FAVA few years ago I had the great opportunity to visit Stockholm on a business trip. Although it was the beginning of winter and the daylight hours were unbelievably few, I had a great time exploring the city.

I also had the great fortune of being hosted by locals who made sure I got a “taste” of Sweden, which as I recall was a lot of fish (sadly not the candy kind and often uncooked), beets (like beet salad and beet-flavored dishes like beet gnocchi), and reindeer tartar (don’t ask). I am game for anything so I was a good sport and tried it all but it was not a good mix for my palate. I confided this to one of my Swedish colleagues on the last day of my visit and asked where all the “Swedish meatballs” were. That evening I was treated to one of the best meals I ever had a great restaurant that, um, caters to a special kind of traveler. So much for “when in Sweden…” Hey I love IKEA.

Anyway, this all brings me to today’s read, Faviken by Swedish chef by Magnus Nilsson. All Muppet jokes aside, Chef Nilsson has produced a book that celebrates the local flavors of Sweden and presents some great dishes that makes me want to go back to Stockholm and forget the meatballs.

About Faviken by Magnus Nilsson: Faviken is the first major cookbook by Magnus Nilsson, the 28-year old chef whose restaurant is located on a 20,000 acre farm and hunting estate in Northern Sweden. It has recently been called ‘the most daring restaurant in the world’ by Bon Appetit. In Faviken, Nilsson writes about how he only cooks with ingredients that are raised, farmed and hunted in the immediate vicinity of his remote restaurant. The food served at Faviken – from the dairy to the meat to the vegetables – is harvested, butchered and preserved by hand using the most natural and primitive methods possible, and Nilsson is in factor of simple cooking methods such as roasting over open coals. This approach results in the highly creative food and intense flavors of which, far from seeming traditional, are remarkable.”

Chef Nilsson’s book, which includes a great narrative about Swedish country cuisine and wonderful photographs, is something I wish I read before the trip I spoke about above. I could have shown up in Stockholm with a better knowledge of what was local instead of being “that guy” looking for Swedish Fish, Swedish Meatballs and asking for directions to the nearest H&M.

Faviken by Magnus Nilsson is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.