The Grand Gelinaz Shuffle 2015 A Special Event at Fäviken Magasinet

It was an evening in May that my friend André Blomberg-Nygård called me and gave me an hour to decide whether or not I wanted to travel to Fäviken Magasinet in Järpen deep in the Swedish woods. I had wanted to visit Fäviken for a long time already. In fact I had already bought tickets for an evening in November this year. However, this was a special event, André told me. The Grand Gelinaz Shuffle on the 9th of July! The tickets would disappear in no time.

Fäviken Magasinet
Fäviken Magasinet

The Grand Gelinaz Shuffle is a once-a-year event where 37 of the best chefs in the world swap lives and restaurants for one day. In Scandinavia the restaurants Noma in Copenhagen, Henne Kirkeby Kro, Spritmuseum in Stockholm and Fäviken Magasinet took part. As a guest you wouldn’t know who would serve you the meal until you sat at the table. The chefs were flown in just a few days before the event.

Fäviken Grand Gelinaz ShuffleUnfortunately, André had to cancel last minute, and I had to find a replacement. I announced on my Instagram that I needed company for the trip, and before I knew it I had Andreas Viestad calling me. I had never met or talked with Andreas before, but we decided to travel to Fäviken together.

Magnus' coat hangs in the entrance hall
Magnus’ coat hangs in the entrance hall

Fäviken Magasinet is situated in the middle of nowhere in Northern Sweden. The head chef is Magnus Nilsson, a young Swede who grew up in this area, moved to Paris to work in the top gourmet restaurants L’Astrance and L’Arpège and later came back. Today, his restaurant is ranked no. 25 on the World’s 50 Best-list and last year it was no. 19. A remarkable achievement!

Fäviken Grand Gelinaz ShuffleTo get to Fäviken from Oslo we had to fly to Trondheim, rent a car there and drive another 2,5 hours into the forest. We arrived late afternoon, about 1,5 hours before our meal would commence. It was raining slightly, the wind was blowing and the air was cold. Yet, when I stepped into the entrance hall and felt the warmth from the fireplace wrap it’s arms around me, I’ve never felt so at home anywhere. The smell from the kitchen filled my nostrils and reminded me of the evening we had in front of us.

Fäviken Grand Gelinaz ShuffleObviously, unless you live in this area, you have to spend the night at Fäviken as well. We had booked one of their 8 two-man rooms. Our host followed us out of the main entrance hall, across the lawn and into the accommodation premises where we were shown our room as well as the sauna! Andreas wanted a quick nap, but I could not let the chance of a warm spa experience pass out here in the middle of the chilly Swedish nothingness.

This is what awaits you in the sauna. Complimentary wine, pickled vegetables, and dried meat sausages. Wow!
This is what awaits you in the sauna. Complimentary wine, pickled vegetables, and dried meat sausages. Wow!

We had wondered a lot about who we would get as our chef this evening. Would it be the French masterchef Alain Ducasse? René Redzepi from Noma? Or perhaps Danny Bowien from Mission Chinese Food in New York? The latest rumors, based on an Instagram photo posted by the Gelinaz account, suggested it would be Inaki Aizpitarte from Le Chateaubriand in Paris.

A selection of dried local ingredients foraged in the surrounding area
A selection of dried local ingredients foraged in the surrounding area

After a few glasses of Champagne and white wine in the sauna, I headed for the bar where we were served a welcome drink. More champagne. Finally, we were about to find out who our chef this night would be. The menu of the evening lay on the tables. It was not Inaki – the Gelinaz shuffle had played tricks on us. Instead, it was an Italian chef called Riccardo Camanini from the one-Michelin-star restaurant Lido 84 located near the Garda lake.

Chef Riccardo Camanini presents himself and the Gelinaz menu
Chef Riccardo Camanini presents himself and the Gelinaz menu
We had the pleasure of sharing a table with the couple who runs Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik and supplies ham and meat to the restaurant
We had the pleasure of sharing a table with the couple who runs Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik and supplies ham and meat to the restaurant
Proper Italian Grissini breadsticks. Andreas was not going to wait for a picture to enjoy these!
Proper Italian Grissini breadsticks. Andreas was not going to wait for a picture to enjoy these!
Two types of local charcuteries and focaccia. The hams were so full of flavor, and so juicy and fresh at the same time.
Two types of local charcuteries and focaccia. The hams were so full of flavor, and so juicy and fresh at the same time.
Wet bread and blue shell mussels. The bread was most likely wetted in mussel broth and olive oil. Decorated with wood sorrels and chive blossoms
Wet bread and blue shell mussels. The bread was most likely wetted in mussel broth and olive oil. Decorated with wood sorrels and chive blossoms
2008 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires Blanc. All the wines we got throughout the meal were of really high quality! Just to my taste as well.
2008 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires Blanc. All the wines we got throughout the meal were of really high quality! Just to my taste as well.
Smoked trout with a green apple cream made to look like wasabi. Riccardo had caught the fish himself the day before. The cream was kinda dull in flavor.
Smoked trout with a green apple cream made to look like wasabi. Riccardo had caught the fish himself the day before. The cream was kinda dull in flavor.
Pouring the 2010 Domaine Guiberteau, Saumur Blanc, Clos des Carmes
Pouring the 2010 Domaine Guiberteau, Saumur Blanc, Clos des Carmes
The scallops serving is a signature dish of Magnus Nilsson. We were excited to see what Riccardo had decided to do with it.
The scallops serving is a signature dish of Magnus Nilsson. We were excited to see what Riccardo had decided to do with it.
Scallops with a broth of pork cheeks and pine sprouts on top. Tasty, but mostly because of the fresh scallop.
Scallops with a broth of pork cheeks and pine sprouts on top. Tasty, but mostly because of the fresh scallop.
Pilsner from Åre Bryggcompagni
Pilsner from Åre Bryggcompagni
A bonus dish! Spaghetti with pasta water, butter and dried yeast. Now we're talking...
A bonus dish! Spaghetti with pasta water, butter and dried yeast. Now we’re talking…
King crab and a peanut sauce with orange. A bit like an Asian satay sauce. Not a very good combination in my opinion, and neither very Scandinavian nor Italian...
King crab and a peanut sauce with orange. A bit like an Asian satay sauce. Not a very good combination in my opinion, and neither very Scandinavian nor Italian…
A Barley risotto with charcoal dust, black fermented garlic and blackberry sauce. The Scandinavian twist on risotto is fun, but not very new, and this dish lacked some flavor.
A Barley risotto with charcoal dust, black fermented garlic and blackberry sauce. The Scandinavian twist on risotto is fun, but not very new, and this dish lacked some flavor.
Pork belly with herring juice, dried chicken liver and a flax seed bread with vinegar. The plate was brushed with the herring juice, and the smell really confused you when you saw a piece of pork on the plate. This reminded Andreas of how pork meat used to smell when you prepared it back in the days, because the pigs were fed with feed that had a lot of fish fat in it
Pork belly with herring juice, dried chicken liver and a flax seed bread with vinegar. The plate was brushed with the herring juice, and the smell really confused you when you saw a piece of pork on the plate. This reminded Andreas of how pork meat used to smell when you prepared it back in the days, because the pigs were fed with feed that had a lot of fish fat in it
Making ice cream the proper old way! Hand churned with ice cubes in a bucket.
Making ice cream the proper old way! Hand churned with ice cubes in a bucket.
Milk and yeast. Ice cream from raw milk sprinkled with dried yeast.
Milk and yeast. Ice cream from raw milk sprinkled with dried yeast.
Riccardo plating the first dessert
Riccardo plating the first dessert
2009 Szepzy Szamorodny Tokaji to match the desserts
2009 Szepzy Szamorodny Tokaji to match the desserts
A traditional Nordic waffle served with a Mascarpone cream and cloudberries
A traditional Nordic waffle served with a Mascarpone cream and cloudberries
Rose cake served with an orange zabaglione. A classic on the Lido 84 menu
Rose cake served with an orange zabaglione. A classic on the Lido 84 menu

To be truthful we were a bit disappointed to get a chef we had never heard of. Riccardo is probably a great chef in his own restaurant, but the Gelinaz shuffle did not make his performances shine. If anything we had the feeling that we were missing out on a much better meal, had only Magnus Nilsson done his magic as usual. That is not Riccardo Camanini’s fault, though, it is rather the risk you run with the concept of shuffling chefs around. A lot of fun, and very interesting, but maybe not the best food necessarily.

Candied beet root & root vegetables in the back. Tar pastils, sunflower seed nougats, meadowsweet candy, candied Angelica root, anis pills and dried black currants.
Candied beet root & root vegetables in the back. Tar pastils, sunflower seed nougats, meadowsweet candy, candied Angelica root, anis pills and dried black currants.
The final snack... A traditional Swedish "snus". I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, or had a snus in my mouth, but I had to try it when it was served here at Fäviken.
The final snack… A traditional Swedish “snus”. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, or had a snus in my mouth, but I had to try it when it was served here at Fäviken.
Cigar and a bon fire? Ok then...
Cigar and a bon fire? Ok then…
Good night from Fäviken!
Good night from Fäviken!

The next morning we woke up to enjoy the classic Fäviken breakfast. There was no Gelinaz twist on this, luckily. I have to admit I have felt better than I did at this point. Considering the amounts of food and alcohol the previous night, combined with not too many hours of sleep, and I could still feel the aftertaste of my first experiences of both snus and cigar. All was forgotten, though, when the breakfast came to the table. The most amazing breakfast you can ever imagine.

Herb salt and caviar in the lower left. Moving counter clockwise was trout and caramelized butter. Insanely tasty! Cream cheese. Liver paté from wild birds was also extremely full of flavor. In the back is a cheese from old milking cows, which gives it a stronger flavor, smoked beef heart and smoked ham of Fäviken pork.
Herb salt and caviar in the lower left. Moving counter-clockwise was trout and caramelized butter. Insanely tasty! Cream cheese. Liver paté from wild birds was also extremely full of flavor. In the back is a cheese from old milking cows, which gives it a stronger flavor, smoked beef heart and smoked ham of Fäviken pork.
Organic eggs cooked for 6,5 minutes
Organic eggs cooked for 6,5 minutes
A porridge of barley, oats and flax seeds. It was mixed with water, left overnight and cooked for 2 hours. Just added water and salt. Topped with cloudberry jam.
A porridge of barley, oats and flax seeds. It was mixed with water, left overnight and cooked for 2 hours. Just added water and salt. Topped with cloudberry jam.
Andreas noticed that one of the kids was served milk. He just had to have a glass of unpasteurized milk himself too!
Andreas noticed that one of the kids was served milk. He just had to have a glass of unpasteurized milk himself too!
Sourdough and rye bread. The sourdough is made by Magnus in his grandmother's old kneading trough
Sourdough and rye bread. The sourdough is made by Magnus in his grandmother’s old kneading trough

Before we headed home we decided to pay a visit to Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik since we had dined with the owners and gotten their address last evening. That turned out to be just perfect as I got to purchase and bring with me some great cuts of meat to my parents where I was heading later that day.

Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik!
Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik!
Johan Jonsson from Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik, whom we dined with the night before, posing with Andreas Viestad
Johan Jonsson from Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik, whom we dined with the night before, posing with Andreas Viestad

Undersåkers Charkuteriefabrik

Undersåkers CharkuteriefabrikDid you take part in the Grand Gelinaz Shuffle anywhere in the world? Or have you eaten at Fäviken Magasinet before? What did you think? Please drop a few words below.

Anders Husa

I am Anders Husa – a foodie living in Oslo. I eat at the best restaurants in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and the major food destinations in the world. I share my foodie stories here.

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