When it was time to have a break from ice hockey and pack ice skates to storage Ismo Sipeläinen had already started his studies at restaurant school. Ismo replaced ice skates with knives, but couldn't resist his passion for competitions and tournaments. During the restaurant school his interest towards food grew as well as his hunger to show what he can do. When Ismo read from the school's notice board that there was a possibility to join the school's competition team he couldn´t resist. And after that he participated in many competitions. Each competition, he learned something new even if he hadn´t been a winner but Ismo´s goal has always been to do things better and aim higher. Before winning the Chef of the Year 2015 in Finland he had already participated in the competition three times – and always been just a few points from the podium.
Ismo has worked in various restaurants in Helsinki, and has had the possibility to learn from the best chefs in Finland. Also while working he has challenged himself to improve his professional skills. One of his teachers has been Ismo´s mother who herself is a cook so Ismo thought that if she is cooking excellent food why couldn't he? Ismo enjoys working with his mom at home as well as in a restaurant. Together the son and mother duo enjoy good food, wine and the company of food enthusiasts.
Ismo respects Finnish ingredients. Especially the ones which come from the clean Finnish nature. He likes walking in the forest and picking berries and mushrooms, and once a year he joins his friends for game hunting.