HEL YES! brings the tastes and designs of Helsinki to a pop-up restaurant for 15 days in Kalasatama, an old harbor area in Helsinki. The New Nordic Cuisine and Swedish Sourdough Men get a Helsinki make-over while a former rocker, now restauranteur Antto Melasniemi, brings his dream team into action in form of Finnish food and design fusion. HEL YES! is a temporary exhibition presenting the best things of Helsinki, combining food, nature and design in a restaurant, shaping the future of food culture and destination marketing.
Antto is all about ideas and creativity. He runs two other restaurants in Helsinki at the moment, Kuurna and Atelje Finne. Both of them have gotten excellent reviews. According to Antto, “the essentials of a good restaurant is not just in food”, but thinking and breathing the tools of design in the whole concept. Recycling, keeping things simple and eating pure food add some extra Finnish designess to this project, which will be open from January 22nd until February 5th. Linda Bergroth says:
“There is a story that in the old times there were nomadic bistros on the sea ice between Finland and Estonia. These yurts were apparently put up along the main trade routes yet their exact location remains a mystery since it’s difficult to map locations that exist on the sea. We were inspired by this idea of a camp-like, ephemeral place that offers shelter, social contacts and food for passing nomads.”
HEL YES! is a tasty combination of Lapinkulta and Iittala served together with smaller design companies Nikari, Selki-Asema and SAAS Instruments. The creative hearts and souls of the food and design event are London-based Finnish designers Mia Wallenius and Klaus Haapaniemi, added with Antto’s visions, Heikki Salonen’s staff uniforms, Harri Koskinen’s lighting and glassware, Linda Bergroth’s interior design and Maria Duncker’s video installations. HEL YES! was seen for the first time during London Design Festival 2010, and it quickly became the talk of the town. The event gathered over 5,000 guests in just 14 days. Unfortunately, all the seats for 2011 HEL YES! in Helsinki are fully booked, but you can ask for cancellations via firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot make it to the restaurant, try it at home!