The man in this picture, carrying his catch in one hand and the weapon he used to kill it in the other, doesn’t pay much attention to all the fuss he causes. His name is Magnus Nilsson, a 31-year-old chef from Sweden. As far as he’s concerned, he’s only doing the thing he knows how to do: cook very good food. His restaurant, Faviken, in Jarpen, northern Sweden, is considered one of the best in the world. Nilsson reveals the six rules of his culinary approach.
1. “There aren’t any rules. This is the most important rule of all.”
2. “Make the most of what you’ve got. Faviken is a long way north in Sweden, but it’s not the North Pole. The area is agriculturally rich, and there’s plenty of water at hand. Instead of wandering far and wide, we get almost everything from the immediate surroundings.”
3. “Set yourself limits. That’s what brings out your creativity. We have long winters here. But we don’t want to have fruit and vegetables flown in from faraway places, so we pickle lots of things. This process gives our food amazing textures and nuanced flavors.”
4. “Respect ingredients. Fancy cooking is no good without the perfect ingredients. A carrot isn’t going to get any more carroty if you cook it in a certain way.”
5. “Take the time you need. Some foods take a long time to prepare; others don’t. Fermentation takes months, for example. But in the summer, peas are best served freshly picked.”
6. “Every piece of meat was part of an animal that died for you. What about killing the animals yourself? I do. If you don’t want to, at least don’t hand responsibility for killing animals to huge companies.”