THE WORLD'S FAR OUT FOOD SCENE
CHEF MAGNUS NILSSON / FAVIKEN
He must be freezing his balls off, I think, before settling back into the wooden bench and plucking another slice of cured sausage from the plate next to me. I’ve got a few minutes before dinner—enough time to burn the cold out of my bones, shower, change and then wander next door. It’s all been prescribed by my host, the chef Magnus Nilsson. I’m not one to challenge doctor’s orders.
Fäviken is unlike any restaurant I’ve ever visited. It’s an hour by plane from Stockholm, followed by a winding one-hour taxi ride through the countryside. There’s a lake nearby, I think. There hasn’t been a moment that I’ve really known where I am exactly, since arriving in Sweden from San Francisco three days ago. But what everyone notes—and part of the allure of the place—is that Fäviken feels even further away from the world than it is.
The journey is part of the experience of eating at Fäviken. Magnus will tell you that he considers himself fortunate to have the clientele he has because he knows for certain that they all want to eat here—they’ve gone out of their way to do so. There are no accidental visitors at Fäviken.
I arrived in the morning and took a walk around the property with Magnus as he performed his daily rounds. It’s December in Sweden, and the snowdrift continues endlessly into the horizon. It’s achingly beautiful. Fäviken resides in an old hunting lodge that’s been converted—but only somewhat—into a restaurant. It’s a chef’s dream, really, with more space than anyone could know what to do with.
The place only serves 14 people per night but has a separate building that houses an aging room where Magnus holds beef and ducks for months on end. Fäviken subscribes to a kind of hyperlocalism, only cooking with ingredients that are available in the immediate vicinity, no matter the season. That means, at the moment, meat comes from the aging room and vegetables come from a root cellar dug out of the hillside. (In the never-quite-full winter daylight, the entrance to the root cellar is lit by lantern, and has an irresistible Middle-Earth charm.)
THE WORLD OF FÄVIKEN
'We do things as they have always been done at Jämtland mountain farms; we follow seasonal variations and our existing traditions. We live alongside the community.
During the summer and autumn, we harvest what grows on our land when at the peak of ripeness, and prepare our harvest using methods we have rediscovered from rich traditions, or that we have found through our own research to maintain the highest quality of the end product.
We build up our stores ahead of the dark winter months. We dry, salt, jelly, pickle and bottle.
The hunting season starts after the harvest and is an important time, when we take care of the exceptional food that the mountains provide us with. When spring and summer return to Jämtland, the cupboard is bare and the cycle begins again.'
[ FAVIKEN ]
Chef MAGNUS NILSSON
830 05 Jaerpen / Sweden
T : +46 647 400 37 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Private Jet : Are/Oestersund Airport / Trondheim Airport