Years ago, walking around in the woods near Fäviken in a remote corner of northern Sweden (from Stockholm, it’s an hour’s flight to Östersund, then a 75-minute drive), Magnus Nilsson told me that the only thing that mattered to him was the ingredients he worked with—the vegetables growing here, the trout he caught in his pond, the mature dairy cows whose meat he’d dry age for mind-bendingly long periods—and the flavors he could coax out of them.
With a conspiratorial smile, he added: “All the chefs say that, by the way, but most of them lie.” Since Nilsson took over and radically reinvented the place in 2008, Fäviken’s reputation has spread even as its footprint remained tiny. (It debuted with 12 seats and now takes in 24 a night. It is closed 20 weeks a year.) Food-nerd renown, TV fame, and two books keep those seats in ludicrously high demand.
Still, how does this faraway place remain relevant ten years in? Fäviken matters because even though fame and success brought Nilsson to the world, it didn’t bring the world any closer to Fäviken. It matters because there are few chefs anywhere able to draw as much deliciousness out of a place as he does here. set menu $330.