Jarna Kaplas

Official Ambassador for Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020-2021

Jarna Kaplas


Container Restaurant Morton: Kuopio, Rautalampi, Varkaus, Pieksämäki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Helsinki


What are you known for?


In 2010, I founded Restaurant Morton. Our container restaurants, built from shipping containers, operate in several locations and are especially known for their award-winning burgers. In 2019, I was awarded the provincial and national Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. I felt it was a shared reward for the hundreds of people that helped me build Morton.


What is your favourite flavour memory?


One of my favourite flavour memories is fat hen sauce that I treat myself with every summer. Spinach-flavoured fat hen, or Chenopodium album, is mixed with butter and cream. And then enjoyed with new potatoes.


What inspires you? 


Experimenting with bold flavours inspire me. I like to test appropriately wild combinations which incorporates adding a familiar flavour to a new setting. Carrot and rhubarb are familiar ingredients, but have you tried them in a burger?


What is unique about the North Savo region and food culture?


We have many unique flavours across North Savo that are associated with certain locations or moments. Enjoying a bite of Hanna Partanen’s kalakukko anywhere can immediately take you back to the Kuopio Market Square or a sweet strawberry to Suonenjoki. Flavours can easily bring back a memory of a certain place or time.


What food related secret would you like to share?


I would like to share a couple of tips for visiting. A small private hotel, Golden Dome, in Iisalmi uses a lot of local products. The breakfast buffet offered home-made Karelian pies, local meat and strawberry juice. I must also mention Korholan Kartano manor lodging in Rautalampi where the hostess of the manor makes jam from ingredients from their land and serves them to the guests throughout the winter. You should also visit Morton’s café in Rautalampi, where we have collected all of our best delicacies based on a “Best of Morton” principle.


What kind of local gastronomic item would you bring as gifts?


Peltolan Blue cheese, organic rye bread from Suonenjoki’s bakery and Nenonen’s non-alcoholic strawberry sparkling wine are always good choices anywhere you go.


Text: Oodia/Heta Jyrälä

Jarna Kaplas, owner at Container Restaurant Morton