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ELO Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture is a non-profit foundation established in June 2009 to promote Finnish food culture in Finland and internationally. We want to bring together the makers, doers, thinkers, dreamers and sponsors of our genuine Arctic food culture.

We work within communications, publishing and training activities. The foundation is also responsible for arranging the national Chef of the Year and Waiter of the Year -competitions where we bring out the skill of Finnish restaurant professionals. We also take care that Finland will be represented at the international gastronomic and prestigious Bocuse d’Or -competition -The World Championships for Chefs.

We also support other competitions in the field, such as the Better School Food Competition. Our foundation works to advance knowledge of Finnish school meals and to connect different parties interested in free school meals to spread the word of their uniqueness.

In the year 2017, when Finland celebrated its 100th year as an independent nation, we inspired Finnish people to eat together. We strive to make our food culture even better and more communal.

Why we exist

We want to provide first-class stages for doers, products and service in the Finnish food-, drink and restaurant culture, where they can shine nationally and internationally.

What is our dream

We want to lift Finland up internationally to the place it should be –

Together we want to lift Finland up to the place that it has earned as a forerunner country in restaurant industry and which has an interesting food- and drinking culture.

How do we get it done

We inspire, involve and bring together the forerunners, enablers and top players of food culture.

Together we aim higher and achieve more in Finland and all around the world!

What we do

– We create networks and combine expertise
– We reward and lift up the top players of food culture
– We create visibility, effectiveness and  relevance

Board of Directors of the ELO Foundation 2018:

Leena Saarinen, Chair, Verso Foods Oy
Heikki Antolainen, Deputy Chair
Kasperi Saari, Senior Advisor, Hotel f6
Maria Planting, Chair at E.Ahlström Oy
Harri Koskinen, Designer
Ari Lahti, Managing Director, Partner, ICECAPITAL Securities Ltd
Lasse Lehtinen, Writer and Journalist
Pekka Terävä, OLO-, EMO- and GÖSTA- restaurant
Heikki Valkama, Team Leader, YLE
Rafaela Seppälä, Galerie Forsblom
Vesa Lehto, Investment Director, Taaleri Oy
Aki Wahlman, Entrepreneur/Chef/Teacher, Foody Allen Oy


Bettina Lindfors
Executive Director
+358 40 920 9810


Article picture: The representative of Finland at Bocuse d’Or  -competition Ismo Sipeläinen, Assistant Johan Kurkela, The Waiter of the Year 2018 Noora Sipilä and The Chef of the Year 2018 Kalle Tanner. / Picture Oscar Granqvist.


Author ELO

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