Helena Puolakka is Executive Chef for Aster, D&D’s newest restaurant located in Victoria’s Nova development. Helena draws on the Nordic cuisine of her Finnish heritage using the classic French techniques she has refined over her career.
Hailing from Turku, a city on the southwest coast of Finland, Helena grew up foraging, fishing and living off the land. Upon graduating she worked with Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire and with Pierre Gagnaire at his eponymous restaurant in Paris. Her classical French training along with her Nordic upbringing has shaped Helena’s style of cooking, which focuses on uncomplicated, homemade flavours, executed with style and finesse.
In 2007, Helena took on the role of executive chef to launch D&D London restaurant, Skylon, where she remained for six years. In recent years, she has worked as culinary director of catering business, Company of Cooks, whose portfolio includes The Royal Opera House, National Portrait Gallery and Royal Academy.