Held on both sides of the River Aura
" Appreciating Finnish food culture and traditions "
The Bailliage of Finland’s 2021 Grand Chapitre was held at the end of August in Turku on both sides of the River Aura. 350 guests from all over Finland attended the event.
The Aura River is the heart and lungs of of Turku providing important outdoor, green spaces for the city’s residents. Especially in summer, the riverbanks become an outdoor living room. The Aura valley’s riverside environment is a Finnish national landscape.
Turku was founded on the east side of the Aura River, where many of the city’s other iconic buildings are (or in some cases, were) located: Turku Cathedral, the Old Great Square, the Old Town Hall, and Finland’s first university, the Royal Academy of Turku. In the local parlance, the eastern side of the Aura River is täl pual jokke – meaning ‘this side of the river’ – with the present-day city centre and Market Square on the west side, tois pual jokke (‘other side of the river’). These definitions are absolute – they do not depend on which side of the river the speaker is on.
Appreciating Finnish food culture and traditions
Everyone has a perspective on Finland’s food culture and our widely varying experiences affect how we experience it. Food cultures from around the world contribute to shaping our eating habits.
In an ever-changing world, I consider it extremely important to preserve traditions and the existing food culture. Hence my choice for the Turku Grand Chapitre 2021: appreciation of Finnish food culture and respect for its traditions.
The meals for the Turku Grand Chapitre were planned according to this theme. Dishes were crafted from the choicest seasonal ingredients from local producers, with an emphasis on purity, freshness and environmental friendliness. The fish served was caught in nearby waters. Berries used in the desserts were picked from forests in the region.
The central ingredient for the magnificent main course of the dinner was Mangalica pork which came from the farm of Tiina and Toni Hokuni in the village of Vallila in southwest Finland. The farm has been in the same family since 1756.
The chefs of seven restaurants planned their respective lunch menus according to agreed ingredients (lamb, perch and raspberry) prepared to suit the individual style of each establishment.
The Gala Dinner was held in the Banqueting Room of the Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel. The menu weas created by the hotel's Executive Chef, Maître Rôtisseur Toni Liesipuro. The wines were selected by Sommeliers Tarmo Koskenoja and Peetu Eklund.
Veal and thyme, the principal ingredients for the main course of the festive dinner, came from the farm of Matti and Salme Eskola in the village of Honkilahti in western Finland. The roots of the farm go back at least as far as the 1540s. The current owner is the sixteenth in the direct line of descent.
Mini potato rösti, smoked Baltic herring mousse
cold-smoked pike roe
Salmon mosaic, smoked pike terrine
beetroot, pickled fennel and sprout salad
elderflower and buttermilk sauce with dill oil
Roasted Eskola Farm veal and sweetbread
Port wine sauce, potato with goat’s cheese and cep
asparagus bean bake
Sea buckthorn sorbet
Finnish blueberry pie
rye crust, buttermilk ice cream, malt dragées
Coffee or tea
Champagne Michel Genet Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
AC Champagne, Chouilly, France
Les Brugueres Garnatxa Blanca 2019
DOQ Priorat, Spain
Château Maucoil 1895 Vieilles Vignes 2018
AC Côtes du Rhône Villages, Ranska
Monte Tondo Recioto di Soave Spumante 2016
DOCG Recioto di Soave, Veneto, Italy
After an exceptional and demanding year, many people definitely needed communal celebrations, lavish delicacies and a break from everyday routines and concerns.
My warmest thanks to our guests. We are delighted that you enjoyed the event and our gratitude for making it such a success.
Vive la Chaîne!
Bailli of Turku