© Jani Kautto

Ulla Liukkonen

Global Pioneering

Official Ambassador for Saimaa, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2024

“The best moment is still when the food tastes good to the customer! I grew up in the vegetable land: transporting cows for milking and selling eggs became familiar. The shores of Lake Saimaa are my home and my main task is to take the industry forward and ensure that knowledge is passed on to future generations here. This is a great opportunity to really work with larger audiences, it is time for Saimaa. I love food – and I believe that I will continue with my purpose as long as I’m able to do that.”


Chef Ulla Liukkonen has been conjuring food both at the Independence Day reception for the president of Finland and at small village parties. Hundreds and hundreds of young people who have participated in Liukkonen’s teachings for decades have also experienced it. She is a long-term chairperson of the Finnish Chefs Association and has received numerous awards during her career. Recently she received the highest honour for a chef; an honorary membership in The World Association of Chefs Societies.

Ulla Liukkonen, Chairperson of the Finnish Chefs Association