Tallinn, the capital of Estonian gastronomy
A multi-ethnic city where local cuisine coexists with Greek, Indian and Mexican dishes. In the rise to success that the restaurant sector has been experiencing in recent years, someone has managed to stand out: Janno Lepik. Three restaurants and lots of ideas in his head – that’s who this eclectic character is.
“Estonian cuisine is traditionally influenced by that of the surrounding countries. Danish, Polish and Russian influences can be seen in many local dishes.”
Typical foods include herring, roast pork and leib, a dark rye bread. It is this product that gave Janno Lepik’s first restaurant its name. A name that reflects the chef’s intention to maintain a close relationship with Estonian gastronomic tradition. A cuisine where simplicity rhymes with quality. Janno and his faithful friend and sommelier Kristjan Peäske pay attention to details and raw materials in every dish and every glass. Leib is the restaurant where he grew up and became the great chef he is today.
There are only a few rules that Janno Lepik abides by, but among them is the choice of 0 km products. His aim is to help people discover local resources while supporting small local farmers and breeders. Each dish is the result of study and testing, and even the perfect wine pairing is not left to chance. His passion for cooking was born while observing his mother, who prepared delicious meals for Janno on a daily basis. A path marked by this childhood, so much so that he undertakes the professional cooking school. But what makes the difference, he says, is experience in the field. His apprenticeship in London was his most valuable teacher before embarking on his solo career.
Janno Lepik has decided to return to his roots in his restaurants.
“A simple menu, but one that encapsulates all the local quality, without excessive processing that could distort the flavours of the products.”
For him, being a chef is not a job, but a lifestyle that is reflected in his dishes. His creations are works that he himself would like to eat, because his principle is to recreate something that recalls his own home and family. Only through a journey into one’s own origins is it possible to achieve this.
Patrizia, born in 1992, graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico of Milano. I’ve always loved this world of stories, stories and construction techniques, but what really didn’t convince me was the idea of spending my life between subway trips, fixed schedules, patterns and habit. It was exactly in front of the possibility of having a permanent contract that I decided to leave for America. To do what, you may be wondering? To realize the first of my many dreams: being a cook. And here I am, writing stories of my travels, of the people I met during my transoceanic trips and handing down the recipes of the dishes I taste around the world.