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Pühajärve Beach Gourmet

Culinary artists invite you to the table, offering a true gourmet experience from food and drink to song and dance. The best flavours of Southern Estonia will be supplemented by experiences from Otepää’s sister counties and around the world.


The two-day international gourmet festival will bring the best chefs, food producers and refiners, tourism service providers, and entertainers of the Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 region, along with visitors from sister counties, Europe, and beyond to Lake Pühajärv Park. All this to offer gourmands authentic local flavours and exciting dishes from around the world. The festival prioritises sustainable, earthy food, and the abundant offerings of local forests and farms – especially mushrooms.


From the 13th to 14th of October, visitors to Otepää will be caressed by culinary and musical experiences. Top chefs, caterers, and food producers from Southern Estonia will set the table with dishes characteristic of the region. The food is prepared from local produce, supported by the knowledge of previous generations and modern culinary wisdom. Alongside refreshments, visitors can enjoy a cultural programme by the best performers of Southern Estonia. The menu is enriched by guests from Otepää’s sister counties, and in addition, performers from Europe and more distant places will introduce their culinary cultures.

The chefs will offer uplifting taste experiences in various teams, and many dishes will remain after the festival to delight food enthusiasts in local restaurants. Entertainers not only grace the stage but also step into the kitchen, preparing delicious meals for festival guests under the guidance of professionals. The street market where visitors can sample and purchase local products offers an abundance of choice.

Living in the countryside, gathering and growing one’s own food is becoming increasingly popular in Estonia, and there is still much to learn from our ancestors. Pühajärve Beach Gourmet invites people to explore Estonian rural culture, environmentally friendly lifestyle, and the fascinating heritage of forestry in a modern context. Several of our everyday foods and methods for acquiring them may seem exotic elsewhere in the world: for example, mushroom hunting is prohibited in many countries. Therefore, the focus of the festival is on the delicious mushrooms from the forests of Otepää and Southern Estonia, but other local ingredients will also be also present on the table. Let’s who what nature can offer us if we know how to preserve it!

The driving forces behind the event are made up of an experienced event organiser and chef, Ago Arro, a local gourmand and the head chef of GMP Pühajärve Restaurant, Koit Uustalu, and today’s cultural leader of Otepää and seasoned chef, Jorma Riivald


Collaboration with top chefs, artists, and other organisations will inspire local entrepreneurs and cultural organisers, as well as partners. The event will showcase and promote a unique and naturally beautiful region in Estonia, Europe, and beyond. The festival will find its place in the calendar of Estonian culinary culture, becoming an annual tradition that continues to inspire food and culture enthusiasts to visit Otepää.