… so I slathered it with butter and made it delicious. 2020. What a year.
After 2019 I felt I had everything to prove. Right out of the gate I started the year with energy. Ready to crush it!
But oh boy did 2020 really give it to me, and I mean REALLY give it to me.
It was like 2020 just graduated from USC and was ready to write some nail biting transitions and drama:
I bounced back from divorce. Moved three times. Got my first Michelin star. Then COVID-19 hit. Got locked down and shut down. Opened two new businesses during lockdown. ThePlatformPro. KotKot. End of lockdown. Summer madness. Got a call from producers at Nat Geo. STOP. And we’re only at the end of June. CRAZY!
If 2020 didn't feel bizarre enough by then, at that point it felt extremely bizarre.
In a good way though. Minus the COVID-19 and the lockdown and the pandemic. Obviously.
Up to that certain point I’d tried to play it super low-key. Kept to myself. No promos, no press, no publicity. For multiple reasons.
First of all I needed to get back in touch with Helsinki and Finland after being away for so long. Too long it felt at first.
I’d been focused on executing my first restaurant, Inari, to its fullest extent, pouring all the resources and time I had into one thing only. Perfecting it. Mastering it. Trying to better understand who and what myself and Inari is. Understanding where we’re going?
What is to come from us? Manifesting this philosophical monster bubbling underneath. Asking myself “who am I?”
And maybe then I would have been able to talk about it.
After all, Inari was the thing I founded to help me with my anxiety and depression.
Needless to say I figured it would be a process.
Note. I'm not done yet neither with the anxiety nor the restaurant. Far from it.
Just to leave it all out on the field.
So when I got the call for NatGeo two things happened. I got extremely scared and excited.
Excited to have this possibility to represent Finland and myself.
Scared to put myself out there.
Excitement won with flying colors. Never auditioned before. For anything.
So I figured, I'd just be myself and see where that'll take me.
People that know me, know that I am a big hiphop-head, and talking smack has never been a problem for me. Sooo.. on to the interview. I even told Manuel, the lovely man interviewing me: that I would kick chef Ramsay's ass in a cook-off. I told chef Ramsay that personally as well first thing when we met.
He laughed. Either with me or at me, not quite sure.
Told me that he would’ve said the exact same thing when he was my age.
I was trying to get them to shoot in Helsinki, or at least a little in Helsinki,
See. I've never been to Lapland before this shoot. I was so excited when they chose me that I decided to drive all the way up from Helsinki. Just to get a feel of the time and place surrounding us
so I could give better input to the show.
I f'cking loved every single second of making it!