The Restaurant of the Year selected by the Finnish Association of Gastronomies can be found in Lohja.
The Society of Gastronomies of Finland chose Mikko Utter, named after its owner, as the 2023 Restaurant of the Year. The restaurant is located at the stone base of an apartment building in the center of Lohja.
In their announcement, the gastronomes justify their choice with the restaurateur’s uncompromising attitude, which is conveyed to the dinner guests as a personal experience. The food and drink offered respects the origin, the place of growth and the cycle of the year.
Mikko Utter got his business idea from professional chefs’ home dinners. The chef to the village concept started in 2015, when he opened his bar kitchen in an old commercial apartment.
– A village trip to Lohja to Mikko Utter’s place rewards its visitors. The threshold to become a guest is low, and when you arrive you can take it easy while the host takes care of the details of the service, chairman of the Finnish Association of Gastronomies Joni Kiiski characterizes in the announcement.
Kiiski points out that the chef’s skills are not limited to high-quality dishes. Utter bakes its own bread, makes cheeses and cold meats, and preserves.
At the moment, Mikko Utter has a season called Mahla. The main ingredients of its flavor world are horseradish, potato, gravie, egg, Hereford, maple and small pastries.
– In this season, the thing that is very dear to me – and perhaps the thing that has changed my cooking the most – is maple sap. This is the tenth year that I collect sap from three maples in the backyard and make syrup from it, restaurateur Utter says in the press release.
At the same time, he reminds that three maples will not make much syrup for a larger group. One liter of syrup uses almost 50 liters of juice.
If you scaled up the cooking of the juice, there would be so much moisture from the cooking that it would no longer be possible to do it indoors. In addition, you should think about where the energy comes from and in what form.
Mikko Utter does not aim to be a traditional restaurant. The restaurateur states that he is an entrepreneur with a passionate attitude to food and wine, whom you can visit.
Our country’s oldest food association, the Suomen Gastronomien Seura ry, has been awarding the restaurant of the year recognition to deserving restaurants since 1985.
Restaurant Mikko Utter is the 35th restaurant to receive the recognition. The society that nurtures and develops gastronomy and food culture was founded in 1945 and has around 300 members.
Restaurants of the year
2023 Mikko Utter, Lohja
2022 Zero, Helsinki
The 2021 Restaurant of the Year was not chosen because of the corona virus
2020 Aanaar, Inari
2019 Chapter, Helsinki
2018 Kaskis, Turku
2017 Grön, Helsinki
2016 Roux, Lahti
2015 Spis, Helsinki
2014 Ask, Helsinki
2013 Chef & Sommelier, Helsinki
2012 Muru, Helsinki
2011 Restaurant C, Tampere
2010 Just Helsinki
2009 OLO, Helsinki
2008 Postres, Helsinki
2007 Savoy, Helsinki
2006 Demo, Helsinki
2005 George, Helsinki
2004 Palace Gourmet, Helsinki
2003 Brewery restaurant Herman, Turku
2002 Restaurant of the Year was not selected
2001 GWSundmans, Helsinki
2000 Chez Dominique, Helsinki
1999 Savoy, Helsinki
1998 Kanavaranta, Helsinki
1997 Restaurant of the year was not selected
1996 Lyon, Helsinki
1995 Restaurant of the year was not selected
1994 Safka, Helsinki
1993 Pamir, Strand Inter-Continental
1992 Julia, Turku
1991 Lehtovaara, Helsinki
1990 Amadeus, Helsinki
1989 Henrik’s, Tampere
1988 Bellman, Helsinki
1987 George, Helsinki
1986 Celine, Helsinki
1985 Palace Gourmet, Helsinki