History and CV:
Chef Risto, The Scandimaniac Chef
The journey to become a mobile personal chef has taken me to many exciting places.
I was born in Finland and now reside on the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia with my family. I have been a chef for more than 30 years in Europe and in Australia, and have extensive training and experience in all aspects of the hospitality industry.
I decided I wanted to be a chef at age 15 after spending much of my childhood in my grandma's kitchen watching her cook. Both my brothers were bartenders, but my greatest influence was my aunty, Ulla Nevaluoma, who was known as "the grand old lady of Finnish hospitality". Working in her restaurants and kitchens gave me a good work ethic and taught me to make the most of any opportunities that came my way.
After moving from a small town to Helsinki, I worked in seafood restaurants and international kitchens with highly respected head chefs. I worked on the world's largest luxury cruisers and from that my hunger for an international lifestyle grew!
During a family holiday to Spain I got chatting to an Australian couple. Seeing how much we enjoyed the beach and the sunshine they remarked, "Why do want to live in a place like Finland when you all love warm weather so much? You should move to Australia." That was all it took! Less than a year later, my family and I were on board a plane, headed Down Under.
Arriving in Australia in the 1990s, I was fortunate to find a job at the five-star Sheraton Hotel Brisbane. I was living in a Finnish chef's heaven! I learned a lot about Asian cooking, international cuisine and services, and I met a lot of chef-colleagues from around the world.
After three years at the Sheraton I got a job as head chef with Spotless Catering and moved my family to the Northern Territory. We spent the next two years on a remote island called Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria. What an experience! As Head Chef I provided high-class catering services to BHP. An internal transfer saw us move again to WA, but soon after I had to take my family back to Finland for personal reasons.
I worked as Food and Beverage Manager for French catering company Sodexo for the next nine years, until I decided to start my own business called Kokkisirkus (Chef Circus), a successful mobile personal chef service. Business included cooking classes for companies and their customers, and themed dinner party-services for families and companies for up to 400 people. I also undertook cooking demonstrations at exhibitions with tens of thousands of visitors, and working with a Finnish TV-channel MTV3 MAX, doing a food show for a series of over 20 episodes.
Yet despite the success I didn't feel at home in Finland anymore and my kids really missed Australia, so we relocated to the Gold Coast in September 2009. I was fortunate to get a job at the Palazzo Versace Hotel as a Sous Chef, where I experienced a modern style of cooking Australian food. Yet another dream come true!
That brings me to where I am now. I'm a personal chef again and would love to cook for you, your family, and your friends. Let me bring my love of food and passion for cooking into your home to create a mouth-watering meal and an unforgettable experience!
THE SCANDIMANIAC CHEF - Gold Coast, QLD
Personal Chef Services, Owner -operator: 2010-present
Hire a Chef, Personal Chef.
Working as a Casual / Contract Chef at:
Events Chef Risto has been involved:
V8 Supercars, Gold Coast, 2009
Gold Coast Airport Marathon, 2010
Gold Coast Titans, NRL 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2017 seasons @ CBus Stadium
Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercars, 2010
Vodafone Ashes Cricket Serie 2010, The Gabba, Brisbane
Clipsal 500 Adelaide 2011
Gold Coast Suns, AFL 2011, 2012 and 2017 seasons @ Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast Turf Club Magic Millions 2012
Gold Coast Rugby Sevens 2012
Armor All Gold Coast 600, 2012
Darwin Cup Carnival 2016
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; State of Origin and
Queensland's Champion Jeff Horn VS World Champion Manny Pacquiao, 2017
PALAZZO VERSACE - Gold Coast, QLD
Senior Sous Chef, 2009-2010
Il Barocco, Pool Bar, In Room Dining-kitchen
KOKKISIRKUS - Finland
Personal Chef Services/Owner operator:2006-2009
See www.kokkisirkus.fi for more info.
SODEXO Alliance - Finland
Food and Beverage Manager: 1996-2006
SPOTLESS CATERING - Australia
Head Chef: 1993-1996
SHERATON BRISBANE HOTEL & TOWERS - Australia
Banquet Chef, Sous Chef, Chef de Partie: 1990-1993
VIKING LINE LTD., LUXURY CRUISER CINDERELLA - Finland
Sous Chef: 1989-1990
HOTEL ALEXANDRA - Finland
Head Chef: 1986-1989
PRIMULA LTD., RESTAURANT THE OLD SKIPPER'S - Finland
Restaurant Manager and Head Chef: 1984-1986
PRIMULA LTD., RESTAURANT THE OLD BAKER'S - Finland
Sous Chef: 1983-1984
RESTAURANT VINTTI - Finland
Chef de Partie: 1982-1983
HOTEL RAATIHOTELLI - Finland
Commi Chef: 1980-1982
RESTAURANT RAATIKELLARI - Finland
Demi Chef: 1978-1980
Certificate of Management and Business course from the Haaga Institute and Sodexho (Finland) - College of the Master of Business
Certificate of Management course in the Haaga Institute (Finland) - College of the Restaurant Management
Graduation Certificate of Qualified Chef in Jyvaskyla Hotel & Restaurant College (Finland)
Certificate of Apprenticeship in Jyvaskyla Hotel Raatihotelli (Finland) Graduation Certificate Cookery in Forssa Vocational School (Finland) European Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Occupational Work Safety-card. Food Safety Supervisor, Australia.