Oleg Alasi, head chef
I've always loved preparing food: new combinations of flavours, exciting ingredients and new techniques that need trying out... that's what I love about being a chef. It makes me want to come up with things that are interesting and unusual. And that's what I do at Monaco – the restaurant at Nordic Hotel Forum.
What I enjoy most is serving guests meals that they'll remember, made from the best and freshest ingredients available – the kind of thing you enjoy eating, and that always leaves you wanting more. I put my menu together based on three things: the ingredients I use have to be pure, fresh and local. Quality is not something I haggle over. Everything starts with the raw ingredients – and those I use produce a mouth-watering menu that is rich in vitamins and well-balanced in terms of calories.
What's seasonal is important, too, particularly when it comes to local ingredients. The things that grow here in Estonia offer a lot of options for elegant but simple dishes. Our forests are ancient, and our sea is suitably cold! The former provide some excellent game, as well as dozens of different types of mushrooms and berries, while the Baltic Sea is renowned for its fish. And there's nothing quite like the smell of freshly picked herbs and vegetables. All of this awaits in the dishes I'll prepare for you.
Our hotel hosts a lot of conferences, seminars and big events. The people attending them often have to work long, hard days, which is why I think just as long and hard about what I offer you. The food I serve has to be both exciting and nourishing at the same time. It has to be light and fresh – not something that will see you nodding off mid-meeting! Our salads and buffets have something for everyone, while we cater for coffee breaks in a number of ways, from the traditional all the way through to energy-boosting freshly squeezed juices and snacks straight from the oven.
Every dish I make should first catch your eye and then tickle your other senses before finally treating your taste buds. Needless to say I will happily take your special wishes and needs into account, and am always open to suggestions. What's most important to me is that all of our guests relax and enjoy themselves while they are with us.
Hoping to see you soon!
Oleg Alasi - CV
Oleg is currently the head chef at the Monaco restaurant, but once served as the head chef to Estonian president Lennart Meri. He also boasts many years' experience as the catering manager and head chef with Frens Catering, the biggest company of its kind in the Baltic States. He was the president of the Estonian Association of Chefs from 2003 to 2006.