View Full Version : Mika article in Phillipine magazine

11-29-2004, 01:59 PM
Nick PQQLK9, you missed this one /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


11-29-2004, 02:14 PM
Nice article Wally, glad to know you have my back /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
(look over your shoulder because this post moves me up a notch /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

11-30-2004, 07:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote PQQLK9:</font><hr> Nice article Wally, glad to know you have my back /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

<font color="blue"> No prob m8 </font color>

(look over your shoulder because this post moves me up a notch /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Nick, you're an official pooh-bah

here's another article:

Mika Immonen: The Iceman cooketh
The Philippine STAR 11/25/2004

In a recent random survey of sportsmen, three Finns made it to the list: Formula 1 racecar drivers Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen and champion pool player Mika Immonen.

In the world of pool, Mika is called the Iceman. Up close, he might seem a bit distant at first and makes you think that maybe he is indeed as cold as ice. However, when he begins to warm up to you, he lets down his guard and tells jokes and shares his family’s history.

For someone who comes from so far away, the 31-year-old Immonen considers the Philippines as one of his favorite places in the world. He flew into the country recently just to party the night away in Manila and to bask under the sun on the world-famous beach of Boracay. He says, "If you want to experience the weather of summer in Finland, go to Baguio in April!"

He speaks Filipino and can actually understand full phrases in Tagalog. He has very close ties with a Filipino family he met in Florida and has been unofficially adopted by them. He claims his Filipino mother in Florida cooks the best adobo ever. He has a very high regard for Filipino billiard champs Efren ‘Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Alex Pagulayan and the like.

Mika was born in London, lived in Paddington, moved to Manchester and relocated to Helsinki where his family is originally from. Unknown to many, he is actually half of a twin. His brother, Kari, used to play pool, too, but has moved on to a different career. Both his parents loved to work with their hands – his dad was a tailor at Saville Row, while his mother paints, designs, was into graphics and textiles. A grandmother of his was a famous designer who did the clothes of Armi Kuusela, the 1952 Miss Universe who later married a Filipino. His grandfather on his father’s side was as a classical guitarist. On the other hand, his grandfather on his mother’s side was a famous professor who encouraged Mika to go into billiards, explaining to him the rules of physics at the pool table.

When I asked him how one can become a good pool player, he answered that one has to match skills with imagination. Billiards is a mental sport, no doubt about that. Surrounded by relatives who worked a lot with their hands and a grandfather who was a physics genius probably explains why Mika is a bomb in doing his own art on the pool table.

"You look at the ball, draw a moving picture, take considerations on the law of physics, look at the conditions of the table’s cloth, adapt and make adjustments depending on the table. Get used to the cue stick and use chalk to make the ball spin. Without the chalk, there is no spin and without spin, you have limited options in moving the cue ball," he shares his kind of game.

He turned 16 when he won his first pool match one Christmas and won a ham.

"I sold the ham to a friend," he says, laughing.

His parents got worried at some point when he was playing the game more and doing less of his homework. He could have been more involved with hockey but confesses he likes the warmth of the pool room instead of being out there on the ice.

Three years after he started playing, he won the national championship. Two years after, it was a breakthrough when he saw Bata Reyes, Earl Strickland and Johnny Archer play. He knew that he wanted to become professional. That same year, he was chosen as the player of the tournament when he played against Ralf Souquet for the first time and beat him. He saw Bata Reyes and Django Bustamante that spring and he got more inspired to play. Instead of going to his prom, he played in The Challenge Cup. In 2001, he won the World Pool Championships in Cardiff, Wales and was awarded Sportsman of the Year in his country.

He admits that cooking for us one day at the Bocarino’s kitchen at the New World hotel was outside of his comfort zone. It was his first ever shoot in a kitchen because people were more interested in him playing pool than toying in the kitchen. So, this Philippine STAR feature is a first for this world-class professional pool player.

The chefs and officers at New World Renaissance hotel were quite amused at how detailed he was in preparing his dishes. Of course, nobody was used to seeing him in toque and apron instead of his usual bow and vest. That afternoon, he cooked for us some Finnish dishes. He was as precise in the kitchen as he was at the pool table. Our verdict? Mika Immonen’s fish roe on rye toast and salmon with crème fraiche are winners! Mika’s Fish Roe Appetizer
slices of rye bread
1 cup fish roe (rainbow trout or salmon)
1 cup sour cream
one big red onion, chopped
black pepper
Finlandia vodka, chilled in the freezer

Mix the fish roe and sour cream. Let it sit. Set aside in a nice serving cup.

Chop the onions in a separate cup. Toast the bread and spread a thin layer of butter on the toasted bread.

Bring the toasted bread to the table. Spread a nice layer of sour cream and roe mix on the toast. Top with raw onion. Finally, add some freshly crushed black pepper.

This is best eaten while toasting with a shot of Finlandia vodka in a chilled schnapps glass. Down the vodka and let it shock the mouth a little before taking a bite of the bread. Fillet Of Salmon And Potatoes, Finland-Style
1 Tbsp. butter
ground green pepper, to season the salmon
250 g. pink salmon
150 g. boiled potatoes
50 g. scallion

Pat a tablespoon of butter on the salmon. Place in a pan and sprinkle with a little salt and green pepper. Cover the whole pan with foil. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 °F for 15 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, toss the boiled potatoes with the chopped scallions in a frying pan until brown.

Have some warm plates ready when serving the salmon fillet and potatoes. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber on the side. Pour the crème fraiche over the fish and garnish with some more fresh dill.

For the fish sauce:
1 cup crème fraiche
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine
1 Tbsp. rose pepper
2 pcs. garlic
sea salt
fresh dill

Crème fraiche is a French-style lightly soured and thickened fresh cream, generally used as a topping or garnish for savory or sweet dishes. It can be found in small tubs in most well-stocked grocery stores or can be made at home.

To make crème fraiche: Stir one teaspoon cultured buttermilk into one cup of heavy whipping cream. Cover tightly. Leave at warm room temperature until thickened, or about 12 hours. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It will keep for up to one week.

Mix all the ingredients with the extra fine chopped garlic, except for the salt and dill, in moderate heat for about 20 minutes so that the flavor of the garlic and rose pepper comes out. If you want it a bit sour, you can add a little lemon juice. Add a little salt at this point can bring out the flavor.

Just before serving, mix in the chopped dill. Dill can’t stand heat, that’s why it should be put in last.

12-01-2004, 07:15 AM
If I ever see Mika we can talk cooking, lol.

-Roger (culinary school grad)

12-01-2004, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote buddha162:</font><hr> If I ever see Mika we can talk cooking, lol.

-Roger (culinary school grad) <hr /></blockquote>

an alert lad in the Phils dug up the pic