Finland for foodies: Grön, Helsinki

Finland holds culinary secrets waiting to be discovered by food enthusiasts. Join us as we embark exploration of Finland's culinary treasures. In this article series, Finland for foodies, we cover a few bites of the wild delights. Next up Grön in Helsinki!



Mariaana Nelimarkka


Tuukka Koski / Koskisyväri, Toni Kostian

Restaurant Grön is Chef Toni Kostian’s creation. It has been among Helsinki elite, small chef-driven restaurants since 2015. A fun detail is that Grön’s first menus always featured chicken, as Kostian was training for the Chef of the Year competition when the restaurant opened, practicing with the competition’s mandatory ingredient in his own “test kitchen.” He became the Chef of the Year in 2016.

Grön received a Michelin star in 2018, and the restaurant has also had a green star indicating sustainability since 2021.

Toni Kostian has set a goal for the vegetable-inspired restaurant, drawing from its own garden and the bounty of the forest, to achieve a second star. The aim is not to squeeze the last drops from experiments but to create even more refined and delicious tasting dishes. Grön’s latest step toward a higher level is sustainable growth expansion towards the test kitchen.


Johan Kurkela, who has represented Finland in the Bocuse d’Or, was hired as the head of Grön test kitchen in October 2023. Kostian believes that one person focusing on envisioning the future brings international competitiveness to the restaurant.

The goal is fundamentally to better understand the whole. Details are refined at Grön on a grand scale – much like Kurkela’s previous role as Finland’s Bocuse d’Or representative. Kostian is extremely pleased to have a colleague on board to pursue perfection. Kurkela has the freedom to ideate components, optimize their taste, and refine them to perfection. The test kitchen sharpens Grön DNA, notes Kostian.

“This kind of thinking is missing in Finland. In the early stages of a restaurant, there is no money or time for it, and tying financial capital to future planning is not common here. Many are struggling with day-to-day survival, but we operate on a larger axis and look further into the future.”

From Grön’s own garden, the chef’s garden, flowers and herbs picked the same morning are the small, piquant addition that completes the experience in the Michelin-starred restaurant.

TONI KOSTIAN - PHOTO (photo credit-Tuukka Koski Koskisyväri)

Meet the chef Toni Kostian

The Finnish ingredient which gets your creativity flowing?

Wild mushrooms. Unbeatable ingredients for umami, texture, flavor, and looks. Our forests are filled with them if the conditions are right, and we pick our own to assure top quality each day.

The wildest flavor combo you’ve created?

A dish with stone crab, dried strawberries, grilled sweet peppers, and red curry. Sounds weird but usually same colored ingredients go well together.

A song which sets your kitchen on fire

Shanghain valot by Annika Eklund or FU-GEE-LA by Fugees.

When @GRÖN, taste

The true flavor of Finnish identity and the best ingredients of the north.

When @HELSINKI, do

Wake up early and enjoy the city as early as possible – before all the rush!

Go visit Grön

Me Kesprossa autamme kaiken kokoisia asiakkaitamme menestymään sekä kehittämään liikeideaansa. Meiltä saat palvelua niin henkilökohtaisesti kuin digitaalisissa kanavissa.

Tule asiakkaaksi

Asiakkaanamme käytössäsi on Suomen laajin tukkuvalikoima Kespronet-verkkopalvelun kautta. Logistiikka - ja jakeluverkostomme kattaa koko Suomen.

Tilaa Kespronetistä