Comfort Food #10: Sasu Laukkonen – Using the crisis to strengthen your creativity as a chef
“Where I see the cue for the future […] is that we need openness right now. The more we close ourselves, the less possibilities we will have.“
Sasu Laukkonen – Restaurant ORA, 23.04.20
Sasu Laukkonen is head chef and owner of the restaurant ORA (* Michelin) in Helsinki. Sasu has reacted quickly and creatively to the Corona crisis: He has transformed his small restaurant, which used to offer one fixed menu per evening with a focus on sustainability and regional products from Finland, into a temporary sushi bar. He got the idea from his daughter Ines. With her, Sasu regularly makes sushi for the whole family. In addition to sushi boxes, there is now also a three-course take-away menu from the ORA.
We wanted to know from Sasu how the crisis has given him a creative boost as a chef, what it’s like for him to cook differently now, what he’ll take away with him for the time after that, and what’s up with the independent ordering platform The Platform, through which Sasu sells dishes from his menu. Sasu believes that exchange and an openess for sharing with each other is crucial: “I found out for myself, that the more I ask others who know better than I do, the more I have the capacity to learn as well. […] During the last years here in the town [of Helsinki] more restaurants are working together. We share guests, we share knowledge, we share employees, recipes and it´s a win-win.”