Our history

The restaurant was founded and built by Matti Hirvasoja in 2002. The building has a past as a stone barn in Central Finland, and massive boulders have been combined with beautiful kelo wood to construct Hannukainen.

During Matti's time, people from around the world have visited the restaurant, which has remained hidden all these years. Among the guests have been royalty, Finnish presidents, and other distinguished visitors. The same dining utensils and dishes have been used in the restaurant, so you might very well be eating from the same plate as the famous guests once did. Now, you too are part of the story.

Chef Matti Hirvasoja hired me 13 years ago when I was just a novice. He taught me etiquette, discipline, and the fundamentals of French cuisine.

Now, it's my turn to take over this magnificent place and continue its operation while honoring its origins. The restaurant is named "Elsa" during my era, in tribute to Chef Sirly Ylläsjärvi's husband's grandmother, Elsa Ylläsjärvi. She played a significant role in building Ylläsjärvi's tourism, and the restaurant's concept was also built in accordance with her name. Respecting craftsmanship, local ingredients, and culture.