Toni Toivanen has a big future ahead of him.
Rising through the ranks to become head chef of Michelin two-star ‘Chez Dominque’ whilst still in his early twenties, Helsinki’s hottest young chef export later transferred to Noma, where he made his name as a chef de partie. As one of the operation’s key people, he was invited to join Redzepi and co. on their adventures in Tokyo and Sydney, and later went on to help open Inua in the Japanese capital.
Overseeing the R&D kitchen at Noma’s unofficial sister restaurant for three happy years (during which time it received two Michelin stars of its own), Toni travelled the length and breadth of the country, meeting all manner of amazing people from the country’s unique food community along the way. Returning to Europe this summer, Toni took this Japanese know-how and combined it with local seasonal ingredients (think miso made from organic Finnish barley, fava beans and roses) for his acclaimed solo pop-up in Helsinki, ‘Aki’, which is not only Japanese for ‘autumn’, but also for ‘bright’ and ‘sparkling’.
In his own words, “my goal is to bring creativity, joy and energy in the midst of these challenging times”, and it’s a welcome slice of this Nordic-Japanese optimism that he’ll be bringing to London for his debut Carousel residency before he makes his next exciting move.
From bona fide legends to the superstars of tomorrow, each week we welcome a new chef into the Carousel family.