Helena Puolakka is named Executive Chef at Skylon, overseeing two D&D London restaurants

Helena Puolakka

Helena Puolakka

Executive Chef 17th September 2018

Helena Puolakka is named Executive Chef at Skylon, overseeing two D&D London restaurants

D&D London has appointed Helena Puolakka as Executive Chef of modern European restaurant, Skylon on Southbank. Currently Chef Patron at Aster restaurant located in Nova Victoria, this new appointment sees Helena expand and evolve her role and take the helm at two restaurants in the capital within the D&D London portfolio.

Helena, originally from the south-west coast of Finland, first joined D&D London in 2007 as Executive Chef at Skylon where she stayed for six years. In 2013 she left D&D London to be Culinary Director for Cirrus Inns and in 2015 moved to the Royal Opera House restaurants until 2017. Helena returned to D&D London in 2017 to open Aster as Chef Patron.

During Helena’s 22 years working in kitchens, she has worked in some of the world’s greatest kitchens including three-Michelin-starred French restaurant La Tante Claire in London and three-Michelin-starred eatery, Pierre Gagnaire in Hotel Balzac, Paris.

Helena notes: ‘Opening Skylon for D&D London was a new platform for me to learn the industry and was extremely valuable for my development for future roles. You can take the chef out of the kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the chef so when the opportunity arose to bring my concept and style of cooking back to Skylon, I couldn’t resist but go back to the kitchen.’

Helena’s upbringing has had a direct impact on her cooking style; she spent long summers in Archipelago of Finland ‘foraging, fishing and living off the land’ from a young age which was when her dream of becoming a chef started. Her main inspiration came from her mother and grandmother but her cooking skills and passion for seasonal produce came from her time working with Koffman, Gagnaire and Ramsay.

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