There can't be anyone left in the country who hasn't heard the cry go up that Estonian meat and vegetables are too expensive to use in school dinners. So when we heard that the cook at Lauka School on the island of Hiiumaa had fomented an 'organic revolution', we joined Evelin Ilves to see it for ourselves.
"The best cook in the world!" is the praise that a boy from Grade 2 showers on cook Aimi Aromatov as he sticks his head around the door to her office. Having politely made his presence known, he responds to the cook's raised eyebrows with: "You are, because I know you are!"
The walls of Aimi's modest office are covered in colourful pictures and drawings. There are photos of the legendary Teachers' Table, to which the principal invites the most outstanding graduates every spring to sup with the staff. The man himself, artist Märt Rannast, admits that he's unsure whether it's the honour of sitting by the principal or the glory of the spread laid out before them that makes the students approach the table with such excitement.
The tower of appetisers pictured taking pride of place in the middle of the table is truly a sight to behold. The cook smiles to herself as our eyes are drawn to it, and explains its anatomy. The superstructure is an ordinary traffic cone – which, after all, is very easy to clean. The cladding is locally baked bread, which is then covered in aluminium foil. With the foundations set, the cone can then be studded with every kind of appetiser imaginable. There's enough room for around a hundred of them, despite the fact that the table seats far fewer.