Helena Puolakka appointed Executive Chef of new D&D restaurant, Aster

The Staff Canteen

Helena Puolakka, former Head Chef at Pierre Koffmann’s three Michelin star restaurant La Tante Claire and Pierre Gagnaire’s eponymous three Michelin star restaurant at Hotel Balzac in Paris, has been confirmed as head chef of D&D’s new London Victoria restaurant, Aster.

The new 10,000 square space situated in the Nova quarter of London’s Victoria will include a café and deli on the ground floor and a bar and restaurant upstairs. The Finnish born chef will oversee the kitchen serving Nordic cuisine using the classic French techniques she has refined over her career.

Speaking of the launch, Helena said: “In Nordic countries, craftsmanship, the presence of handmade food and local produce has always been a key part of daily life. At Aster, a sense of belonging and the harmony in my Nordic-French cuisine is important, whether we are cooking for the laid-back deli or the more refined restaurant.

“I would like to see Aster become a key part of the vibrant life of Victoria and find a place in the local community as well as being a destination for special occasions, and for visitors and travellers.”

Typical dishes for the café and deli will include traditional Nordic delicacies such as fish roe, pickled herring and wild berries sat alongside cinnamon buns and open sandwiches of house cured Var salmon on rye. Upstairs in the Restaurant, more refined dishes of meatballs a la Lindstrom, with beef and beetroot; juniper-smoked turbot with tender leeks and butter sauce; and even a tasting of fish roes and a selection of blinis with matching vodkas and aquavits will be available. A number of vegetarian and vegan dishes will also feature throughout the menus.

Aster marks a return to D&D for Helena, who originally worked for the group as executive chef to launch Skylon, where she stayed for six years until 2013. In recent years she has worked as chef director for luxury pub company, Cirrus Inns’ Epicurean Collection, and Company of Cooks, whose portfolio includes The Royal Opera House, National Portrait Gallery and Royal Academy. Her previous experience also includes working as head chef at Pierre Koffmann’s three-Michelin starred restaurant La Tante Claire and with Pierre Gagnaire at his eponymous three-Michelin starred restaurant at Hotel Balzac in Paris.



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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd November 2016

Helena Puolakka appointed Executive Chef of new D&D restaurant, Aster