Hella Food aims to open up a direct path to work careers for young cooks!

Hella Food is a program for youths (18-29). The goal of Hellafood is to open a path to studies or a career for its participants. Hella food also aims to provide the participants with a lifelong skill that will be helpful in their day-to-day life. During the five-month-long course, the participants have the chance to learn from some of the best chefs in Helsinki, chefs from places like Ultima, Basbas, Maannos, Shelter, Ragu, Ora, Naughty Burger and many more. Workshops are going to be held at Flavour studio in Helsinki. During Hellafood the participants will have the chance to see what it is like to work in a real restaurant kitchen, we will visit some of the best kitchens in town and meet the people who run them. The participants will also work closely with a personal career-counselor to help them get a “foot in the door.” The course will end in a pop-up-restaurant that the course participants will run. The participants will be in charge of the whole project (concept planning, menu planning & execution, budgets and all the other things needed to open a restaurant).

Hella Food provides its participants with crucial and practical skills in the restaurant world, during the course the participants will have the chance to meet and to cook with some of the best chefs in Helsinki which gives them a significant advantage when trying to get into the industry. The course will be thoroughly documented so that the participants can clearly show what they have learned when applying for a studyplace or a job.

Apply for your spot on the next course here.
More info http://www.hellafood.fi/

Teurastamo Christmas Market will be held on 16–17 December, featuring a record-breaking number of vendors

Teurastamo will once again celebrate Christmas in advance for a whole weekend, on Saturday 16 December 10am–5pm and on Sunday 17 December 11am–4pm. This year, the Christmas Market will offer the goods of more than 70 vendors; unique Christmas gifts, tasty Christmas treats, Christmas trees. Naturally, the traditional Finnish star signers, Tiernapojat, will also be there.

Last year, nearly 10,000 guests visited the hugely popular Christmas Market during the weekend. The Teurastamo people will be taking part in the Christmas Market again, and Flavour Studio will be filled with the inviting atmosphere of an artesian chocolate bazaar, Suklaarasia, from 10am to 4pm. The Teurastamo Christmas Market is the perfect place to find original gifts, tasty food and beverages as well as a hefty amount of joyful Christmas spirit.

The showcase of Jädelino ice cream parlour will be filled with delicious, Christmassy ice cream flavours, and they will also be selling a selection of Italian panettones and marmalades. Helsingin kahvipaahtimo coffee roastery will be roasting up a delicious, flavourful Christmas blend. Restaurant Palema will be serving lunch for the hungry visitors on Saturday 11am–3pm. In Kellohalli, Asmi will be selling products made of recycled inner tubes, and Christmas cards will be available for purchase from several vendors, among them KehvoladesignHiilit Illustrations and Pirita Tolvanen. Bags and accessories will also be sold at the event, and their materials vary from used coffee sacks to paper. As last year, the beautiful design lights made of corrugated board by Andbros, as well as high-quality linen products by Aapiste, will again be available at the market. The market will also offer food products for all tastes. The traditional British pies by Pie Witch and the Hungarian pepper sausages by Feri’s Sausages will add some international flavour to the selection. On Saturday, the Market will spread out into the premises of Perho Culinary, Tourism and Business College.

A new operator, Moko Market will soon move into Teurastamo, and they will set up their boutique in building number 5, right next to the Teurastamo gate. The Christmas Market will be a great opportunity to find out more about the newcomer, Moko Market. In addition to this, twenty unique entrepreneurs with their one-of-a-kind products will set up shop in the premises for the duration of the Market.

Events and workshops for the whole family in the Teurastamo yard

Kirjaverstas at Teurastamo features a great selection of books and products by different illustrators, perfect for gifts. There will also be programme for children on both days: Creators of Yö and Vesi nonfiction books, author Laura Ertimo and illustrator Satu Kontinen, will hold a snowflake workshop for children and Mari Kätkä will perform Christmassy music and songs from the musical fairytale Hilla ja Liisi on Saturday from 12 noon to 2pm and on Sunday from 2pm to 4pm. Glögi will also be served on both days!

The centrepiece of the Teurastamo area is, naturally, the large, impressive Christmas tree, which will be decorated by the workshop participants. In the yard, blacksmiths Eveliina Halonen and Kalle Havola will be showing off their skills. Kumpula choir will perform for the market-goers on Saturday at 1pm, and Paavali congregation will hold a Tiernapojat star singers performance at Kellohalli on Sunday at 1pm.

Alexander’s food truck will also be at Teurastamo to serve delicious street food during the market hours.  In the yard you will also be able to purchase a beautiful Finnish Christmas tree to take home.

 Participating vendors:  Katjan kahvisäkkituotteet, ASMI, Hardomin leipä, Käärö, Piret Kändler, Andbros, Kehvola Design, Pitsin uusi elämä, Tuuni & Loru, Knitworks, Huoku, UMC Design, SisuPuoti, LumiWAU, Aapiste, OTUS ateljee, Feri´s Sausages, LIIA Jewellery, Pie Witch / Jenky’s Cafe, Vuonue ja viipsinpuu, Rusthollarin hunaja, Bombotti, FatCloth, Mooncake, Flora of finland, Pinions, Magisso, Morr, Etana Editions, Toukolan Herkku, Muotoiluhuone Tuokio, Nokonen, Sahrasshop, Vanilja Valencienne, Nukeri, Donuts, INTOA design, Mary a. jalava / T:mi Miira Zukale, Paja, Kuppitehdas Uoma, Maarja Niinemägi Jewellery, Willatar, Dark Side of Zen, Maija Hurme Illustration, Mirri Creative, Rose-kustannus

In the Moko Market premises: Kokokidi , HeijaDesign, Mine Güngör, Vekkuli, Hiilit Illustrations, Heidi Valkola, Muotografia, ButoniDesign , Pirita Tolvanen, Jambon, Jarna Jäntti, Woobs, Lillan Helsinki, LiLa Design, Voima-Vahtila, Groovink, Mariel Design, Lulukids, Manner´S, Sini Kolari

 In the Teurastamo yard: Pulla Pulla , Metsämania, Cafe Pequeño, Mähönen, Plaza Mocca

You can take a look at the vendors attending the Christmas Market on the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1728869090748915

The Christmas Market is organised in cooperation between Mirri Creative and Teurastamo.

Willy Wonka’s Whiskey Factory

The staff of The Helsinki Distilling Company gets up bright and early on most days to start production when clocks strike 7 am. The daily rhythm of the small team is hectic, but the spirits are patient as berries and fresh water take their own time to turn into fine drinks.

The first distillery to open its doors in Helsinki in the past 100 years also mirrors the story of a city. As alcohol became chastised as makings of the devil nearing the 19th century, the production of spirits saw more and more restrictions and finally culminated in full-blown Prohibition by 1919, hand in hand with the first years of a modern nation. The 20s shifted the city into parallel universes. What you saw on the streets was not the full picture. Underground and behind closed doors, another culture was taking shape – one of jazz, joking, cocktails and other flashes from continental Europe. The street view took a while to catch up and it seems Helsinki had to go through decades of outside influences to regain a self-confidence, now visible in a city that is bustling with self-made urban culture.

In 2015, the first batch of Helsinki-distilled gin once again touched local lips. Today, HDCO represents old time production values in a contemporary world: looking past multinational corporations and mass consumption, and relying rather on hand-crafted local force and prime ingredients. Appreciating what is around, but with eyes on the wider world.

“The history of distilleries also tells the socioeconomic history of a city, and we like to also share these stories on our distillery tours. We like to be honest, to educate and show people how products are made. We are proud to be part of a new wave of local production that can also be exported to the whole world”, says Irishman Séamus Holohan, one of three founders alongside Mikko Mykkänen and Kai Kilpinen. Séamus lists a row of fellow distilling and brewing enthusiasts, from the monks of the Valamo abbey to the Kyrö Distillery in western Finland, forming together a brave new movement. The Abattoir is a prime location to thrive on this power of small greatness. “If you need a fork lift or a new cleaning system, someone around will always have an answer. I also love the neighbouring coffee roastery, and my kids love Jädelinö ice cream and fresh pasta from Vaelsa. The only problem is that they now refuse to eat dry pasta from the supermarket…”

As Finnish law heavily restricts the marketing and advertising of strong alcohol, HDCO relies on exposure in the press as well as word-of-mouth. The distillery hosts popular tours to show how it is all done. “When people can come in and have a look, it’s no longer a black box. Aquavit is not just a bottle you throw in the freezer for a couple of hours and then throw back a few schnapps. It has a whole story, and showing that story does its part to trigger a different interest and appreciation in the taste, not just the effect”, says Séamus.

“Seeing the machines and barrels and ingredients is really exciting to people. It’s like coming to Willy Wonka’s factory.”

HDCO’s plant at the Abattoir makes gin, whiskey, aquavit and apple jack (the Finnish version of a calvados), as well as the refreshing Helsinki Long Drink. Their version of the beloved Finnish summertime drink lonkero is a blend of their very own Helsinki Dry Gin and pink grapefruit juice. The full cycle of gin from raw materials to glasses takes about a month, but whiskey is a more time-consuming process. The first batch is ready to be bottled in the fall of 2017. This August marks the two-year anniversary of the distillery, but the three-year mark is already even more eagerly awaited. The coming summer has its own big news , however: HDCO will open a bar above the distillery, just in time for the Sideways festival in June.

Distillery tours can be booked via: https://hdco.fi/

Séamus Holohan, CEO, The Helsinki Distilling Company

Palema sheds layers

Restaurant Palema has witnessed the changing cityscape from the corner of the Abattoir yard ever since the historical area came together in 1933. At the end of last year, the restaurant found new owners who discreetly fine-tuned the markings of the past decades along with the menu.

Palema’s restaurant manager Kaisa Merz has time to chat at eight o’clock in the morning or again in the afternoon. The lunch rush from 10am until 2pm is spent “bringing joy to people”, as she describes her work.

Palema was known through the decades as a true worker’s luncheon with generous, no-frills dishes. When Helsinki’s legendary meat emperor Veijo Votkin together with his business partner Risto Saastamoinen decided to let go of the classic joint, the new owners Reima Mäenpää and Jari Lönnberg immediately took the bait. Along the years, the workers had already been joined by office folks from nearby buildings, and the new shift is bound to bring even more variety in customers – without leaving anyone aside, of course.

“We have added side dishes and vegetables, but the feeling of the menu remains similar. Pork cutlets have always been served here, as they are now. We even had to shape up and bring back pea soup, the Finnish Thursday staple, back to its spot… and now it can again be enjoyed every Thursday. With oven pancake to follow, as you do”, Kaisa explains.

The clear recipe line of Palema is based on ingredients.

At the end of the winter, this means cabbage and root veggies, complemented with seasonal citrus fruits from further south. Moving into spring, Palema welcomes false morel mushrooms, and soon after rhubarb and European asparagus. Alongside the classic mashed potatoes and meat dishes, the lunch list includes, for example, braised red cabbage, sweet potato or chickpea patties, root veggie soups and sausages with different sides from the Harjun Makkaratehdas sausage factory run by the same owners.

The cooperation with fellow Abattoirians and other local small entrepreneurs is fraternal. The coffee comes from walking distance, from the Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo roastery. The bread is baked on the spot and the addictive mini doughnuts with quark are from the Helsinki-based Väyrynen bakery.

Within the generation change, Palema underwent a modest renovation. The architectural vision was to polish the intertwined layers from different decades. Some 80s-90s elements had to go to make space for some original 30s decor. The lunchtime music is also reminiscent of times gone By.

“But we didn’t actually mean to be so retro!

We tried to find some new music, but couldn’t pick a genre. So we went for Finnish schlager and old easy-listening like Jari Sillanpää, Annikki Tähti, Olavi Virta… For me the music actually disappears while I work, but customers are welcome to come up and make requests!”

Palema will continue as a lunch restaurant for now, with possible evening plans in the future. As the weather warms up, there has been talk of a biergarten. “When it’s warm enough to sit outside, I’d like to see and hear some live music, as well as throw events together with others in the Abattoir”, Kaisa wishes.

So what is Palema? Kaisa tests out the term ‘people’s restaurant’. “Or does it sound corny? I’m personally not a food snob and I like to take food lightly. It’s nice to have friends over for either canned soup or a six-course dinner. Palema is a place where everyone can come to eat food that is as good as we possibly can make it. And people know what good food tastes like.”

Palema's auditory experience is all about Finnish schlager