The Baltic Herring Jury

A Baltic Herring Jury with variable membership has convened at the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market since the 1970s. The jury nominates the top three products available at the Market in the categories “Traditional Pickled Fish” and “Baltic Herring Surprise”.

Due to the coronavirus situation, the jury will convene behind closed doors this year to taste the products registered for the competition. The jury will convene on the first Market day. The winners of the product competition will be announced on the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market’s social media accounts on the first market day, Sunday 4 October at 16.00. Join us on Facebook and Instagram to find out who the winners are!

Each member of the jury member scores the products in four categories: taste, appearance, smell and texture. The scale is 1–5, with five being the best possible score. The scores from these four categories are added up as the jury member’s overall rating for the product.

Jury members

Lari Helenius, chef, Restaurant Olo

Lari Helenius is Chef of the Year 2020. You can sample his creations in the Michelin-nominated Restaurant Olo. Lari’s prior achievements include second place in the highly regarded Nordic Young Chef competition, and he was also the runner-up for Chef of the Year 2019.

Emilia Kolari, food journalist, HS and Soppa365

Emilia Kolari is a food journalist writing for the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and the Soppa365 website. She writes about all things related to food, such as seasonal baking, nutrition and healthy everyday food. Emilia never met a Baltic herring or other pickled or smoked fish she didn’t like.

“I will rather skip the main course if there is plenty of fish to sample. The Baltic herring is a really diverse fish equally suitable for fine dining and the home kitchen. As an environmentally friendly local species, it deserves all the attention it can get. I am thrilled to be on this year’s jury and taste all the Baltic herring goodness!”

Henrik Kovanen, Chef de Cuisine, Savoy Helsinki

Henrik Kovanen is Chef de Cuisine of the Savoy in Helsinki.

“To a barefoot Helsinki boy like me, the Baltic herring is a valuable local product whose fresh scent reminds me of the closeness of the sea. The fantastic flavour of the Baltic herring makes it a fit for the most diverse dishes, never mind classics such as the Savoy’s fried herrings with almond potato purée and dill butter. You can never grow tired of Baltic herring!”

Martin Nordell, Sommelier Champagne Master, DipWSET and Doctor of Economic Sciences

Martin Nordell is a Doctor of Economic Sciences specialising in the development or corporate strategy processes. Martin’s old flame for wine rekindled over the years, and one thing led to another: he took the international wine degree Diploma in Wines and Spirits, specialising in champagne (Sommelier Champagne Master, DipWSET). Martin has also been inducted into the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.

Salla Salo, Communications Manager, Torikorttelit

Salla Salo is the Communications Manager of Torikorttelit, at the cutting edge of maritime Helsinki and its vibrant restaurant culture. Salla is a journalist by trade, but she has also worked in the travel industry – and sampled the world’s fish from Barbados to Burma. 

Aleksis Salusjärvi, cultural journalist, literary professional and passionate sports fisherman

“The Baltic herring is a symbol of peace unlike any other. An insignificant minnow in the vast sea is actually its most powerful and gigantic force. Baltic herrings are not individuals – they don’t pick sides. When the herring schools are on the move, the whole sea comes to life.” 

Peggy Thomas, food influencer and blogger

Peggy’s little red kitchen is one of Finland’s most popular food blogs. Its author and food influencer Peggy Thomas has also just published her debut book, Parhaat kalareseptit (Best Fish Recipes). Peggy’s dearest childhood pastime, fishing, has since fallen by the wayside, but her passion for fish on the plate has endured.

Linnea Vihonen, chef and TV personality

Linnea Vihonen is a chef and food designer who wants to enrich people’s lives with food. This love for her craft also kindled a passion for the stage: Linnea is familiar from the Kokkisota (Chef Wars) and Mitä tänään syötäisiin (What Are We Having Today?) TV shows, among others. Linnea loves Finnish food and swears by vegetables, seafood and Finnish fish.

Jenny Vu, youth member of the Baltic Herring Jury

Jenny Vu, 17, is on her second term on the Helsinki Youth Council. Jenny is also active in Plan International’s Girls Takeover campaign, in which girls and young women around the world step into the boots of political, social and economic leaders for one day. Jenny’s other interests include dance and the theatre, and she is active in the SATAKOLKYT (Hundred and Thirty) project that encourages the residents of Helsinki to visit the seaside and clean the environment of rubbish.

Photo: Riikka Kastu