Where They Play with Food

The history of the Estonian people has been grim and full of suffering. Food has never been a laughing matter. The ancient proscription states: “Thou shalt not play with food!” As has always been customary at the Puri, the first thing on the table is house-baked bread and butter. Since it is the mushroom season, the butter is molded like a mushroom. The menu merits a double take for an eye-catching dish – the “bath” duck! The evident playfulness is belied by the impeccable food. Head Chef Joonas Koppel succeeded his father, another well known chef, to the profession. Born with a “chef’s ladle in his hand”, Joonas must have watched his father at work through the eyes of a child, and tweaked the dishes accordingly. His culinary handwriting, in any case, is boldly experimental and untouched by taboos. The plating is naively lovely and slightly childish. And a touch of childishness, after all, is a treasure we all retain in some shape and form. Even if it’s well hidden, it might come out to play at the Puri.