The picture on the left is my kitchen when I first moved in, and the one on the right is how it was in December 2013.
A tiny flat in Helsinki houses my teeny but functional kitchen where I like to whip up all kinds of culinary delights for myself and my friends. Inspired by random stuff, from fond childhood food memories to memorable meals out, I’m basically up for anything. I don’t always follow recipes, and I have the best time cooking when I adapt and combine other recipes to create or recreate a dish. Doesn’t always work out perfectly. But surprisingly often, it does.
An English teacher and sometime publishing editor, I divide my free time between fun hobbies (theatre, dance, writing, music, travel, books, TV and films), good friends and semi-serious cookery/foodie adventures… and sounding like a pretentious twat, apparently. Just focus on the food, read and be inspired. Ok?
My biggest influences:
- Grandma – Karelian, cook and family storyteller extraordinaire, passed away in 1993
- Mum – a total wildcard in the kitchen, an admirable risk taker when it comes to making pies and cakes
- MasterChef Australia – makes me cry for joy
Ingredients I love or gravitate towards often (in no particular order):
- black beans
- all kinds of beans, really
My favourite eats ever:
- A childhood favourite: Nettle soup or stew with a decorative amanita mushroom made out of egg and tomato (like mum and granny used to make)
- July 1992, Nice, France – my mum and I, 15, bought a bottle of Sauternes and a piece of St Albray cheese, and I had a taste of them together in our hotel room (memorable, life-changing)
- December 2012, Chef et Sommelier, Helsinki, Finland – a starter of char-grilled carrot transported me to the old sauna and the vegetable garden at the back of it at my grandparents’ place (this restaurant is the best place to eat in Helsinki, in my opinion)
- February 2013, Itinéraires, Rue de Pontoise, Paris, France – especially the starter of foie gras with thin champignon slices that looked like white rose petals