Chef Magnus Nilsson

Magnus Nilsson gives us a geography lesson

Wine+canapés+geography lesson = a great Nordic Cookbook launch at the Swedish Embassy in London last night

Never let it be said that Phaidon parties are not educational as well as good fun. In addition to a tasty array of boutique wines and Nordic-derived canapés, guests at our launch for Magnus Nilsson’s Nordic Cookbook at the Swedish Embassy last night were treated to a short but invaluable geography lesson. 

During his entertaining speech, which you can watch below, Magnus asked the assembled guests whether they knew which countries comprise the Nordic region. Few of us did, so he explained further.

“Scandinavia is just Sweden, Norway and Denmark, nothing else. And the Nordic region encompasses that but also Finland, Aland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland. But," he added, “within this region there is so much diversity.”


Magnus Nilsson Swedish Embassy

Magnus pointed out that while “The Nordic Cookbook is about food culture, the Nordic region itself is not a cultural region, it’s a geographical construction.”

And in the video, Magnus speaks a little about his ideas for The Nordic Cookbook. “It felt to me that it shouldn’t be a romanticized, fairy tale version of Nordic cooking. You need to have the history because without that it’s hard to understand what we eat today. All of these things shaped how food has developed through the ages.” As he says, in the course of his research for the book he discovered that even he knew very little about the region.  

While the video is a bit dark Magnus’s speech is enlightening, we think you’ll agree. Watch it then head into the store to check out The Nordic Cookbook


One of Magnus Nilsson's photographs for The Nordic Cookbook
One of Magnus Nilsson's photographs for The Nordic Cookbook