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Sami Tallberg (born November 7, 1976) is a Finnish chef, food writer and a culinary concept creator known especially for his foraging and wild food-focused books, catering and courses. Tallberg is based in Helsinki but also spends time in Lapland foraging and lecturing. His 19 years of working in the culinary fields includes eight years in London and eleven years in Helsinki.
Tallberg studied at Perho Helsinki Culinary School to become a Restaurant Chef at 1994–97. His Head Chef Degree Tallberg completed in 2002 at Haaga-Perho Adult Education. The following year 2003 he also attended a WSET Level 3 advanced in wines, his WSET Level 4 diploma being in progress.
Career in restaurants
Tallberg started his international career in restaurant business at The Ivy, London where he worked as a chef 1997–99 learning from Mark Hix. His first job as a head chef was in London at Rivington Grill Shoreditch, a restaurant and a deli, where he worked from 2002 until 2005. At Rivington he gained experience working with owners Mark Hix, Des McDonald and Ratnesh Bagdai.
In 2005 he started as an executive chef for Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance/Compass Group being in charge of the directors’ dining and events at the headquarter. Tallberg was also responsible for the wine list, leading to an interest in bio-organic wines.
Tallberg returned to Finland in 2008 as an executive chef for restaurant Carelia. With Tallberg’s help Carelia, was relaunched to become an acknowledged and celebrated Finnish brasserie with a vast contemporary menu.
After Carelia in 2011 he moved on to launch a five-star-hotel Kämp’s new restaurant Kämp Signe, which specialized in Nordic wild food. At the same time he was also featuring at Tertin Kartano (for Summer seasons 2010–12) developing their menu and recipes as well as training the staff’s knowledge in their own extensive garden plus foraging.
Career as an entrepreneur
Since 2009 has Tallberg been a leading expert and consultant in Finnish wild food and foraging, specializing in new Nordic cuisine and vegetarian food. He gives lectures, food talks, workshops and courses throughout the year. His foraging expertise covers areas from UK and Helsinki city centres to the remote Boreal forest zone (Taiga)
He has also been in charge of catering for bespoke events and parties from small private gatherings for up to 1,500 people in 16 countries around the world. He is also a head chef for NOMAD - a street food concept launched at FLOW festival in Helsinki in August 2013. Tallberg has been in charge of vegetarian and vegan restaurant Cargo Helsinki's concept, menu and recipes since early 2016.
Tallberg has published several cook books about foraging and wild food. He also blogs and writes regularly about wild food.
Awards and honours
Finland Prize 2012 for Bringing out in very new, unique way of style of Finnish food by using ingredients of wild nature (Finland Prize is awarded by Minister of Culture and Education in recognition of a significant career in arts, an exceptional artistic achievement, or a promising breakthrough.)
Design Award 2015 - Ruokateko 2015 by Muoto 2015
Wild Food Ambassador 2012–2016 by Elo Foundation, the foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture
Three pairs of cutlery on Michelin guide for Kämp Signe 2012
Publications and writings
- Makuparit 2016 (Finnish) ISBN 9789522208156
- Vilda Örter Kokboken 2014 (Swedish) ISBN 9789163610332
- Wild weird and wonderful 2013 (Finnish, English and Russian) ISBN 9789525969436
- Villiyrttikeittokirja (Finnish, 7th edition out in March 2016) ISBN 9789523210516
- Hedelmäistä 2013 (Finnish) with Janne Tarmio ISBN 9789526778433
- Wild Herb Cookbook 2012 (English) ISBN 9789522204868
- Koivunmahlaa & kaviaaria 2012 with Christer Lindgren (Finnish) ISBN 9789522205322
- Mäti - Helmiä lautasella 2012 with Janne Tarmio (Finnish) ISBN 9789526778419
- Food, wine & travel blogging for vitonen.fi since 2012 >
- Food & wine columnist for Gloria ruoka & viini -magazine 2010–2012
- Online course for foragers www.villiyrttikurssi.com
- Mobile application for foragers Suomen Luonnon Villivihannekset
- Adult Education, Haaga Institute Foundation. "Haaga-Perho".
- Wine and Spirit Education Trust. "WSET".
- Rivington Grill Shoreditch, Restaurant. "Rivington Grill Shoreditch".
- Carelia, Restaurant. "Carelia".
- Kämp, Hotel. "Hotel Kämp".
- Manor, Tertti. "Tertin Kartano".
- Dougall, David Mac. "New York Looks Nørth". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
- "Lähiluonnossa odottaa ilmainen vihreä supermarket" (in Finnish). Retrieved 2017-10-27.
- City of Helsinki, Visit Helsinki. "The Season for Wild Food".
- Finland.fi, This is Finland. "Taste the Wilderness".
- Creating Helsinki, Helsinki. "Wild Thing".
- Festival, Flow. "Flow".
- Cargo, Restaurant. "Cargo Helsinki".
- "Wild and wonderful - thisisFINLAND". thisisFINLAND. 2016-07-27. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
- Ministry of Education and Culture, Suomi-palkinto 2012. "Finland Prize 2012". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
- Ruokateko 2015, Muoto2015. "Design Award 2015".
- Foundation for the Promotion of Finnish Food Culture, ELO. "Wild Food Ambassador".
- MICHELIN guide Main Cities of Europe 2012. "Michelin Guide 2012" (PDF).