Acclaimed chef Magnus Nilsson is leaving his renowned restaurant Fäviken Magasinet. The two-Michelin starred restaurant, located in remote Järpen, Sweden, will serve its last 30-course meal on December 14.
Nilsson opened Fäviken in 2008 on a Swedish estate with the goal of focusing on local produce and seasonality. “I thought that in order to have someone travel that distance, it needed to be very high quality. I also thought that it couldn’t be too big, since you need to be able to fill it,” he told Eater in 2012. “Then, we wanted to use as much as possible of the products that were already being produced on the estate.”
In the years since, the 28-seat restaurant has earned recognition as one of the world’s best and most ambitious and is considered a top destination for fine-dining trophy hunters. Nilsson secured international fame with appearances on both Chef’s Table and The Mind of a Chef. While he doesn’t own the restaurant, owners Patrik and Ann-Charlotte Brummer have decided that without Nilsson, there is no Fäviken.
The decision to leave is Nilsson’s entirely. “I’m not leaving because I’m discontent with the restaurant. I’m just leaving because I’m done with it. Because I want to do other things,” Nilsson told the LA Times. It’s a common refrain for chefs at the world’s most demanding fine-dining restaurants, but unlike some others, Nilsson doesn’t have a next project lined up. In an email to Fäviken’s mailing list, he says he plans to “spend time with my family, reflect, fish, garden, write, rest and get fit, both physically and mentally.” He adds, “ I am not going to lie, I am a little bit tired after all this time pushing the development of the restaurant forward.”
The restaurant is fully booked for the rest of the year, and Nilsson intentionally made the announcement after filling up reservations to avoid an influx of diners coming primarily to mourn the restaurant’s end. Aside from the interview in the LA Times, Nilsson is done talking about it. In the email, Nilsson writes, “I want to spend my last half-year at Fäviken enjoying my work in the restaurant, not talking about what has been and what is to come.”
Nilsson calls the move a “very selfish decision,” and with the restaurant’s closure the 40-person staff will also be moving on. The employees are as much a part of Fäviken’s story as Nilsson; in the restaurant’s early years, staffers were given 20 weeks off to explore other projects, and in more recent years, the Fäviken team has run seasonal pop-ups to showcase staff talent. As Fäviken ends its tenure, there’s no doubt more to come from the entire restaurant team.