Chef of the Year contest demonstrates Viking Line’s food philosophy

This spring, guests in Viking Line’s à la carte restaurants will be able to taste a special menu created by Johan Kurkela, who won the honour of Chef of the Year 2023. The wines on the menu were chosen by Kirsi Seppänen, who was named Server of the Year.

The special menu being served in Viking Line’s à la carte restaurants until mid-May demonstrates the winning philosophy of Johan Kurkelas, Chef of the Year 2023. The special menu starts off with ox tongue on toast in a mushroom mayonnaise and continues with braised skrei (Norwegian cod) with toasted kombu and then duck breast with caramelised onions. For dessert, blackcurrant sorbet with candied beetroot is served as an interesting palate tickler.

The wines for the Chef of the Year menu were selected by Kirsi Seppänen, who won the honour of Server of the Year 2023. She was also previously named Sommelier of the Year.

“We gave Johan and Kirsi free rein. When we got the proposed menu, we tested it with the recommended wines and didn’t want to change anything. It was, quite simply, a perfect match,” says Viking Line’s Restaurant Manager, Janne Lindholm.

Johan Kurkela, 27, is one of Finland’s most talented young chefs. He currently works as product development manager at the Helsinki restaurant Grön. Last year, Kurkela also represented Finland in the international Bocuse d’Or culinary competition, where he made the finals and ended up in sixth place.

“I developed Viking Line’s menu based on sustainably produced ingredients that I personally like. My choices were strongly driven by seasonality. This menu adds lustre to a spring cruise, offering a bit of luxury in the form of food and drinks – I really hope all of Viking Line’s passengers will enjoy it,” says Johan Kurkela.

Viking Line has worked in partnership with the organization behind the Chef of the Year and Server of the Year competition since 2018. The semi-finals in this year’s contest will kick off on Viking Glory in April.

“For us, it’s a question of honour to take part in and develop Finnish food culture and showcase talented Finnish food professionals. Our Chef of the Year collaboration is inspiring for our staff, provides variety for our guests and further raises the standards in our restaurants. I think we drive the entire industry forward through this collaboration,” says Janne Lindholm.

The Chef of the Year menu will be served March 19-May 12 on board Viking Glory, Viking Grace, Viking Gabriella and Viking Cinderella. The menu costs 64 euros and the wine package costs 35 euros.

Chef of the Year menu on board Viking Line’s vessels, March 19–May 12

  • Beef tongue, mushroom mayonnaise with marinated mushrooms and crispy ramson

12 cl La Spinetta Rosé di Casanova, Tuscany, Italy

  • Braised skrei, toasted kombu, mussel foam and vendace roe

12 cl Domaine Larande Chablis Saint Martin, Burgundy, France

  • Roasted duck breast, caramelised onions and madeira sauce

16 cl Knipser Kalkmergel Spätburgunder, Pfalz, Germany

  • Blackcurrant sorbet, candied beetroot, rose meringue and liquorice

8 cl Ainoa Vaapukka, Hollola, Finland

For further information:

Janne Lindholm, Restaurant Manager

[email protected], tel. +358 400 744 806

Johanna Boijer-Svahnström, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications

[email protected], tel. +358 18 270 00

Christa Grönlund, Press and PR Manager
[email protected], tel. +358 9 123 51

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