Finland Grand Chapitre
Rovaniemi, August 23-25, 2019
400 guests enjoyed the Nordic cuisine
" The Gala Dinner was enjoyed at the festive premises of the Hotel Santa Claus "

The Bailliage’s Summer Grand Chapitre was held in Rovaniemi where 400 members and guests gathered from Finland’s 11 local Bailliages. The central theme was good food and drinks in a relaxed Lappish spirit. It was an opportunity for everyone to become acquainted with the northern cuisine through the meals served and lectures about Lapland’s tourism and reindeer husbandry.

The Grand Chapitre weekend began with an inter-regional golf tournament near the Arctic Circle. At the Arctic Circle golf course, nature is truly close. Reindeer greeted the Chaîne golfers!

On Friday, the attendees spent the evening casually socialising in a "Rovaniemi Market" themed event. A taste of Lapland and Lappish hospitality was on offer. Saturday began with an introduction to the current state of Lapland tourism and its strong growth. Guests also received information on reindeer husbandry, a long-standing industry in the north. Reindeer have always been a key part of the northern business structure, but also of tradition and culture.

Guests enjoyed lunch in the city's Chaîne member restaurants on Saturday: the Arctic Circle at Restaurant Metsäkartano, Restaurant Monte Rosa, Restaurant Arctic Light, and Restaurant Roka Kitchen & Winebar. The restaurants had created the lunch around northern freshwater fish, whitefish and forest delicacies, such as wild mushrooms, game and berries.

Saturday's celebratory evening reception was preceded by the Induction Ceremony, where our Chancelier Juha Ojamo, Member of the Conseil Magistral, inducted nearly 100 new members and two new local Baillis. New Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) members were also inducted.

The Gala Dinner was enjoyed at the festive premises of the Hotel Santa Claus and provided a true taste of Lapland's unique natural ingredients. We started with a glass of champagne and thinly-sliced reindeer jerky chips. The kitchen greeted the guests with a taste of wild forest nature by serving mushroom biscuits.

The start of the dinner also included a symphony of flavours of northern fish and featured lamprey terrine, sugar-salted arctic char, crispy pike skin, rainbow trout roe from the Rovaniemi region. A genuine northern thin, unleavened barley flat bread with churned butter was the accompaniment.

In between, we enjoyed a clear spicy broth made of willow grouse, salted reindeer and kale. Two types of Sea Lapland lamb - roasted and flank rolls - were served as the main course. The Finnish Valio Kappeli cheese was served on the side.

Drinks included:
Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut NV
Gisselbrecht Alsace Riesling Tradition, France
Rocca Di Montemassi in Sassabruna, Italy
Jacob's Creek Double Barrel Shiraz, Australia
Chymos Lakka Väkevä Marjaviini (Strong Cloudberry Wine), Finland
Zonin Moscato Dolce, Italy
Tunturikonjakki (Mountain brandy), Finland

The meal was crowned by a taste of the Lapland namelaka seasoned with sweetgrass, and a cloudberry sorbet.

To finish off the evening, we enjoyed reindeer sausages cooked over the waning open fire before retreating to bed. What an experience in all senses!

Martti Kotakorva
Bailli of Lapland

Photos taken at the Grand Chapitre events are courtesy of Marko Junttila