When I met with internationally acclaimed Swedish chef chef Magnus Nilsson in Melbourne recently, the thing that struck me most about him - aside from his lanky death metal locks - was his humble modesty and sense of ease.
This stuff is pretty tough to come by with folks operating at the pointy end of the industry like Nilsson is. Heck, when your restaurant is widely considered among the best in the world and you're being featured for a Netflix doco it's almost your duty to have a raging ego and weird social energy. Not so with Nilsson. He was a genuinely friendly dude.
Touring Australia recently to promote his new book The Nordic Cook Book (Phaidon Press), Nilsson sat down with me to talk through his process for approaching the project. Along the way I learnt that there’s way more to Nordic cuisine than NOMA, fermented shark, and IKEA meatballs.
A whole three years (and countless home-cooked meals in tiny Nordic villages) in the making, the book uncovers the little-known, varied food traditions of this isolated part of the world. It makes an excellent introduction to seasonal Nordic cuisine and will have you gravlaxing like a viking in no time.
The Nordic Cook Book is on sale now through Phaidon Press.