For over a quarter of a century, Finland's top chefs have been preparing food at Carsin's kitchen. Each year chefs come to feed our harvest hands, creating delicious lunches and dinners. For many chefs, the essence of cooking at Carsin is Pascal's garden where they can find fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits, as well as the Saturday market in Cadillac that offers local meat, fresh fish and delicious cheeses.
For us at Carsin, the quality and taste of food are extremely important. The wines naturally belong to the dinner table and we try to build great and harmonious combinations. The dinner is our reward after the big harvest days.
600 g veal fillet
3 dl cream
3 egg yolks
4 slices of white toast, in crumbs
2-3 tbsp four-spice
1-2 tbsp black pepper
dash of nutmeg
Grind the meat in a meat grinder. It is important that the ingredients are cold when you start mixing them. If possible, do it on top of an ice bucket. Mix the meat, egg yolks and spices. Add cream gently while stirring the mass. Check the taste and salt. Form 4 round patties and dip them into the breadcrumbs. Fry on a pan with medium heat. Leave them rosé on the inside. Serve with mashed potatoes, green peas and lingonberry jam.
I met Juha Berglund in the end of 1990's where else but a the wine fair in Helsinki. We came very good friends and through Juha I've got to known the staff on Viinilehti and Decanter as well. Young and fun atmosphere is present at all times within this group that appreciates high quality products. While sipping the wines of Chateau Carsin, you can feel that spirit!
Once me and Visa Nurmi were invited to Chateau Carsin. We were working on our book called "Likivihreät" and our visit to Carsin had a great influence on the outcome. Our long weekend was amazing. Juha and Antti Rinta-Huumo told us about viticulture and winemaking, their happy and sad moments, thoughts about the future and so on. I believe this weekend opened my eyes, not only about winemaking, but also how important the combination of wine and food is at my job. I always remember Juha saying: "You know what Antti, none of you chefs in Finland think about the combinations, it's all about one or the other". He was perfectly right.
I'm very proud and I highly appreciate that I've had a chance to work with these gentlemen writing two books "Ruoasta Viiniin". Great pieces, where anyone can find likeable stories and recipes.
Harvest is the highlight of each year. It's like the premiere of a theatre, all the work has been prepared just for that moment. During harvest the work lasts from early morning to late night. Sometimes the weather creates stress and can manipulate the outcome. For Juha, it's extremely important that no matter what the situation is, the food served needs to be top quality. During the past years, many young chefs have visited Carsin and later some of them have become the top of the industry. This also tells about Juha's philosophy; we need to create a culture while combining food and wine, creating good feeling for both the chefs and the "customers". If a good taste is combined with good quality, it means a good spirit as well!
As an older chef, I'd like to say thank you not only for myself, but for my colleagues as well. It has been a great pleasure working in the kitchen of Carsin. For future chefs; if you're invited, it is truly an honor.
For this delicious Bouillabaisse, we need a broth first.
1 kg crayfish
100g tomato purée
3 garlic cloves
1tbsp fennel seed
green parts of a fennel
1 red chili
2dl white wine
Lightly roast the crayfish in oven. Chop veggies and lightly fry them in oil. Add tomato purée and fennel seeds. Add toasted crayfish, mix well and add wine and water. Concentrate until you have 1/2 left. Strain the veggies and crayfish out.
The soup itself
100g tomato purée
2 cans of crushed tomatos
3 fennels (white parts)
2 kg firm potato
1tbsp cayenne pepper
600g salmon, chopped
1 kg clams
salt & pepper
Chop veggies and fry on a pan. Add tomato purée, crushed tomatoes, safron, cayenne pepper and the broth. When the veggies are done, add fish, clams and shrimps. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup boil for 2-3 minutes and serve with fresh bread and Rosé wine.
“It's 2008 and I arrive to Bordeaux for the first time. I've had the chance to leave work in Finland and cook at Chateau Carsin for 2 weeks. My boss at the time, Chef de Cuisine Arto Rastas, has gave me a good reference and told me how the best chefs get to go to Carsin during harvest. At the airport, Juha picks me up but doesn't talk much. In some circles, people are afraid of him and I don't doubt that. However, after a while he reveals to be very nice and generous person. Luckily he told me the chef's most important job at Carsin right at the beginning; 'Jani, make sure there's always cold beer in the fridge'."
ANTTI'S duck LIVER Mousse
Ingredients for the mousse
200g duck liver
1dl white port wine
½ dl cognac
1 sheet of gelatine
salt & pepper
Start by preparing the reduction. Chop shallots and stir them quickly in a hot pan with some oil. Add cognac and port wine, the spices and water. Let boil slowly so that the liquid reduces to about 1/4 of the original volume. Take the spices out and let the reduction cool down. Chop the liver and add a good amount of salt and pepper. Marinate it in 1 tbsp of cognac for a while. Chop the butter and whip 4dl of cream. Fry the livers until golden colour and add 1dl of cream and ½ dl of the reduction. Bring to a boil and add the gelatine. Spin this liver-cream quickly in a blender and add butter and 1dl of cream. Strain the mousse through a thin strainer and add the whipped cream. Let the mousse cool down and serve with grilled bread, fig jam and mâche salad.
"The first time I visited Carsin was in 2000. I was at the peak of my career as a chef and filled with enthusiasm and passion for the ingredients. As I had survived from the tension and stress of the first days, I realised something big in the combinations of the food and wine. For the first time I understood that it's not only what you tell your customers, but that in fact, some foods and wines go perfectly together. Juha made it clear every day and showed some great wine combinations with the food I prepared. Together we found ingredients that will support the wine choices and vice versa. At its best, these combinations can be profoundly gastronomic, visually beautiful, even romantic and when combined together with the people around a big table; simply perfection."
Marko's crème brûlée
The recipe makes about 10 portions
9 egg yolks
1 vanilla stick
golden caster sugar
Boil cream with sugar and vanilla. Pour the hot cream on top of egg yolks while stirring at the same time. Put the mix into small portions and bake about 50 minutes in 90 Celsius degrees. Let cool down in a fridge. Before serving, sprinkle caster sugar on top and then use a blow torch to caramelise the surface.
"For the first time Marko came to Carsin about 20 years ago. He worked in the best restaurants in Helsinki before starting his own business. During harvest 2000, Marko met his wife Tiina here at Carsin and nowadays they run their own Rulla -business and restaurant in Helsinki. Marko has a great sense of humour though he's not wasting time for talking. In the kitchen his hand is steady and his nerves are made of steel. The legend tells that he once had a fire in a kitchen, but didn't put that out until the sauce of the fish was on a plate and therefore the dishes went out for the customers. This is a good example of his calm character and his passion towards food." - Nea -