The Food & Fun festival, held October 5th – 9th for the third consecutive year in Finland, has now announced nearly all visiting masters. The focus will be on the Nordic countries, but there will also be guests from Ukraine, the United States and Spain! The chefs’ assignment is to prepare a menu out of ingredients from the archipelago together with a local restaurant. An international panel of judges will score the contestants, and the winner of 2016 will be announced at the competition on Saturday.
Smör – Gabriel Mellim Andersson, Upper House Dining, Gothenburg, Sweden
Gabriel Mellim Andersson grew up in western Sweden and started his career in France. After five years in France he transferred to New York to a restaurant called Aska. Since last November he has managed a top restaurant in Gothenburg called Upper House Dining. He finds his inspiration in childhood memories.
Pinella – Jesper Krabbe, Henne Kirkeby Kro, Denmark
Jesper Krabbe developed an interest for cuisine in Norway. He worked for Paul Cunningham at The Paul 2009-2011, and has since worked at Henne Kirkeby Kro. The inn in the danish countryside has a 4000 square metre garden, that provides the restaurant with ingredients. Jesper Krabbe won the Food&Fun competition in Reykjavik in 2016.
Karu Izakaya – Jonah Kim, Yona, Washington DC, USA
Jonah Kim is a young chef from Baltimore. He manages a restaurant called Yona in Washington DC. This Japanese and Korean-styled restaurant serves ramen and small servings made from the best ingredients. Jonah has frequently appeared in local media, and took part in Food & Fun in Reykjavik in 2013.
Torre – Yun Fuentes, Alma de Cuba, USA, Philadelphia
Yun has made a career in the kitchen and has through hard work become chef at Alma De Cuba. The restaurant specializes in modern Latin cuisine, with for example tapas and drinks. Fuentes visited Torre in 2015 and came in second in the competition.
Daphne -Sigurdur Haraldsson, Geranium, Denmark/Iceland
Sigurdur Haraldson just started working at Geranium in Copenhagen. After nearly a year at Olo in Helsinki, Haraldsson trandferred to Geranium to gain knowledge and experience. This ambitious Icelandic chef has represented Iceland at Bocuse d’Or, won national competitions and visited Kustavin Kipinä and the first Food & Fun in Finland.
Gustavo – Maria José San Roman and Ignacio Alvarez De Mon Gimeno, Monastrell, Alicante, Spain
Maria José San Roman has been called the queen of Alicante, and not without reason. She manages Michelin starred Monastrell, La Taberna del Gourmet, Tribeca and La Vaqueria. The menu at Gustavo is created by Maria José and chef at Monastrell Ignacio Alvarez De Mon Gimeno. They will be accompanied by head waiter Altor Molina Romero.
Tårget – Asgeir Mar Björnsson, Reykjavik, Iceland
Asgeir Mar Björnsson is one of the top new generation bartenders in Iceland. He prepares barrel aged cocktails, his own infusions and is more after the very experience of a cocktail, rather than just look and flavor. At moment he works on interesting projects and has twice been in charge of Reykjavik Bar Summit, where bartenders from around the world gather to compete.
The Cow – Arni Gunnarsson Reykjavik, Icelandic
Arni Gunnarsson competes actively in cocktail-making and will represent Iceland at the World Cocktail Championships in Tokyo. This man keeps busy competing and judging competitions all over the world.
Hus Lindman will have a visitor from Ukraine, Sergii Zelenokhat. Markus Sillanpää (Börs Bar & Cafe) and Greta Grönholm (Marina Bar & Lounge) have been chosen as bartenders for the Food & Fun festival. Grönholm won the cocktail-mixing championship in 2013 in Prague, which is an impressive accomplishment. Sillanpää triumphed in the Calvados Nouvelle International Trophy 2015 competition with his drink Mixed Feelings, and today he is preaching the gospel of calvados in Börs Bar & Café.
Chef Riccardo Benvenuti is arriving as a guest to restaurant Sergio’s. Benvenuti has worked in many Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Le Calandre in Italy (three stars). He is currently working as a consultant in several restaurants. Benvenuti is a true Italian masterchef. He finished third in Food & Fun Turku 2016.
Mbakery will be paid a visit by Jouko Rajanen from Choco Deli, the northernmost chocolate shop in the center of Rovaniemi.
Gaggui Kaffela’s guest will be Axel Thorsteinsson, confectioner and baker from Iceland, who studied in Denmark.
To be published later: E. Ekblom: chef and bartender, Pinella Bar: bartender, Tiirikkala: bartender
Tables can be booked at the restaurants, but some of the sittings have already been sold out.