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The Chef of The Year (Vuoden Kokki) is the national Finnish championship of chefs. Lari Helenius from Restaurant OLO is the Chef of The Year 2020.

The jury consists of Finnish and invited international chefs. Competitors are awarded for taste and delicacy of the food, proper use of raw materials as well as the originality of the various dishes. The contest has sparked many success stories for the winners.

The Chef of The Year competition has been arranged since 1995. The first winner was Mr. Pekka Terävä. All the winners are represented in The Chef of the Year Academy, which task is to support the development of the high quality professional content and the awareness of the competitions among chefs, focus groups and restaurant business and education. The president is chef Henry Tikkanen, Chef of The Year 2001.

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Chef of The Year winners  1995-2020

1995 – Pekka Terävä
1996 – Aki Wahlman
1997 – Michael Björklund
1998 – Petteri Luoto
1999 – Markus Aremo
2000 – Peppi Aralehto
2001 – Henry Tikkanen
2002 – Marko Palovaara
2003 – Ari Ruoho
2004 – Juuse Mikkonen
2005 – Matti Jämsén
2010 – Mika Palonen
2011 – Henri Kotkavuori
2012 – Eero Vottonen
2013 – Erik Mansikka
2014 – Heikki Liekola
2015 – Ismo Sipeläinen
2016 – Toni Kostian
2017 – Mattias Åhman
2018 – Kalle Tanner
2019 – Mikko Kaukonen
2020 – Lari Helenius

Manne Stenros

Chef of the Year winners: (top row from the left) Heikki Liekola, Mika Palonen, Peppi Aralehto, Erik Mansikka, Ari Ruoho, (bottom row from the left) : Pekka Terävä, Matti Jämsén, Petteri Luoto, Henry Tikkanen and Eero Vottonen © Manne Stenroos 2015

The ELO Foundation for Promotion of Finnish Food Culture is responsible for arranging the Chef of The Year competition in Finland. ELO Foundation brings together food culture actors, visionaries and resources to co-operate for the good of Finnish gastronomy in Finland and internationally.

For more information

Bettina Lindfors, Executive Director,  ELO Foundation
+358 40 920 9810,

Kirsi Yazan, Development Manager, ELO Foundation
+358 50 439 3883,

/ pictures by Santeri Stenvall


Author ELO

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