Åland Islands: Hotel Pommern | Guest Chef Franco Lania

 Åland map boundaries

Åland map boundaries

Åland Islands here I come!  Do you know where the Åland Islands are? Many people do not know. They are a breathtaking archipelago consisting of 6,757 named islands (you read that correctly) located in the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea.  And, here is something I find very interesting.  After the Treaty of Paris in 1856, Åland was deemed an autonomous, demilitarized region and still remains that way to the present day. Like many island regions around the world, Åland was conquered and reconquered by its neighbors and the superpowers of the day.  Ultimately the islands became a region of Finland where the people maintain their national language, Swedish.   


This past December I had the pleasure of visiting Åland.  As my flight made its descent over the islands around 9 am, I could see thousands of small islands stretching out across the sparkling sea. The morning fog was slowly lifting up from the ground on this cold sunny day. It was truly a beautiful sight to see.

Stallhagen - Brew Master

Stallhagen – Brew Master


I visited the town of Mariehamn as I made my way to Hotel Pommern to meet with their Executive Chef Dennis Lindqvest and Hotel Director Liisa Niemi.

Chef Dennis graciously took me around to see some of the immediate sights. We had lunch at Stallhagen, a local brewpub where the food is great and the locals mingle. I was even given a tour of their ever-expanding brewpub and met the brew-master himself, Mats Ekholm.

He may think your handlebars are not quite up to par, but believe me his microbrews definitely are. 




Kvarter5 Kitchen – Hotel Pommern

Franco Lania & Chef Dennis Linquvist

Franco Lania & Chef Dennis Linquvist

Back at the hotel restaurant, Kvarter 5, chef Dennis gave me a tour of his kitchen, where we cooked and discussed some of my menu ideas. When two chefs get cooking things begin to percolate. I’m happy that chef Dennis and Liisa Niemi have invited me for a 3-day guest chef event they will be hosting on March 10th, 11th, and 12th.  I will be cooking a 5-course tasting menu in their Kvarter 5 Restaurant, that apparently is already getting many reservations.  I’m hoping to see many Nordic friends there.



So, for those in the vicinity, call the hotel pronto to reserve a table. Åland is a special place in Northern Europe and I’m happy to be going back for this wonderful event.  Please stay tuned on my Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and delicious recipes!

Mariehamn the capital of Åland Islands

Mariehamn the capital of Åland Islands


Time and Place:

  • Hotel Pommern  (+358 18 15555)
  • Restaurant Kvarter 5
  • 10th-12th of March 2016.


The Menu:  Will be in English and Swedish (have a look below)


                                  English                                                                Swedish 

Hotel Pommern: Kvarter5 English menu

Hotel Pommern: Kvarter5 – English menu

Hotel Pommern: Kvarter5 English menu

Hotel Pommern: Kvarter5 – Swedish menu













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