Lapland Hotels’ Tatu Ollila is the Young Chef of the Year 2024 – Ollila will represent Finland at the International Final in Hungary
Press release | Thu Jan 25 12:00:00 2024
Tatu Ollila, who works as a chef and sous chef at Lapland Hotels Pallas, has won the Finnish National Competition for young chefs. With the victory, Ollila will represent Finland at the International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition in Budapest, Hungary, in October. This is not the first time that Lapland Hotels’ young chefs have had success in this competition.
This year, six culinary professionals competed in the Finnish National Competition of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Jyväskylä. The silver medal was awarded to Lauri Tiilikainen from Jyväskylä and the bronze medal to Jasper Juutinen from Turku. Tatu Ollila, who won, says that he feels relieved.
– “I feel very good about the win and relieved that the competition is over. It wasn’t easy and there was little time, and the competition was very close. Now, I’ll be working towards the next goal, i.e. the International Final,” Ollila says.
The competition for young chefs is aimed at culinary professionals under the age of 27. The purpose of the national competitions is to cherish and uphold the prestige and tradition of the national cuisine. The competition enables young people to gain experience and showcase their skills – and the winner of each national competition will be selected as the country’s representative for the International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition, which has been held since 1977.
A menu template made competing easier
In the Finnish National Competition, each competitor received a “black box” of ingredients. The competitors used the ingredients in this box and on the list of shared ingredients to plan a three-course menu. This year, the mandatory ingredients were mussels, whitefish, lamb, carrot, redcurrant and pear. Ollila says that he and his team had prepared for possible surprises in advance. His head coach was Sanna Rahkonen, who has previously had success in the same competition.
– “We had a pre-planned menu template that could be implemented, no matter what the ingredients were. It made things a lot easier. I have received a lot of support and encouragement for the competition from the entire Lapland Hotels Group. Everyone has helped and encouraged me – and, initially, Executive Chef Tero Mäntykangas and Pallas’s Head Chef Lasse Hyvärinen were the ones who pushed me to participate in the qualifiers,” Ollila says.
Tatu Ollila has worked at the Lapland Hotels Pallas restaurant since 2020.
Lapland Hotels has also had success in the Finnish National Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition in the past. Sanna Rahkonen won the competition in 2017. In 2022, the competition was won by Otto Hietamies, who also won silver at the International Final in Mexico.
chef and sous chef
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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 1,950 employees in total.
Lapland Hotels has 20 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 and Hetta, as well as Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu, Kuopio and Porvoo.
Lapland Safaris offers unique outdoor activities at five destinations in Lapland: Rovaniemi, Ylläs, Saariselkä, Levi and Luosto.<< More press releases