At the end of 2019 Fäviken will close for good. Magnus Nilsson decided that the restaurant he designed and conducted for 11 years in one of the most remote (and inhospitable) lands on the planet, about 600 kilometers north of Stockholm, in the county of Jämtland, will no longer exist.
The young Swedish chef, who at the time of the opening was just 24 years old (“all I wanted to do was cook my food, in my restaurant“), matured in symbiosis with a territory which inevitably influenced the production times and use of ingredients, in the service of “a type of restaurant that did not exist before and probably will no longer exist after Fäviken“, said the chef in the farewell video published by the Los Angeles Times.
And it’s precisely on the thrill of living and working in such a peculiar context that Nillson has relied on all these years, capable of making Fäviken one of the most coveted gastronomic destinations of gourmet travelers from all over the world (probably also due to the challenge of reaching it). But, Nilsson continues in his on-camera confession, “some time ago I got out of bed and, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel the thrill of going to work. I began to understand that the end had come for Faviken.”
The end of Fäviken
And, he continues, “I didn’t want to offer a fake experience, to do something that wasn’t up to what I did for the past 11 years“. Not a sudden decision, and in fact considered to avoid inconvenience to the team that was the engine of Fäviken – “I gave them time to find other options” – but also to avoid the last table booking (and this is not good news for those who hoped to get one at the last minute): “I didn’t want people to come only after knowing that we would close forever. This is why I waited to announce the closure until I had the guarantee of having “sold” all the available seats on the reservations book“.
The last months
Thus began the last six months of Fäviken, which will close at the end of December 2019, before the farewell: “I want these to be the best six months ever, working as if everything were normal“. Plans for the future? In 2018 Nilsson––who is also the star of an episode of the Chef’s Table series––launched a series of collateral projects based on a more informal approach, for all hours of the day.
The other projects
It’s hard to think that the experience can continue beyond the restaurant (but the sale of cured meats and the Undersaker store will remain open). And besides, the chef’s conclusions are clear: “I have no other plans in mind. “When I am done here I am going to spend time with my family, reflect, fish, garden, write, rest and get fit, both physically and mentally. I am not going to lie, I am a little bit tired.” This reflection once again raises the question of the need to rethink the tight rhythms of kitchens, a position that chefs are increasingly adopting.
While for Magnus the words of esteem of René Redzepi already arrived, saddened by the closure of Faviken, “one of the most memorable meals ever“: “Good luck Magnus! We look forward to knowing what will happen next.” An expectation shared by many.