Helena Puolakka leaves D&D London

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Helena Puolakka leaves D&D London

Related tags: Chefs, Restaurant

Chef Helena Puolakka has left D&D London to return to her native Finland after a long career with the restaurant group.

Puolakka helped launch D&D's Skylon on the South Bank in 2007 and worked there until 2013, before returning after a break to open Nordic-inspired restaurant Aster in Victoria in 2017.

Last year she expanded her role within D&D to oversee both Skylon and Aster.

But she is understood to have left last month, and has now joined The Savoy Helsinki as chef patron.

A spokesperson for D&D confirmed Puolakka's departure, adding: “We are delighted for Helena Puolakka - a remarkable chef who after many years at D&D London, has returned to her native heritage to take on a new and exciting role at the Savoy Helsinki.”

A shift at Aster

Puolakka’s move has brought a change of direction at Aster, which has moved away from its Nordic influence under new executive chef Bjoern Wassmuth.

Wassmuth, who is also executive chef at D&D’s German Gymnasium restaurant in King’s Cross, has introduced a ‘European Grand Café’ menu including Spanish seabass with saute radish, potato and samphire; and chicken schnitzel with rocket, beans, tomato and sweet potato fries.

Some signature plates will remain on the menu, such as cured salmon with cucumber and crispy potato.

Wassmuth has over 14 years’ experience in the industry and has previously worked at Tschuggen Grand Hotel in St Moritz and Käfer Berlin restaurant on the rooftop of the German Federal Parliament building.

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