Core- Cooking for the future project challenged teachers’ English skills

Interviews with professionals

Last week we (lecturers Mrs. Merja Leivo, Mr. Janne Möhkölä and Mrs. Oona Haapakorpi from Omnia) interviewed the professionals from the restaurant and catering sector. More precisely we interviewed Mr. Ossi Paloneva, whose interview focused on wild food.  Later that week we also interviewed Mrs Linnea Vihonen, Mr Sasu Laukkonen and Mrs Kristiina Inkiläinen.

Photo 1. Ossi Paloneva

We made most of our interviews on Thursday 16.5.2019. We visited the restaurant YesYesYes where we interviewed young and energetic chef and media person Linnea Vihonen. In restaurant Ora we met and interviewed the owner Sasu Laukkonen and the last person we interviewed on that day was Kristiina Inkiläinen from Espoo Catering.

During our interview Linnea Vihonen told that in the future the official language in their kitchen will more and more be English because the staff working there is very international. Working in the kitchen requires management of different kind of situations and active discussion. In Linnea’s opinion chefs should obtain flexibility and insights of the future and the upcoming trends and not just to maintain the old ways to work.

Photo 2. Linnea Vihonen

At restaurant Ora Sasu Laukkonen stressed the same elements as Linnea, but he also highlighted the importance of learning new things and innovative ways to assemble a restaurant portion. Using fermented wild herbs is essential at restaurant Ora, because fermenting heightens the flavors of herbs more than for example drying them.

Sasu Laukkonen also told us that the opening hours were changed to be more customer friendly. Now the restaurant opens earlier on Saturdays so that customers can have an early dinner e.g. before going to theatre. That is beneficial to profitability and to attract more customers. He told this example to emphasize the fact that chefs’ working hours are very flexible. He felt that this was a good thing to remember when working in restaurant field.

Photo 3. Sasu Laukkonen and Merja Leivo

Similarly, when he was asked about robotics and automation, he replied: “Robotics is not so straightforward because e.g. oven couldn’t be programmed to one size only because the sizes of the products vary. The chef is also needed to evaluate the product’s appearance, shape, ripeness and taste.

Kristiina Inkiläinen on the other hand sees that robotics will become more and more used because in their company’s units portion quantities are so big. Machines do all the dishwashing, frying and boiling in their unit and their tableware is designed to handle lots of usage.

At school, you learn basic skills, but at work you learn the skills that are required, i.e. qualities and abilities of the workplace. The competition is tough, and that requires flexibility of the future chefs, as well as sensitivity to new affairs.

Photo 4.  Joona Valokorpi, Merja Leivo from Omnia and Piia Raunio. She is former student from Omnia.

The last interview was made with Fazer culinary team member, Mr Joona Valokorpi on Tuesday 21.5.2019.

Photo 5. Fazer Culinary Team

Mr Valokorpi believes that chefs must understand their guests better and think like them in order to fuse their passion with the guests’ satisfaction.

Text & photos: Oona Haapakorpi and Merja Leivo