Four times a year, there is a very special day when even the wildest restaurant dreams can come true: the Restaurant Day. The day is, of course, a Finnish invention.
Think of a restaurant. A restaurant out of the ordinary. A restaurant where food is served to you on someone’s living room floor, or where dessert is hauled from a window for you to be eaten on the street corner. A restaurant barbequing 137 kilos of meat, just for the fun of it. Or a restaurant where kids are being the chefs cooking their own meal and eating it like they would – with fingers.
The idea is simple, really. On a Restaurant Day anyone can set up a restaurant, anywhere, for a day. This means ordinary people get to play chefs and sommeliers for a change resulting a whole lot of fun and food plus wonderful meetings and memories, even odd ones.
Restaurant Day sprouted from Helsinki, the capital of Finland, in 2011, growing mainly through social media and into a global movement for “food for all”. Restaurant Day is, indeed, extra-ordinary. Still, after four years of popping up inside people’s homes and backyards and onto the streets, the Day grows and gains momentum from up north in Iceland to down south of Columbia and everywhere in between. It is a festival for food from Ivalo, Singapore, Jerusalem, Poznan, San Diego, Lisbon and all the way to Yekaterinburg.
Photo: Roy Bäckström
What started as a fun-and-food-for-family-and- friends-kind-of-thing, is now a global movement making and shaking a difference for the food culture of tomorrow. Nominated as the Cultural Act of the year 2011 in Helsinki, Finland, and the Food Event of the year of 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Restaurant Day is getting bigger and tastier than ever.
Photo: Marinella Ruusunen
Four times a year (in February, May, August and November) one day is devoted for the taste of joy and play, creativity, spontaneity and community. On Saturday, May 18th 2013, a total of 1702 One Day Restaurants opened up at least in 30 countries. 1097 of those restaurants opened in Finland (527 in Helsinki) and yes, it was and will always be for the fun and food of it.
Photo: Heidi Uutela
Join the 24- hour food feist wherever you are!
Hungry, if we may say.
Helsinki is a buzzy foodie city in the cutting-edge of Finnish new cuisine. The innovative use of Finnish ingredients as part of the New Nordic tasting menu and a laid-back atmosphere is what Helsinki’s bistros are all about.
There is an exciting renaissance in craft brewing and distilling around the world and Finns are making a name for themselves with their own local brands. Small batch artisanal breweries and distilleries are a natural compliment to the Slow Food Movement which aims to preserve regional culinary traditions. Having never lost its connection to the past or its pioneering spirit, Finland is well positioned to produce unique products that evoke both nostalgia and a sense of adventure.