Hans Välimäki

Chez Dominique

Rikhardinkatu, 4
T. +35.89.6127393

The New Nordic Cuisine movement continues to shine its Boreal lights on the world scene: already a protagonist during the 2007 edition of the congress, in 2008 it has seen another of its standard-bearers, Finnish Hans Välimäki, already a Scandinavian glory, climb on the stage. He represents a neat alternative to the Mediterranean fashion, with his bet placed both on the intense taste of products shaped by more austere climates and on the aesthetic sense instilled by the subtle harmonies of endless nights.

His new Chez Dominque opened on November 3rd 2006 with white interiors, dazzling and future, more than linear – the ideal background for his modern cuisine. The homonymous mother house, established in 1998, smoothed his way so that he could receive his first, historic rewards: restaurant of the year in 2000 according to the Finnish Gastronomic Society, a Michelin star in 2001 and two as of 2003, a stable presence among the World’s Fifty Best... Helsinki was never so good.

The concept is already in the name, the French hints at a form of fusion style, though rooted in these latitudes. It’s all about celebrating the marriage between French techniques and tastes, and Northern ingredients, accelerating experimentation without giving in to the temptation of provocation: this, at least, is what Hans Välimäki promises, intentioned, as he is, not to use his clients as Guinea pigs. Born in the early Seventies, chef Hans began his career when he was only 12, cooking a sort of rudimental dessert called pulla for his friends.

After numerous experiences here and there, especially in his beloved Scandinavia (“travelling is vital for a chef”), in 1998 he settled down in Helsinki as patron chef of the maison Rikhardinkatu. Impressionistic plates with unusual touches of colour for these latitudes, capricious shapes, as evanescent as clouds, maximum development of free details and a romantically Nordic sentiment of light and the poetry of nature: that of Chez Dominique is a cuisine founded on the privileged relationship with a few artisanal producers, fully intentioned to win, together with Hans, the audacious challenge of a Boreal renaissance.

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Alessandra Meldolesi

Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini