Since the topic of the ISEAS2022 is food, we decided to focus our efforts on eating as well. Using ingredients from Finland to the greatest extent possible, we respect the theme of ISEAS2022, food and climate change. Our menu is vegetarian, and we serve food that grows at this altitude – it is surprising how many crops can be grown in countries that are as far north as Finland! Since supermarkets provide foods from all over the world, 365 days a year, people really do not have a clue as to what we can do here and how to cook using mainly local produce and other vegetarian products.
At ISEAS2022 we are using mostly organic ingredients from small farms. Some essential things for a symposium like coffee and tea are not grown in Finland, but hundreds of years ago, “foreign” ingredients like coffee were introduced here. Still, they were considered precious goods to be consumed with care, not without thinking, as people do nowadays on a daily basis with imported foods like rice, bananas, and coconut products.
Our aim is to make nutritious, tasty food from mainly Finnish ingredients. In this way, we want to show that food prepared from what we have at hand can give a sense of satisfaction and happiness, and boost our physical and mental health as well as the health of our planet.
PIRKKO MYLLYMÄKI, THE OWNER OF ARTIST’S RESIDENCE
Pirkko Myllymäki (1949), I was born in Lapua. At work, I was a regional manager at a bank. At the moment, I am a widow and spend my retirement days in this house, on the island of Vaasa, and in the winter in Spain. Our family includes three children, of whom Katja (ISEAS director) is the oldest. When the children were small, we lived e.g. in Naantali. From there we moved back to South Ostrobothnia. My husband Rauno Myllymäki was born in Tiistenjoki and his childhood playgrounds are around this house, which became our home in 2000. So relatives on both sides live nearby. My 99-year-old mother also lives in Lapua. The house was built in 1938 by the then owner Lapuan Sähkö as family apartments for Mäkelänkoski’s managers (2 families). It served as a summer resort for the staff of the then-owner Vattenfall. My husband asked about selling the property and was asked to make an offer.
The property has been completely renovated. An architect who was familiar with old properties made the repair plans. My husband did the renovation mostly alone. I have been doing wallpapering and painting. We did the renovation gradually and the riverside has been built up over the years.
There was no address for the house and we needed it for the mailbox. In the past time young people use to walk in the alley when they were dating, it was nice to hang out there when there were no neighbours. My husband went to the office and said that the road has always been called a love alley. And so it became Lemmenkuja.
KAISA & ARUN HAIKARA, OUR CHEFS
Arun and Kaisa have both experienced self-sufficiency foodwise. Arun is from a small village in Kerala India, where they get most of all products nearby, rice from fields, and fish from the lake. All villagers are living a natural way of lifestyle with a minimum carbon footprint. Kaisa also experienced the same lifestyle at the Finnish organic farm, where she was part of a community where all food was from their own production from vegetables to meat. They were storing food through the winter to manage the whole year with their own products only. Arun and Kaisa are both fans of local fresh products, where ever they are.
They cook together in various places and events but always try to make mainly from real ingredients, avoiding packets and plastics.