with his beer's spent grains

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Beet, brussels, goat cheese

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Pike, scallop, white asparagus (Chef - way out of season yo!)

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Moose, potato

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Chocolate soufflé (underbaked), out of season fruit

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Licorice, toffee pudding, ice cream

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Again, I'm being overly critical. We enjoyed the meal completely and enjoyed talking shop with the owner/brewer. But I'll find something more positive to end this thread with :)

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I'm glad that you enjoyed Ravintola Olo. It's funny that I don't even recall my remark to DocSconz.

 

The menu looks similar in style to the one I had in May, though most of the ingredients are different. I had neither Reindeer nor Moose at Olo, but I had reindeer twice while in Finland, and a customer invited us to his vacation cottage on the Gulf of Finland for Moose Stew. (It was delicious!)

 

My photos from Olo are in a set on Flickr. As you can see from the photos, I had a lot more daylight in May than you had last week.

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That was Sunday night at Passio. Our flight was the next day around noon, so we carefully packed all that food along with all sorts of various gifts and kept our fingers crossed that it would make it back to the states.

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Well, a funny thing happened...I thought we had a 2 hour layover at JFK, but it turned out I misread the itinerary with the date changes and time zone changes, and we ended up having 6 pm Monday til 6 am Tuesday, so I sent a call out on FaceBook to all of my NYC friends and ended up meeting one of my dearest friends, whom I met on eG, but had never met in person, but is my pastry compadre - Mark Manguerra/Manggy! He's a doctor resident in the city right now and living in Chinatown, so he took us to his favorite restaurant followed by some bar we where we got a chance to catch up. Along with way we picked up my high school art teacher whom I hadn't seen since 1987 who was one of the single most influential people in my life. It was a good night to say the least.

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I'm glad that you enjoyed Ravintola Olo. It's funny that I don't even recall my remark to DocSconz.

 

The menu looks similar in style to the one I had in May, though most of the ingredients are different. I had neither Reindeer nor Moose at Olo, but I had reindeer twice while in Finland, and a customer invited us to his vacation cottage on the Gulf of Finland for Moose Stew. (It was delicious!)

 

My photos from Olo are in a set on Flickr. As you can see from the photos, I had a lot more daylight in May than you had last week.

I went digging. I had to. I mean, the whole trip was based around the memory of something you typed 8 months ago. Well...I found it. Not quite how I quoted you but close enough that yes, I would absolutely jump on a plane to take this trip again.  You actually said,

 

Back to the hotel. Seriously amazing meal tonight. I think it's a bit pointless to "rank" meals against each other, but I honestly can't think of a better one. Attention, John Sconzo: Helsinki Finland is officially on your RADAR now. (ccUlterior Epicure)

 — at Ravintola Olo.

 

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I can read and pronounce the  chefs  name! Woho!  Could be because   I used to know a Liekola  here in Sweden, nice guy  made the best  karjalanpiirakka.    I think you got them any way.,  I so hope you come back or come to my  hole of the world.  Might not have   stared restaurants but that because  the best one in town is hidden.

 

Will you be inspired to cook some of what you ate or the flavours you met?

Oh and yes I am  fixing the pickled herring recipe, it is the same as we do here  but the phone lines are down again to my parents village.

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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My unfinished notes for my staff:

 

 

Individual towels in bath in all nice restaurants – paper day, cloth night

Local textiles on back of chairs at night

Deliver silverware on napkin line wooden tray

Remove and replace silverware on every person, every course *obvious but we don't remove unused silverware

Offer champagne at start of every meal “Would you like a glass of champagne to start things off tonight?”

Wipe the bottle hole after each pour of wine

Take coats and hang them on hooks with table numbers

Refold napkin when go to bathroom *we just haven't done this

Short version of menu at table and “chef’s notes” emailed upon request

Refilled pairings if still needed for next course

Angled silverware at 2 oclock to accommodate all dish shapes and sizes

 

Notes for me

Add ons: Gruet, cheese board, bon bon finish

Yeast in bread was announced as a 3 year sourdough starter…we have better story

Butter in parchment satchels

Get heart and tongue from local butchers.

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I dont care if cheese boards are so  60.ties idea, we need more of them. Yes, that what a friend got to hear when she wanted that for her wedding.

gfron; try to get hold  lamb or deer hears,  rinse them out with salt water, stuff with herbs and then smoke them.   That is how my grandfather did his smoked hearts.

Edited by CatPoet (log)
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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Manngy! I've wondered what he's been up to since he disappeared from here. Glad to hear he's doing well.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Thank you for a fascinating trip.  I did notice a great similarity of ingredients in the different restaurants, which is not unexpected because they are all in Finland in the winter.  Were the preparations of the similar ingredients different, or was everyone kind of doing the same thing with those ingredients.  Toffee pudding with licorice!

 

Wonderful blog. 

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That is  the problem when you go to cold countries in winter, not much to eat and we do try to the best of what we have in winter.   I have Finnish and northern blood in me and  my food culture is mostly  meat, herring,  swedes, onion, potatoes, rye and lingon during the winter, if I followed the old ways,

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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gfron1

 

may I ask why you chose to do this Delicious Experiment 

 

In the Cold and the Dark ?

 

I have been to Finland, with my family in '61

 

in the Spring.

 

that was so long ago.

 

I must tell you this :

 

Cold and Dark

 

if you have thought of it

 

is not that bad

 

cheers your way 

 

((((((    you will post Encrypted  shots of Your New Cheese  ( on the Left, please ) and

 

Meat  ( on the Right Please )

 

cellar.

 

:biggrin:

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