About Paavo

The chef Paavo Turtiainen

Paavo Turtiainen is an internationally acclaimed chef and event planner.  After a childhood on a Finnish farm, he started his professional life at the age of 19 when the Swedish theatre producer Lars Schmidt hired him to help with his household in Paris. Both Schmidt and his wife, actress Ingrid Bergman, led an active social life. The couple “adopted” Paavo, and trained him to navigate among the rich and famous. Later on, Paavo became the personal secretary for Schmidt and Bergman. His responsibilities included building up the personal archives of both Schmidt and Bergman. Ms. Bergman’s archives are now at the film archives of Wesleyan University. After Schmidt and Bergman divorced Paavo decided to settle permanently in New York. His first clients were friends of Schmidt: celebrities and business personalities Paavo had met while working in Paris and on Dannholmen, a Swedish island owned by Schmidt.

Paavo's decoration

His notable events include Isabella Rossellini’s 3-day “Manifesto” perfume launch in Stockholm, Sweden for 220 international fashion editors; the opening dinner of the new Finnish Embassy building in Washington DC hosted by Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari; a cocktail reception and dinner by Queen Noor of Jordan; the annual gala reception for exhibits at the Alexander S Onassis Foundation Cultural Center; a cocktail reception for Senator Barack Obama; representing the Scandinavian countries at the Washington Cathedral Flower Mart and the Minot Hostfest; the Finnish Food Week at the Hotel Intercontinental in New York; a cocktail reception at the United Nations building hosted by Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson; a cocktail reception for Vice President Richard Cheney, and an annual dinner for prime ministers and foreign ministers during the United Nations Security Council meetings.

Paavo writes regularly for the web-magazine www.nordicwellbeing.com.