Magnus Nilsson
Jarpen, Sweden

Magnus Nilsson looks like a babyfaced version of Thor, but he has a poise and maturity beyond his years. He grew up on the Swedish island of Frösön, south of the Arctic circle, and now runs the kitchen at Fäviken, 85 kilometres away. In between, he sharpened his skills at l’Astrance in Paris, then quit cooking for a while, feeling that he needed to discover a style of his own. Fortunately, he found it—what he calls “rektún mat,” or real food—inspired by ingredients from the restaurant’s 24,000-acre estate and surrounding area. It is audacious fare made with the best available products (much of which he hunts, fishes, and forages himself), prepared simply and with a creativity born from limitation. Wild trout roe in a crust of dried pig blood. Steak from a retired milk cow. Marrow freshly scooped from a bone sawed in two in the dining room. As Nilsson explains, “We push the product to what we think would be perfect. Some dishes stay on the menu for years, but we are continually developing them.” A true Viking quest.

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