Not all cookbooks are created equally.
Some have a more practical application, describing techniques and recipes effortlessly replicated by the novice home cook.
One could easily crack open one of these tomes and, after a trip to the grocery store, throw together something delicious.
Then, there are cookbooks that bear a closer resemblance to works of somewhat inconceivable, abstract art than a cooking manual.
Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson’s “Fäviken” is certainly the latter.
Nilsson, a master forager, hunter and owner of the 14-seat Fäviken restaurant in northern Sweden, is generally regarded as one of the world’s most daring, imaginative and innovative chefs.
This book makes it easy to understand why.
“Fäviken” is crammed with gorgeous food concocted from recipes requiring absurd and obscure ingredients such as fresh cow hearts, marigold petals, fermented peas, birch syrup and moose-meat powder.
Even a brief skim of this book makes one thing unmistakably clear: You’re not making this food.
But, the culinary world needs books like “Fäviken” to up the ante and fill chefs who see these recipes and read Nilsson’s approach to cooking with jealously and awe.
This book is truly joyous, a glimpse into the mind of a genius.