Hunting for Wild Mushrooms

Finnish Chef Antto Melasniemi Roasts a Haunch of Lamb Down by the Lake Shore

Helsinki’s top chef Antto Melasniemi takes a break from the stove to lead design critic Laura Houseley mushrooming out in the woods of Espoo, 20 minutes from the Finnish capital. Mixing wild chanterelles and ceps mushrooms, gathered from the mossy woodland floor, with a giant leg of lamb reared on an island nearby, Melasniemi devised a simple meal on an open fire by the lakeside. Dedicated to making the most of Finland's indigenous ingredients, the menu at Melasniemi’s celebrated restaurant Atelje Finne changes daily depending on what is freshest and most tempting, featuring such treats as whitefish tartar and whipped lingonberry manna. “Everything, as far as possible, is sourced from within a few miles of the restaurant,” says the rustic gastronome, whose dedication to gathering ingredients can get as extreme as spear fishing in the icy winter waters. Wowing London with the Hel Yes! pop-up restaurant last autumn, Melasniemi has just completed a summer tour with his nomadic Solar Kitchen launched during Milan Design Week in April. “Experience and concept are what interest me," says the inventive chef of the project, which involved cooking on solar-heated pans specially made by Catalan designer Martí Guixé. With a new pizza bar opening in the Finnish capital soon, Melasniemi is currently working on a bold contribution to next year’s World Design Capital event in Helsinki.

For exclusive recipes of braised beef tongue followed by a dessert of whipped lingonberry manna from Melasniemi visit our Facebook page. 

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