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Lapland Hotels chef Otto Hietamies to compete in the finals at the restaurant industry’s prestigious PRO-gala

Press release | Wed Nov 29 15:00:00 2023

The internationally accomplished chef ofLapland Hotels’ Kultá Kitchen & Bar, Otto Hietamies, has been chosen for the final of the biggest event in the restaurant industry, PRO-gala. Hietamies will compete for the title of the Best Restaurant Chef. Lapland Hotels has also been successful in the competition in previous years.

Kuvassa Otto Hietamies. Hän kilpailee finaalissa ravintola-alan arvostetussa PRO-gaalassa.

Otto Hietamies won gold in 2022 in the Young Chefs' Finnish Championships and, in 2023, silver in the Young Chefs' World Championships. Now he's trying to win in the Best Chef series at the prestigious PRO-gala, sometimes referred to as the Oscars of the restaurant industry.

PRO awards will be presented to the best culinary and restaurant professionals in Helsinki in January. Aromi magazine has been organising the gala since 2003. The PRO award candidates have been selected by a vote: they have been proposed by colleagues and supervisors, for example. The final winner is chosen by a panel of professionals from the HoReCa field. The media will also choose their own winner.

– “I feel very good and I’m flattered to be in the final. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will surely build my confidence in my own work. I feel excited,” says Hietamies, describing his mood.

Success in the competition a sign of workmanship

Lapland Hotels has often been successful at the PRO-gala. For example, Kultá Kitchen & Bar's Restaurant Manager Riikka Tenhunen competed in the final in 2022 and Sanna Rahkonen, chef of the same restaurant, in 2021. Tero Mäntykangas, a well-known chef at Lapland Hotels, was also chosen as the Chef of the Year and the Press Favourite in 2013. He also served as a competition judge for several years. According to Mäntykangas, making it to the finals already proves the professionalism of the Lapland Hotels staff.

– “This kind of success requires ambition and professional skills. The staff at our restaurants have the chance to constantly challenge themselves, for example with surprise menus. We also have experience with some rather rare ingredients,” says Mäntykangas.

– “After all, Otto is very determined in his work and also very sociable: he explains his dishes to customers in the dining area and builds his confidence. He’s like a young reindeer calf, with eagerness and the ambition to try different things. This has helped him achieve success even at such a young age,” he adds.

Hietamies, who has been working at the Lapland Hotels Bulevardi for five years, says that he has received a lot of support and confidence to try out new things at his workplace. Planning surprise menus is his favourite part of the work.

– “I'm constantly trying to improve and give my best. I think the desire and the burning passion for something go a long way and with them you can achieve anything. At the moment, I’m enjoying my everyday work, and also doing small projects like my own gigs. One of my dreams is to one day try working on TV and see what that would feel like,” says Hietamies.

Learn more about the finalists here:

Photo: Photographer Piritta Houni.

For further information and interview requests, please contact:

Otto Hietamies
Kultá Kitchen & Bar, Lapland Hotels Bulevardi, Helsinki
+358 40 482 2809

Tero Mäntykangas
Executive Chef
Lapland Hotels
+358 400 891 544

Travel enterprise Lapland Hotels & Safaris offers northern experiences for all the senses. It consists of Finland’s largest private hotel chain, Lapland Hotels, the largest experience service company in the Nordic countries, Lapland Safaris Group Oy and Lapland Ski Resorts.The Group has approximately 1,700 employees in total.

Lapland Hotels has 19 hotels, more than 2,400 rooms and apartments, as well as over 10,000 restaurant seats around Finland: In Ylläs, Levi, Saariselkä, Rovaniemi, Olos, Luosto, Kilpisjärvi, Pallas, Hetta, Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu and Kuopio.

Lapland Safaris offers unique outdoor activities at five destinations in Lapland: Rovaniemi, Ylläs, Saariselkä, Levi and Luosto.
Lapland Ski Resorts comprises five ski centres located in Ylläs, Luosto, Olos, Pallas and Rovaniemi.,   

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