On November 4th while in Helsinki, Finland for the 10th Annual book fair, I had the distinct pleasure to be invited by: Chef Sasu Laukkonen to his restaurant “Chef & Sommelier” located in the Eira section of Helsinki. A mutual chef friend of ours in Finland named Ulla Liukkonenconnected us on Facebook and I am very glad she did. Interestingly enough I was told that Ulla is now in the running for “Top Chef” Finland… so… Thank you Ulla and Good Luck on the show!…Onnea Ulla!
Chef & Sommelier is located just a few steps away, and on the same side of the street as the Eira Hospital which is a landmark and a great story in itself. The hospital was named after the Scandinavian goddess Eir, the “goddess of healing.”
To learn more about the “Goddess Eir,” click the link:http://www.thewhitewillow.com/gallery/Eir.html
To see more on the Eira section of Helsinki, kindly click on the
Chef & Sommelier: Focuses on organic produce, all natural and fair-trade ingredients.
The restaurant brings two things to the Helsinki restaurant scene:
First, it brings an outlet to supply the great organic demand of food served and cooked in this manner and preparation.
Secondly, it gives the customers a chance to enjoy handmade cuisine in a relaxed and very quaint atmosphere. This restaurant is the first of it’s kind in Helsinki and is a fantastic gem!
“The menu is a tasting menu it’s well crafted and very concise and to the point. All items are interpretations and artistic twists on the concept behind the dish. This is not deconstructed cuisine…but a chef’s true talent and artistic ability show cased in every dish…Wonderfully done!”
The cuisine is pure, handmade and focused on organic ingredients.
They favor four- or five course menus, but one can also have dinner having three or even seven courses.
Chef Sasu serve menus with meat and fish and also a “Menu Vert” with four courses made using no lactose and egg. A vegetarian menu is always available.
3 courses 42€ 4 courses 49€ 5 courses 56€
7 courses 65€ (Menu Chef)
|Smoked fish and celeriac
‘Rye and beans’
Lamb and cabbage
Chocolate and Chai
Artichoke and gnocchi
Pike-perch and fennel
Apple and oats
They ask to inform them in advance if there are any restrictions in your diet.
Restaurant Chef & Sommelier/location
+358 400 959440 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting
Open Tuesday to Saturday
from 6 pm
Chef Sasu and his staff really love what they do and you can feel from the moment you walk in to the time you leave.
The Chef literally cooks in plain view of the dining-room and he and Sommelier Johan Borgas serve you every dish with a full explanation on everything you eat!
I had the Smoked fish and Celeriac starter. Smoked fish in Finland is excellent and Chef Sasu’s starter paid homage to this Finnish delicacy.
Next was the artichoke and gnocchi…the gnocchi were light and delicate as should be and I was told by the chef the recipe was one very similar to that of Celebrity Chef Giorgio Locatelli who is well known in the United Kingdom.
Chef Locatelli has a wonderful book out called “Made in Italy” that was actually given to me for a Christmas present a few years back…So, needless to say I was aware of Chef Giorgio and his fantastic story and wonderful cuisine.
My main coarse was the lamb and cabbage. The lamb was organic and raised in the north of Finland, the cabbage was braised perfectly and the dish was absolutely delectable.
Desserts are always a way to test a “Cuisine Chef’s” talent!…Here I had the Chocolate-Chai pared with the somelier Johan’s suggestion… of a dessert wine called: Anthos Passito, Matteo Correggia from Piedmonte, Italy.
This was an exceptional chocolate dessert and the wine was truly a great suggestion and a perfect accompaniment to the chocolate.
I also tried the apple dessert with the suggestion by Joan to have a delicious apple dessert wine…called Cidre de Givre, 2008, Dupont- Normandy, France.
This was the grand-finally. The Cidre de Givre was the “Piece Montee” along with this wonderful and light apple dessert!
Over all Chef and Sommelier is a small place no more than 20-25 seats. Yes, the place is small but has a big heart…and this is what makes it a “Gem” in the city of Helsinki!
After dinner I was invited to see the kitchen and talk with the chef and the assistant chef Max Hartwall.
2) Apple dessert wine: Cidre de Givre, 2008 Dupont – Normandy, France
This was an excellent dessert wine and was my favorite of the two.
The process behind the making of this wine is quite interesting. The cider is frozen several times and each time the ice is removed leaving behind a more concentrated alcohol and apple flavor.
The finished product has a sweetness that is moderate that showcases the mix of crisp green apple along with caramelized notes.
“Cidre de Givre” is truly a delicious dessert wine and worth the bother to find and try for yourself!
Click the link below:
By: Franco Lania