Local Restaurants and Cafes at Fiskars Slow Food Festival 2019

On a sunny October day, we arrived in Fiskars Village for the Slow Food Festival; craving for new gastronomic experience – and we didn’t get disappointed. The experience was way more than only “food”.

Getting closer to Fiskars Village, the scenery turned to a spectacular panoply of nature; vibrant autumn colors complementing some cozy wooden houses and authentic craftsman architecture.

Approaching the festival area, scents hit us right away, not only the delicious food itself, but also the love for food that was in the air. In a way, it felt like a whole world apart from our everyday life. The 10th anniversary of the Fiskars Slow Food Festival was held in the so called “Threshing House”, an old wooden barn painted with red ochre paint.

The first impressions when we got inside the festival area can be described as a gathering of cheerful people who share the same passion about sustainable, local and fair food. A true spirit of community was present with everyone being very committed to the slow food principles. We were able to feel the pride of the farmers over their organic, self-grown vegetables and to make friends with some cute goats and chicken.

Restaurant and café-owners displayed their creations; a fusion of traditional Finnish food and modern cuisine.

Over the years, Fiskars Village turned to be a quite international place and the festival proofed us with its surprisingly international offer including Syrian and Turkish restaurants and their own specialties. We thought it was nice to have different food cultures that have evolved in the region featured in the slow food festival and giving everyone the chance to participate in sharing the values of the slow food movement.

”We want people to get a chance to taste Arabic food. It’s really good, really tasteful.”

We’ve noticed the consciousness about sustainability during this event. In the restaurant area, the waste is managed by having distinctive sign on the recyclable, organic waste and trash. Also, some of the restaurants focused on using compostable plates and cutlery. We thought that this is well thought through, considering the fact, that they don’t have to deal with the takeaway eating culture in the actual restaurant services they provide. There still were quite big differences from supplier to supplier concerning this issue, though.

While some are quite far with alternative solutions, others still have some way to go…

Considering the food, everyone was taking the slow food values very seriously using local and mostly organic and fair produced food. Ingredients such as different spices and coffee, that cannot be grown in the region, were all taken from fair resources. The restaurants were taking an eye on having dishes on their menu, that can be made from mostly seasonal products.

Even though the festival was very well visited, and some places were very busy serving their awesome food, we had the chance to talk to some of the exhibitors of local restaurants and cafes to get a closer look into their values and slow food approach.

One of the cafes we talked to was Linnanvoudin Tupa which was attending the slow food festival for the second time. They use local and seasonal products for their cakes and snacks. The coffee beans are from ROST, which is an organic and fair-trade company. The origin of the beans and the farmer can be traced, so you can find our where exactly your coffee is coming from.

We were glad to talk to the people from Wärssy, a hotel restaurant located directly in Fiskars Village. They had a very sustainable approach using only biodegradable plates and cutlery at the Fiskars event. Their menu changes along with the seasons; creating seasonal extraordinary specialties with a fancy look.

From Wärssy we heard about Sole Gargentino-Nygård who collects their leftovers and gives it to local people in need. We think this cooperation is very remarkable and needed in a world of enormous food waste issues.

Of the restaurants that we didn’t get the chance to talk to in person, Ravintola Scola seemed to be rather popular, so we want to mention it as well. The restaurant was opened in the old 100-year-old village school building of Källnäsudd – Barösund in 2014. Scola is focusing on seasonal food, from ingredients produced responsibly in the surrounding area. They had an exceptional approach to their dishes combining traditional Finnish food with modern flavors.

“Perunarieska” with different interesting fillings

At the end of the day we left Fiskars inspired and with lots of impressions about sustainable and future oriented concepts for restaurants and cafes. Sustainability is a journey – while some restaurants have traveled very far, others only have begun with their journey. However, all providers in Fiskars share the same values and have the same visions and final destination in mind: being a place that is offering sustainable, local and fair food; Slow Food.

Text and pictures by Zheng Jack Guo, Ilona Lehtinen, Madita Lemke, Siiri Leppänen  (Course Food Culture)