Bocuse d’Or 2019 Finland’s dishes mix Nordic ruggedness with the tenderness of winter

Starting at 9am in Lyon, Finland’s Bocuse d’Or team will show what they are made of. The national team aims to take home one of the top three spots in the highly demanding gastronomic competition’s finals.

The Bocuse d’Or is the world’s most respected culinary competition. 24 countries from around the world compete in the finals. Finland is represented by Ismo Sipeläinen with Johan Kurkela as his assistant. The team is coached by Tommi Tuominen. Matti Jämsén is Finland’s representative in the international jury.

The Finnish team has been preparing for the competition since September 2018. It has gone through 20 practice rounds of the entire 5 hours and 35 minute-long entry. The competition requires each team to prepare two dishes: one consists of 14 individual servings on plates for the jury members and the other is a single platter that can be divided into 14 portions.

The predefined main ingredients for this year’s plate dish are vegetables and seafood: oysters, scallops, mussels and cockles. The dish task pays a tribute to Joël Robuchon who recently passed away. The modern interpretation of a chartreuse – a classic decorative terrine served warm – is to be served with a salad as interpreted by the contestants.

– Our mussel-celeriac chartreuse with pickled salad leaves is decorated with oyster pearls and finished with an oyster spray. The flavours of Finland are present in the dish, for example through the pickled vegetables and sour cream. The strongly flavoured emulsion of mussels is flavoured with orange and saffron and is meant to leave a strong aftertaste that stays with the judges the whole day, Sipeläinen describes.

The main ingredient in the platter dish is rack of suckling veal. In addition, the contestants can also choose to include sweetbreads, calf’s ruffle, foot, kidneys or liver. This task pays homage to Paul Bocuse who passed away one year ago. The veal must be served roasted whole with its bones intact. The platter dish is also evaluated based on its portrayal of the entrant’s own national culinary identity.

– Finland’s platter has a scent of burnt rosemary, which is reminiscent of the forests of Finland and supports the flavour of the wild mushrooms used in the portions. In addition, the platter has celeriac and potato, among other ingredients. Everything is bound together by the burnt rosemary and a creamy sauce flavoured with the cut brandy Jaloviina. Finland’s strong theme is based on a world of ice, snow and charred wood, which comes through in the burnt bones as well as the design of the platter, Sipeläinen says.

The design of the platter itself has a central role in the competition entry. Finland’s platter is designed by Aalto University students Niko Mankinen and Jinghua Zeng. The process was directed by designer Pekka Paikkari.

The designers describe the platter as follows:

– The theme of the Finnish entry includes burnt word, ice and ancient mysticism so we wanted to have a very simple colour palette. The platter has hues of snow-white and coal-black ash tree flavoured with some cool steel. The glass and the whiteness invite us to travel into infinite fields of snow. The fibre patterns of the tree push through the platter as reminders of dunes that are piled up by the winds, with frozen and frosty plants sticking out here and there. The platter has both lightness and fragility, as well as a ruggedness typical to the Northern region.


* Seafood celeriac chartreuse with green salad and oyster pearls
* Dust of dried seaweed with aromatic herbs
* Aspic salad of apple and cucumber with pickled mustard seeds
* Compressed tomato, celery and onion with fresh salad shoots
* Sour cream and parsley sphere with horseradish
* Emulsion of mussel broth, saffron and orange


* Roasted veal rack with sweetbread, bacon and mushrooms
* Crispy potato filled with veal kidney stew
* Celeriac Pont Neuf, cream cheese crisp
* Flower tartlet of artichoke filled with sweet peas, aromatic herbs and lemon creme
* Creamy mustard sauce flavoured with burnt rosemary, Jaloviina and mustard pearls

Finland’s team will start their 5h 35min entry at 9.00am Finnish time. The plate dishes will be finished by 2.00pm and the platter at 2.35pm. The prize-giving ceremony starts at 7.00pm. The competition will be screened as a live web tv feed at

Inquiries and interview requests:

Bocuse d’Or Academy Finland
Promotion Manager, Mari Cadaut
tel. +358 40 587 8053,

Inquiries, ELO Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture:

Director Bettina Lindfors
tel. +358 40 920 9810,

Bocuse d’Or is the most prestigious gastronomic competition in the world. It has been organised since 1987. The European selection rounds for the 2018-2019 season were held in Turin, Italy in June 2018. The finale is hosted in Lyon, France in January 2019. Finland has previously participated in the competition 13 times. Finland’s national team is coordinated by the ELO Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture.

The Bocuse d’Or 2018-2019 season’s main partners are Davanti Finland, HKScan and Wihuri Oy Aarnio Metro-tukku. Its other partners are Aalto University, Arvo Kokkonen, Arla, Diversey, E.Ahlström, Fredman Group, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Kavika, Keuda, Kotipelto Garden, Medanta, Nespresso, Perho Culinary, Tourism and Business College, Polar Electro Finland, Puljonki, Scanbox, Sieni Honkonen, Tallink Silja, Tradifood, Vihannespörssi and Vindirekt.,, Instagram @bocusedorfinland

#bocusedorfi #bocusedor #finnishfood #ismosipeläinen #teamfinland


Bocuse d’Or is the most prestigious gastronomic competition in the world. It has been organised since 1987. The competition was founded by the French chef and pioneer of culinary skills Paul Bocuse. Paul Bocuse handed over the chair of the competition to Jerôme Bocuse during the 2017 edition of the competition. Paul Bocuse passed away 20 January 2018.

The Bocuse d’Or competition season lasts two years. The first year includes both national and continental elimination rounds in Europe, America and Asia. A total of 24 finalists are then selected for the world finals held in the second year. The finals are held in Lyon, France every two years in January.

The competition entry lasts 5 hours 35 minutes, during which each team prepares a dish 14 portions to be served on a platter that can be divided into 14 portions and a second dish consisting of 14 individual plates. The jury consists of the president of the national Bocuse d’Or Academy of each participating country. The jury evaluates the entries based on their flavour, presentation, use of main ingredients, and originality. In addition, the jury takes into account how each team works in the kitchen.

Finland has participated in Bocuse d’Or 13 times so far. The best placement to date is Matti Jämsén’s fourth placement in 2015. In addition, Finland has come fifth twice and sixth two times. In addition to a main chef, each country’s Bocuse d’Or team also includes an assistant, a coach, a judge, and a promotion manager. Finland’s judge this year is the Finnish Bocuse d’Or Academy president Matti Jämsén, and its promotion manager is Mari Cadaut.

Season 2018-2019

Finland’s contestant Ismo Sipeläinen started his competition season in early February 2018. The first milestone was the European preliminary competition which was held 11-12 June in Turin. Finland came fourth and received the special award for the best platter. The final will be held 29-30 January 2019 in Lyon where 24 countries will compete for the top spots. Finland is aiming for a place in the top three.

Finland’s contestant Ismo Sipeläinen, 28, has participated in Bocuse d’Or twice, in 2010-2011 as the assistant of Matti Jämsén and in 2014-2015 as a member in Matti Jämsén’s coaching team. Sipeläinen’s career includes positions at the restaurants GW Sundmans, Olo and Finnjävel.

Sipeläinen’s assistant in the competition is Johan Kurkela, 21. Kurkela participated in the Bocuse d’Or 2014-2015 season as a kitchen assistant. He has competed with success in the EuroSkills and Nordic Young Chef competitions. Kurkela graduated from the culinary academy Perho in Helsinki in 2016 and has worked in the restaurants Olo and Ultima.

The team is coached by chef and restaurateur Tommi Tuominen.

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