Nora Pouillon

Nora Pouillon Restaurant Nora Three decades after opening Restaurant Nora, the nation's first certified organic restaurant-- now a Washington institution--Nora Pouillon continues to advocate a holistic organic lifestyle, the basis for her cuisine and her commitment to living and eating sustainably. As an educator on the benefits of healthy food and sustainable living, Pouillon helped establish FRESHFARM Markets, producer-only open air markets in the Washington, DC area and beyond. Nora, a film directed by Joan Murray premiering at the DC Environmental Film Festival, documents Pouillon's reputation as one of the most influential pioneers and leaders in the organic and local-food movements. "What really is exciting for me now is how organic food and local food have become nearly mainstream," says Pouillon, named one the city's 12 power chefs by The Washington Post. "After struggling and being called a crazy person and a hippie, and now seeing that the most of the population understands what I was trying to do and is doing it is just wonderful."

While Pouillon's late sister was married to a Finn, Pouillon never had the opportunity to visit her there and see Finland. Excited to discover a completely new culture and cuisine, she hopes to connect the chefs and farmers she meets in Helsinki with their Washington counterparts, and to share her knowledge with farmers about starting farmers' markets. "Not many people know Finnish culture, and I'm one of them. Bringing my experience back to Washington and exposing Washingtonians to what I learn will enrich us all."


Future Forward – Nora Pouillon

In Helsinki, Nora Pouillon, chef, educator, and organic food advocate, discovered kindred spirits in hosts Aki Arjola, chairman of UniOne Oy, the company behind Eat&Joy, a series of events showcasing Finnish food, and chef and restaurateur Jyrki Sukula, advocate for the organic food in the school lunch program. “They are working to rebuild the culinary culture of Finland,” says Pouillon. “Their broad strategy is to introduce organic local food and produce to the general public to foster connections and new access to the Finnish food legacy. People in Finland go to the supermarkets and buy things that come from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, wherever, and they forget their own culture. Through a farmers’ market, a store featuring local producers, and the school lunch program, Aki and Jyrki aim to bring Finnish food and culture back into the life of the Finnish people.” (more…)

Read more

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Aki and Jari met me for breakfast at the hotel. We walked through the old market hall, which is just in front of the hotel and has stores inside, like the Eastern Market in D.C. I bought a great poro skin (reindeer skin). I had a taste of dried poro meat but it was too salty for me. (more…)

Read more

Saturday, April 4, 2009

In the morning Jari picked me up and we went to Hakaniemen Hall, the local food market hall where we met Aki and Markus. There I had another photo shoot in front of an organic vegetable stand. I was introduced to the owner of a meat stand where they sold every kind of meat and poultry imaginable. They also sold goose liver that is not force-fed. She had many different roasts and cuts for Easter. The hall had great fish stands with ocean and lake fish, spices from Morocco, chocolate and bakeries. It was a very lively and diverse food hall. (more…)

Read more

Friday, April 3, 2009

Aki picked me up early in the morning and we visited a small family owned bakery where they make the famous dark rye bread as well as pastries. When I was there the mother was kneading the dough and the daughter decorated the Easter sweet breads. Their assistant stuffed breads and made rolls etc. The son does the deliveries. At 9 am the mother put on a clean apron and went to the front of the building where their store is located and where she sells her freshly baked goods. The mother is in her 80s. The young student photographer was there to take pictures of us with the family. (more…)

Read more

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Aki, Jari and I had breakfast at the Hotel Klaus K, which is famous for offering the best Finnish breakfast. It was very interesting. On his breakfast buffet he indicated where every item came from and who produced it – cheeses, yogurt, fruit, fish, meats, assorted homemade breads, most of them dark ryes and one with lingonberries baked inside. There were different jams, made with different berries such as cloudberries. (more…)

Read more

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I arrived in Helsinki, the sun was shining and it was a pleasant day. I had a good flight but could not sleep. Aki picked me up and gave me a little tour of Helsinki and dropped me at the Hotel Haven so I could rest for an hour or so. The Hotel Haven is very nice with great views of the harbor and ferryboats. (more…)

Read more


Aki Arjola Producer, Eat&Joy Aki Arjola
Jyrki Sukula Chef and restaurateur Jyrki Sukula

Eat&Joy is an annual two-week event organised in Helsinki at the end of September by Uni One Oy. It also runs up to four times a year in other cities in Europe. Launched in 2004, Eat&Joy seeks to draw attention to three specific areas: the high quality of Finnish food ingredients from the country's small producers, the New Nordic Kitchen, and to Finland's cutting edge creative efforts in art, design, music and fashion. Eat&Joy's latest endeavour is to highlight Finnish Ingredients and New Nordic Kitchen in different cities around the world. This year, Eat&Joy was organised in Berlin and Paris.

Eat&Joy will introduce the local food, food producers and Helsinki restaurants to Nora Pouillon during her stay in Helsinki. The aim is to enable Ms Pouillon to meet many interesting people involved in food and establish lasting contacts. Her stay will be hosted by chef Jyrki Sukula and producer Aki Arjola, who is the chairman of UniOne Oy, the company behind Eat&Joy. Jyrki Sukula is a renown chef and restaurateur with close to 30 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality field.