From day one, Olo made the decision of hand picking only the highest quality products there are. When we scout new products, we look at location, taste and the people behind them. The people make a huge difference. You just know it when somebody does something with their heart. And the outcome can only be great.
I had the pleasure of visiting DeliVerde’s gardens in Turku a few weeks back. We and my colleagues from our sibling restaurants drove a few hours from Helsinki to the West and ended up in the gardens of the Lindroth family. Lindroth’s gardens aka DeliVerde produces greens of all sorts. Lettuce, root vegetables and herbs. You may know them from your local store or from the little stall from the Turku market square, that has been there from the very beginning of the Lindroth story. We’ve used their products for about three years now and it was about time for me to actually go and see where the produce comes from. It is so hard to organize field trips like this, since it’s nearly impossible to detach a chef from his kitchen for a whole day. Yet, we finally did it.
The day started with getting to know the fields and getting our hands dirty. That’s right. We had a few guys over there to capture the special moment on camera (the video will follow later). I got to ride a tractor, which I think was one of the highlights of the day. The last time I drove a tractor was 35 years ago at my grandmother’s farm in Korvenkylä, Joutseno. I can remember the farm pretty clearly. Life was different back then and people spent much more time outside than they do now. When there were only two channels on tv and it was much more fun to pick carrots and peas outside on the field.
Liisa and Hannu Lindroth live right next to their fields and greenhouses. They inherited the land and continued to grow it. Now their children are working there with them, which I think is pretty great. We were walked through the whole place and history. And ate fresh root vegetables from the ground. I’ve never tasted cauliflower so sweet and I think the environment and the good company might have had something to do with it too. The Lindroth’s are amazing people full of passion and it was nice to spend some quality time with my colleagues. Another highlight of the day really was to actually be able to spend time with my fellow chefs outside the kitchen. I don’t really see them outside work and as a father of two, I try to spend as much time at home as possible.
During the day, we all got a reminder on how important quality and freshness is, when it comes to our ingredients. They first need to be grown with love and great care. What happens after that, is as important. We do not buy our products from wholesale, but rather buy straight from the producer. We only order the amount we need and use the products immediately without storing. This is how we ensure freshness.
Thank you to Liisa and Hannu and the whole DeliVerde team. It was a great day and I hope to visit you again really soon!