Food & Art Festival Turku Combines Good Food and Appealing Art
Food & Art Festival was transferred to Ruissalo Shipyard in 2019 when the City of Turku had shown genuine interest in the new food festival. The festival was previously organized at the Serlachius Museum and its courtyards in Mänttä.
‘We had a need to expand the event and the City of Turku welcomed us warmly. The respect towards the food, restaurants and producers is on the top level in Turku. The City of Turku wanted us to be there and we wanted to come to Turku’, tells Ms. Riikka Kangas, Chief Executive Officer at Food Camp Finland which organises the event.
‘We knew chefs in Turku who gave us a hint about the Ruissalo Shipyard. The nature and the proximity to the sea on the Ruissalo Island convinced us right away. Ruissalo is surely an impressive location also for our foreign guests.’
Ruissalo Shipyard is the heart of the Food & Art Festival, but the event is also visible in the city centre. In summer 2019 a restaurant tour was organized along the River Aura combining food and art among other things.
Getting Inspired by Art and Food
Idea for creating the Food & Art Festival had its beginnings in the discussions between Chief Executive Officer Kangas and Head Chef Pekka Terävä who is another driving force of the Food Camp Finland. The original location of the event in the vicinity of the Serlachius Museum was the first step towards combining food and art.
’Art and food are both subjects that appeal to the senses and create an overall feeling of enjoyment. Several top chefs in the world use art as a source of inspiration for their cooking’, Ms. Kangas says and Mr. Terävä continues:
‘Top museums abroad are always accompanied by top restaurants whereas in Finland we haven’t yet been able to combine the two.’
CEO Kangas also points out that the purpose of the festival is to promote not only food but all forms of art extending from visual arts, dance and circus to the rock music. The Food & Art Festival aims to create a multisensory experience which appeals to the feelings above all.
‘We want to inspire people to experience new art forms. You don’t need to like everything, but it’s always worth testing several kinds of things. At the same time, we want to remind you that there is always another person behind the most touching art experiences and the most delicious dishes who also gets inspired about art and food’, explains Ms. Kangas.
Menu Full of Surprises and Domestic Tastes
According to Mr. Terävä, there is often one comprehensive theme in the dishes of the Food & Art Festival and that is the unexpectedness. When top chefs are brought in from all over the world, but the dishes are always based on the best domestic ingredients, the taste experiences are often extraordinary.
‘When foreign guests have a chance to get to know the Finnish nature during the best possible harvest season, they get very excited’, clarifies Mr. Terävä.
The chefs taking part in the event bring along their own stories and the tastes of their own country. When those background factors are combined with the Finnish nature, the results are often magic. Whereas we as Finns are accustomed to the richness of the best natural ingredients found in the surrounding nature, it comes often as a complete surprise to the foreign chefs.
‘The chefs might bring a specific ingredient along from their home countries. The Food & Art Festival coincides perfectly with the harvesting and the hunting seasons and consequently, all the visiting stars get to the Finnish nature to hunt, to fish, to pick up berries and mushrooms’, tells Ms. Kangas.
’A few years ago the Danish chefs were enthusiastic about collecting wide herbs directly from the hotel yard. You don’t always grasp those kinds of things yourself before an outsider arrives at place and attaches special attention to this matter’, laughs Mr. Terävä.
Enjoyments and New Tastes
The visitors have free access to the zone of the Food & Art Festival Turku. It is obvious that the event includes plenty of food, music and various kind of programme from food demonstrations to panel discussions. The event is highlighted by evening meals that are called ‘the Chef’s Menu’ where invited chefs from all over the world jointly offer an evening menu that lasts the whole evening. In the coming years, the owner of the Makasiini Contemporary gallery, Mr. Frej Forsblom, will act as the art curator of the event.
The plans for future events in Turku are clear. We hope that the people in Turku will find this event and will make it their own.
‘We want to emphasize enjoyment, good tastes and relaxed atmosphere – to create our guests a chance to have a pause and to enjoy food, nature and art together with their friends in the company of the friends’, emphasizes Mr. Kangas.
‘As a result of the cooperation, we have created a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is definitely the one which we pursue’, adds up Mr. Terävä.