30/09/2014

PEOPLE FROM HEL: KIRSTI TUOMINEN


Do you know the type of classmates, whom teachers love, who take part in everything, run the students’ union and captain the school volleyball team? Well, Kirsti Tuominen is one of those.

Nokia career left behind, Kirsti created herself amazing network throughout the city's food & restaurant scene in just couple of years. Freelancing in food-related writing, styling, tv, book, you just name it and at the same time doing her bit for creating projects enriching the local food culture and/or the communal wellbeing.

One of the most well-known projects she's busy with, is the great Ravintolapäivä, Restaurant Day. As the communications manager of this global phenomenon she's been invited to talk about the concept also abroad, like in the World Food Travel Summit last year.

Kirsti says that the whole concept of food culture is still such a new and fresh topic in Finland and therefore the discussion is still on ideological level and within rather small group of people from more or less the same field.
“The possibilities for progression are quite limited if the discussion is only within one single line of business. The food biz needs other sectors to interact with.”

Therefore her latest project is The Feast Worldwide. On 11 October, at 7.00pm local time, Helsinki will be one of the 38 cities where a Feast Worldwide Dinner is held. The given main theme is progression and around Helsinki’s dinner table the idea is to find new scalable solutions for food systems, that would make our world a better place. Locally as well as globally. That means no fine-tuning existing ideas, but more figuring out totally new possibilities. The goal is to get people with various standpoints around the same table: Along with the food people also tech pros and marketing aces, but people from the public sector, education and research too. Plus all kind of active citizens who are capable of thinking outside the box.


Thinking outside the box is what Kirsti does on a day off too. Besides putting countless pro bono hours in Restaurant Day, she has also set up the Social Beat – strike force for humanity with a group of as effecient friends. Social Beat means sharing communal experiences for those who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate. Like a trip to the woods for retirement home residents. The aim of the project is to lower the threshold for any of us to do some good.

Kirsti has always had the urge to make the world a better place. When she was younger, she wanted to be the next Kofi Annan, a bit later she changed her career plans to become a pediatric. Luckily she didn't become either of those, because the grass root level projects she's been involved in are just, well, amazing.

I had to ask her for a tip how to make time for all this. Being a perfectionist, she advised to learn some unperfectionism:
“Even the smallest step, or a tiny little good thing getting done, is better than nothing. If you don’t have time for an hour run, run for an half an hour. Also learn to identify the to-dos, that really require you to put effort into, and to separate them from the ones you just need to get done.”

The next step she's taking, isn't the small type though. Through some projects she has recognized restrictions in her digital know-how and she decided to do something about it, as she believes mobile technology to be part of future service concepts in all branches from eldercare to wine selling business. So, for now, her freelancing food-related life in Helsinki and Finland is over and she'll be heading to a new position in an international mobile tech company. A pretty wise step to increase the knowledge, I'd say.

What’s after that Kirsti, politics maybe? Please?!

The Feast Worldwide Helsinki
Ravintolapäivä - Restaurant Day
Social Beat

24/09/2014

APPLE GINGER CURD & CINNAMON SCONES


Apple and ginger and cinnamon go together like scones and curd and afternoons alone at home. Pretty darn well that is.


CINNAMON SCONES

200g plain flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp cinnamon
1,5 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
50g cold butter, diced
1 dl milk
1 egg
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Rub the butter quickly into the flour mixture, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. In a separete bowl, beat the egg and whisk together with milk.
  4. Pour the egg milk on the dry ingredients and stir just until all ingredients come together. Do not over beat!
  5. Turn the dough out on floured surface and knead just a few times to bring it together.
  6. Press the dough to a disc, ca. 3 cm thick.
  7. Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter or similar and place them on baking tray lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake in 200°C ca. 15 minutes.


GINGER APPLE CURD

600g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
0,5 dl lemon juice
0,5 dl water
2 cinnamon sticks

150g unsalted butter
500g sugar
1dl water
5 eggs beaten
  1. Put the apples and grated ginger into a pan with water, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Cook until apples turn soft. Rub through a sieve.
  3. Put the apple purée together with butter, sugar and water into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or into a double boiler).
  4. As soon as the butter has melted, whisk in the beaten eggs.
  5. Stir the mixture over a gentle heat until it gets creamy and thick.
  6. (The temperature should reach 82–84°C on a sugar thermometer, and it takes ca. 10-15 minutes.)
  7. Pour into warm, sterilised jars.

16/09/2014

RULLA


A lunch in Rulla makes me feel like I’m truly healthy living (and clever and young and smart and just a really good person). I start making promises to myself, that include things like more sport and earlier bedtimes and more water drinking. Quoting the recent Flow Festival visitor, Outkast, they are just so fresh and so clean.



Rice paper roll filled with crispy green mixture of salads, sprouts and herbs, rice vermicelli and salmon, fennel and pomegranate. Or apple and duck. Or eggplant, chanterelles and nuts. Or one of the many other combinations they come up with. Dipped into one of the two flavourful sauces.

The simplest lunch for less then 10 € consists of three rolls of your choice and either a soup or a salad. And if you feel like it, just upgrade the portion by adding as many extra rolls you like to it.




Of course lunch ain’t the only option. I’m sure that a shopping tour for a new pair of jeans is a whole lot of easier, if after trying the first ten pairs you just take a small break with a fresh roll or two and a glass of nice riesling. Or maybe a take away in a park? Or perhaps a rolled up dinner?



Rulla is found as a shop in shop, or as a restaurant in shop, in Nudge, a city centre located lifestyle shop selling ecological and ethical clothing, cosmetics and home deco pieces.

Perhaps you could even take care of the jeans shopping during the lunch break?

RESTAURANT RULLA / NUDGE
Yrjönkatu 30

06/09/2014

CEPTEMBER


Don't know about meteorological facts, but from my point of view June was exceptionally cold, July exceptionally hot and August exceptionally rainy in Finland.

Neither do I know much about mycology, but this weather combination must have offered the most ideal growing conditions for ceps and other boletus mushrooms. They're big, they're everywhere. This September is exceptionally good for hunting for ceps. Ceptember.





My porcini I like creamed or in risotto or in pasta or as a soup but mostly I love them as below:
Thinly sliced and in butter crispy fried on a piece of toasted rye bread. Salt and pepper and that's about it.