Finland - Lifetime Achievement Awards
Martti Lehtinen & Saara Sinivuori
Helsinki Finnish Club Foundation honours two Professional members

The Food Culture Fund of the Helsinki Finnish Club Foundation has rewarded Conseiller Culinaire Martti Lehtinen and Officier Maître Restaurateur Saara Sinivuori for their lifetime achievements.

The awards acknowledging a lifetime achievement in culinary education came with cash grants, namely 6,000 euro for Marti Lehtinen and 3,000 euro for Saara Sinivuori. They were presented at the “Food and Talk” seminar held at the Wanha Satama Exhibition Centre in Helsinki.

Johanna Mäkelä, Member of the Administrative Council, shed light on the award winners. In respect of Martti Lehtinen, she said the lifetime achievement award was for his dedication to chef training in Turku and Jyväskylä. And “Having professional workers in this sector is vital to Finnish restaurants. The key to developing the competence and skills of restaurant workers lies in the long-term efforts to ensure high-quality training and education. Martti Lehtinen has actively developed and promoted Finnish food culture for decades. He has trained generations of Finnish chefs who have contributed to the success of Finnish food culture.”

Martti Lehtinen reflected, “Upon my retirement in 2013 I had the honour of receiving the title of Counsellor of Education, a title requested by my employer and given by the President. At that time I began thinking that we should honour the young gastronomes of the future through awards, diplomas, and annual prizes of educational institutes. As a result the “Chef Martti” award is granted every year. This award and the annual prizes are given in three different educational institutes in which I have been involved in different ways: Gradia Jyväskylä, Tallinna Teeninduskool Viro, and National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism Department of Western Culinary Art Taiwan. The awards are given to the most skilled cooks selected by teachers from these institutes. Thanks to this lifetime achievement award of the Food Culture Fund of the Foundation of the Helsinki Finnish Club, I will be able to continue making these awards for many years to come!”

Saara Sinivuori received a lifetime achievement award for her notable 35-year restaurant career in Tampere. Under her leadership, restaurants have invested in good food, drinks, service and staff, holding them as the basic values of a successful restaurant.

In a press release from the Helsinki Finnish Club Saara Sinivuori stated, “I especially want to thank the culinary education and training system which has allowed me to hire many professionals to my several restaurants and share with them the professional development of this sector from 1972. To me, good food and drink and high-quality customer service have been the most important aspects of restaurant business. This has been a continuous and challenging learning process. I want to thank the Administrative Council of the Finnish Food Culture Fund and the Foundation of the Helsinki Finnish Club for this wonderful recognition.”

Taina Vilkuna
Chargée de Presse

Photos from top to bottom ..
1. Wanha Satama Exhibition Centre entrance. (c) Elämysten Wanha Satama
2. In the middle are Martti and Saara at the Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony. (Photo by Andres Teiss)
3. Officer Maître Restaurateur Saara Sinivuori and Conseiller Culinaire Martti Lehtinen at a Bailliage of Finland event.
4. Left to right: Martti Lehtinen; Raimo Ilveskero, Commissioner of the Finnish Food Culture Fund; Saara Sinivuori. (Photo by Jani Lehtinen)
5. Celebratory Champagne. (c) Elämysten Wanha Satama

The Helsinki Finnish Club Foundation
The history of the Helsinki Finnish Club is a fascinating chapter in the history of the Finnish nationalist movement towards the end of the 19th century. In 1876 the “Reading and Conversational Club” was founded in Helsinki and its rules were ratified in the Senate on April 25, 1876. The purpose of its Foundation (established in 2007) is to support activities upholding Finnish culture and traditions as well as to promote discussion on national, cultural and social issues in the spirit of Finnish patriotism all over the country.

Finnish Food Culture Fund
In 2012 the Club founded the Finnish Food Culture Fund to develop Finnish food culture and research into it as well as to support the people and organisations promoting it. To achieve this purpose, the Fund gives awards to worthy recipients from the above-mentioned sectors and provides grants for the studies and training, whether in Finland or abroad, of a person working in the restaurant industry.