Weeklong series of events promoting Estonian food, culture and tourism in Beijing


Beijing, 24 February 2016 – Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ China World Summit Wing, Beijing, together with the Embassy of Estonia in Beijing, organizes “A Taste Of Estonia – Nordic With A Twist” – a weeklong series of events promoting Estonian food, culture and tourism in China’s capital city from 25 April to 1 May 2016. The week will be a celebration of 25 years of diplomatic relations between Estonia and China.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, the Ministry of Culture of Estonia and Enterprise Estonia (EAS), the hotel and the embassy will hold various activities within the hotel grounds and beyond. The principal objective of the week is to introduce Estonian culture and strengthen the knowledge of the Northern European nation in China through the promotion of culinary traditions, food and beverage, tourism and cultural treasures, including music, art and design.

Discerning gourmands will be in for a rare dining experience at Grill 79 with lunch and dinner menus by the renowned Estonian Chef Inga Paenurm from 25 to 30 April 2016, as well as brunch on 1 May 2016. With more than 20 years of culinary experience, Chef Inga was notably the head chef in the Office of the Estonian President from 2010 to 2014. She is currently the head chef and owner of Markofka Toidutuba restaurant, and continues to travel worldwide to advocate Estonian cuisine.

Estonian cuisine is strongly influenced by nature’s four seasons and can be characterised by its simplicity and closeness to nature and the wild.

“Estonian and Nordic culinary culture has changed noticeably in the past 10 years. We have gone back to our roots and enjoy the products of our forests and wilderness,” said Chef Inga. Guests can enjoy truly Estonian dishes, including Cream of Potato with Smoked Wild Boar and Pea Salad, as well as Cured Venison Fillet with Matured Cheese.

For cocktail lovers, Atmosphere bar at level 80 will host two Estonian bartenders, Kristo Tomingas and Silvester Harineem, throughout the week. The owner and manager of the largest cocktail bar in Estonia, Butterfly Lounge, Kristo is also a winner of several local and international competitions, including the 2013 World Championship and 2015 Estonian Championship. Award-winning Silvester is the head bartender at Butterfly Lounge and is armed with bar experience in both Estonia and Australia.

On Thursday, 28 April 2016, the Embassy of Estonia will hold a business promotion event to introduce Estonian food and beverage products, bringing the true taste of Estonia’s pure and natural products to Beijing through the help of Chef Inga and Barman Kristo.

Companies featuring their products include Artisan Honey, producer of wild organic honey; Chaga, which brings wild berries from Estonian forests; natural juice producers Rõngu and Auxner; vintage cider from Jaanihanso; traditional Estonian spirits from Liviko; and the most famous of Estonia’s beer and cider producers, Saku. In addition, Pagariposid will introduce traditional Estonian bakery that melts in the mouth, while Värska Vesi refreshes guests with its pure, naturally distilled Estonian mineral water.

One of the most popular female singers in Estonia, Maarja-Liis Ilus will perform at the hotel, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) and other venues in Beijing. With 11 albums under her belt and having represented Estonia twice at the Eurovision Song Contest, Maarja has also played leading roles in such musicals as Evita, Cats and Miss Saigon. Guests can enjoy Maarja and her band perform at the Atmosphere bar on 25 and 26 April 2016, 8 to 11:45 p.m., in addition to scheduled performances at NCPA on 27 April 2016 and other venues in Beijing.

During Estonia Evening on 27 April 2016, NCPA will also host the shooting star of Estonian folk scene Trad.Attack! and Estonia’s internationally acclaimed composer and pianist Rein Rannap, who has extensive stage experience, including one in China in 2014, as well as on-screen as a long-time judge of the Estonian version of internationally known TV contest formats: Pop Idol and X Factor.

The week also includes a pop-up showcase by the exclusive Estonian fashion designer, Lilli Jahilo, who has won such accolades as “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” (Swedish Business Awards) and “People’s Choice Award” at the Fashion Designer of the Year show The Golden Needle. The opening event of the pop-up will take place in the hotel’s Chairman’s Room on 25 April 2016.

In addition, the embassy will organize a tourism seminar focusing on the country’s exciting opportunities for culinary expeditions and natural health tourism, as well as bring Estonian art to 798 Art Zone with a modern art exhibition opening on 30 April 2016.

A Taste of Estonia – Nordic with a Twist
25 April to 1 May 2016

Date Event Venue
Wine and Dine
24 April 2016 Opening Media Brunch (invitation only) Grill 79
25 to 30 April 2016 Chef Inga Paenurm Presents Lunch and Dinner Grill 79
1 May 2016 Chef Inga Paenurm Presents Brunch Grill 79
25 April to 1 May Kristo Tomingas and Silvester Harineem Atmosphere
2016 Present a Toast to Estonia
25 April 2016 Kristo Tomingas and Silvester Harineem Atmosphere
Exclusive Cocktail Workshop (invitation only)
29 April 2016 Closing Gala Dinner (invitation only) Forbidden City

24 April 2016 Maarja-Liis Ilus and Band (invitation only) Grill 79
25 and 26 April 2016 Maarja-Liis Ilus and Band Atmosphere

25 April 2016 Lilli Jahilo Fashion Design Opening Event Chairman’s Room

26 to 29 April 2016 Lilli Jahilo Fashion Pop-Up Showcase China World Mall
26 April 2016 Tourism Seminar (invitation only) Embassy of
27 April 2016 Estonia Music Evening at NCPA NCPA
Library Hall
28 April 2016 Food and Beverage Business Promotion Embassy of
30 April 2016 Modern Art Exhibition Opening 798 Art