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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Embassy of Finland, Washington - Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles: Embassy in Washington, D.C.: Meet the Chef

EMBASSY OF FINLAND, Washington, D.C.
CONSULATES GENERAL OF FINLAND, New York and Los Angeles

  • Embassy of Finland, Washington
    Tel. +1-202-298 5800, sanomat.was@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, New York
    Tel. +1-212-750 4400, sanomat.nyc@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
    Tel. +1-310-203 9903, sanomat.los@formin.fi
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Embassy of Finland, Washington

Meet the Chef: Arto Uusitalo

Arto Uusitalo arrived in Washington D.C. in August 2018 directly from Seoul, South Korea, where he worked as a chef for the ambassador of Finland. Despite his young age, Uusitalo has a vast international career. Prior to Seoul, he worked for the ambassador of Finland in Belgium and before that for a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

Arto_Uusitalo_chef
Chef Arto Uusitalo at the Residence of the Ambassador of Finland to the United States.

Arto Uusitalo’s roots are in Lahti, Southern Finland, which he still considers as the best city in Finland. Lahti is internationally known for its ski jumping competitions, which Uusitalo seems to be proud of.

Strong roots can also be tasted in his cooking. "I want to show all kinds of Finnish cuisines to the American guests, maybe with some European and Asian flavors. I would say it is traditional Finnish food in a little bit modern way," Uusitalo says.

In South Korea, people loved Uusitalo’s salted salmon. He believes that his signature fish is most probably going to please the American audiences too, as well as the smoked salmon. "The most difficult part about cooking Finnish cuisine abroad is to get the correct, high-quality ingredients. For example, in South Korea dill tasted nothing like the dill in Finland. Our dill is so tasty!"

One important part of the Finnish cuisine is the bread. Uusitalo is planning on baking several kinds of bread for ambassador’s guests: archipelago bread (saaristolaisleipä), rye bread, white bread, and baguette. One of his first projects in Washington D.C. was to test the local flours. Uusitalo is determined to find to correct ingredients, as he believes that his work is important for the image of our Northern country. "I want people to understand that Finnish cuisine is more than meatballs."

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Updated 8/31/2018


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