In the wilderness of Northwest Sweden, Magnus Nilsson's restaurant Fäviken glows like a beacon. In summer or winter, the converted barn beckons diners...most of whom are far from home for a warm meal and gracious hospitality. A mecca of culinary tradition, innovation, and seasonality, Fäviken is routinely named among the best restaurants in the world. With that title come the pilgrims.
Nilsson, a Swedish native who came up cooking under multiple Michelin 3 Star Chefs in Paris is at the helm. Returning to his home after some time cooking in France, Magnus became disenchanted with the produce available to him, and the food he found himself cooking...merely replicating the cuisine of his French mentors. The young chef took some time off the line, training to become a Sommelier. When he was brought in to consult on the Fäviken wine list, he once again began dabbling in the kitchen, playing around with the ingredients that he found littering the forest floor in the 20,000 acres surrounding the restaurant. He took the helm of the kitchen in 2008.
His goal? To pay homage to the native ingredients of Jårpen. Magnus and his team take full advantage of summer's bounty, gathering, preserving, canning, and salt curing the fruits, lichens, herbs and vegetables that dot the surrounding wilderness and farmland.
A visit to Fäviken begins with a glass of champagne in a teepee around a roaring fire. Guests who are staying overnight in one of five guest rooms on site are welcomed to a stint in the saunas before the meal begins. Finally, diners are welcomed to the dining room...A warm wood walled room filled with cured hams and herbs hanging to dry. Then the theatre begins.
Course after course (up to 30) are brought table side. Nilsson's small team of 6 ensuring that each dish presents the flavors of the region, and that each diner is served an identical course at the exact same time. Perhaps it's warm bone marrow (sawed table side for a bit of drama) topped with raw beef heart, shaved carrot, and a bit of green sage salt. Or a bowl of nutty grains with beef broth filtered through autumn leaves and wild vegetables.
Fäviken has long been on our bucket list, and it's proximity to local ski destination Åre is not to be ignored. Whether you choose to stay in the restaurant's quaint accommodations, or nearby in Åre, there's no denying that the perfect end to a day of skiing would be a dinner around Chef Magnus' table.
Reservations (in both the restaurant and hotel) are hard to come by, but from what we've heard, the journey to isolated Fäviken is well worth the trek.