Thursday, 4 April 2013

two restaurants, two cookbooks

On my wish list: The Ethicurean: Recipes from a Walled Garden (due to be published in May) and Fäviken. Both books provide an insight into remarkable restaurants: The Ethicurean in the west of England and Fäviken Magasinet in Sweden.

In 2010 four friends set up The Ethicurean restaurant in an enchanting Victorian walled garden in the Mendip Hills, just outside Bristol. The ethos of the restaurant is a focus on seasonality, ethical sourcing of ingredients and attention to the local environment. In just two years, this inspiring restaurant has been awarded both the Observer Food Monthly Best Ethical Restaurant 2011 and a Michelin Bib Gourmand 2013. The Ethicurean Cookbook is a beautiful book that follows the Ethicurean team over the course of a year in their quest for innovative dishes, seasonality and freshness of ingredients. (Taken from The Ethicurean's blog. Read more about the book here.)

Magnus Nilsson has been refining his seasonal food since November 2008 and his restaurant, Fäviken Magasinet, is becoming legendary among globe-trotting diners. Guests make the trek to its location on a hunting estate 750km north of Stockholm, curious about cod served with ‘the first foraged vegetables of the year’ and diced cow’s heart with marrowbone – extracted at the table by chefs armed with a saw.

Both restaurants, though hundreds of miles apart, seem to share values - a deep understanding of and appreciation for seasonality and the best, freshest ingredients. I'm yet to visit either restaurant (the cookbooks will have to suffice for now), but I'm imagining a journey down to Bristol might be a little more manageable versus a trek through the rolling mountains of northern Sweden (more's the pity).

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