Finnish chef Helena Puolakka will return to the position of executive chef of modern European restaurant Skylon, a move that places her at the helm of two D&D London restaurants.
Puolakka, also chef-patron of Aster restaurant in the Nova complex in Victoria, first joined D&D London in 2007 as executive chef of Skylon. In 2013 she left D&D London to join Cirrus Inns returning to the restaurant group in 2017 to open Aster.
She said: “Opening Skylon for D&D London was a new platform for me to learn the industry and was extremely valuable for my development for future roles.
“You can take the chef out of the kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the chef so when the opportunity arose to bring my concept and style of cooking back to Skylon, I couldn’t resist but go back to the kitchen.”
Puolakka was previously head chef at Pierre Koffmann’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant La Tante Claire and also worked for Pierre Gagnaire at his eponymous three-Michelin-starred restaurant at Hotel Balzac in Paris.
She has said summers spent in the Archipelago of Finland “foraging, fishing and living off the land” ignited her passion to become a chef, while a passion for seasonal produce was developed under Koffman, Gagnaire and Gorgon Ramsay.