Hungry for Finland – national food tourism competition judges have chosen Olo Creative kitchen’s classic menu Journey to be the best Finnish food tourism product in 2017. The award was given by the secretary of commerce and labor, Mika Lintilä and the secretary of agriculture and forestry, Jari Leppä. There were 73 high-level applicants who took part in the competition.

– The product has been executed with talent. To produce this experience, it requires great innovations and visuality like no other, every detail has been thought through. The product is a 15 course-long tasting menu. You can watch the preparing of the menu while discussing it with the Chef’s. The menu Journey represents restaurateur Jari Vesivalo’s childhood memories with locally produced seasonal ingredients. Traditional food and modern methods, as well as storytelling play a great part in the menu. The chef and the front of the house staff are genuinely hospitable. The customer’s journey works like a charm.

Also awarded:

  1.  Hotel Punkaharju, Mushrooms and herbs – weekend
  2.  Fiskars, Artisan drink producers guided tour: Fiskars Brewery, Kuura Cider & Ägräs Distillery
  3.  Skördefesten, Annual harvest-fest in Åland (22. – 24.9.2017).

The judges gave a distinction, SMAKU, to the guided walking tour in Porvoo and to studiorestaurant Tundra in Kuusamo.

While evaluating the applicants they took notice of the storytelling, local food, experience, communal work, profitability and versatility in sales and marketing.

Food tourism is an important factor when developing tourism. The goal for this competition is to encourage food and tourism networks to create new local food tourism.

The competition is a part of the program of the 100th birthday of Finland. The goal was to seek companies and communities, who use great passion when developing food tourism.

The current trends of food tourism are craftsmanship and use of local ingredients. Traditions and history are a huge part of customers taste memories. Whole new experiences are at the centre of customer’s minds and the drinking culture is a huge part of this and has now risen to be the same level with the food.

The competition was executed by the Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry, Visit Finland (Finpro) and MTK. The competition was coordinated by the Haaga-Helia University of applied sciences.