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  • Fjord, Faroe Islands, Magnus Nilsson,  April 2013
    Apr 08, 2016

Magnus Nilsson’s Nordic: A Photographic Essay of Landscapes, Food and People

MINNEAPOLIS, MN Magnus Nilsson’s Nordic:  A Photographic Essay of Landscapes, Food and People is a traveling exhibition on view June 2-August 14, 2016, at the American Swedish Institute (ASI) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Nordic features photographs by celebrity Swedish chef and cookbook author MagnusNilsson in his first-ever Twin Cities appearance and international debut as a visual artist and storyteller.  Nilsson infuses his images with the same passion and personality that permeates his cooking.  The exhibition is produced by the ASI, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, with additional stops including the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle.

Nilsson launches the Nordic exhibition in person June 1-4 with a full plate of activities including ASI’s Craft-Sprit Tasting Party and Exhibition Preview,  a Nordic Heirloom Recipe Exchange, a sumptuous Night at the Chef’s Table courtyard feast and a Nilsson book signing.  Tickets are on sale now. To find out more and purchase, visit or call 612-871-4907.

The Nordic exhibition highlights original, place-based photographs that Nilsson captured of the people he met and the restaurants, private kitchens and remote landscapes he explored during three years researching his best-selling text The Nordic Cookbook (Phaidon Press, 2015). While seeking an expanded definition of today’s Nordic cuisine, Nilsson gathered more than 700 indigenous recipes from home cooks throughout Sweden, Denmark, The Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland and Norway.

Nilsson sought to unravel the mysteries of Nordic food, culture, history and cooking, often sleeping on sofas or in tents for a more authentic experience.  Along the way, he shot some 8,000 photographs. The exhibition and an accompanying catalog showcase selected images and invite viewers to discover food as a universal touchpoint sharing heritage across boundaries and time.

As Nilsson describes his journey, “I decided to explore how similar our Nordic cultures really are, but also how they differ, how everything is tied together by our mutual history and our present culture and how it can all be tracked through the food we eat. Food is an undeniable and unavoidable marker of culture and society.”

Nilsson is a rising culinary and artistic star whose Fäviken restaurant just received two 2016 Michelin stars and is regularly listed among the world’s best restaurants. In 2015, he earned the White Guide Global Gastronomy Award.  A popular television personality, he is recognized through appearances in the Emmy Award-winning PBS series The Mind of a Chef and the Netflix docu-series, Chef’s Table. He was also featured in the February 2016 issue of Food and Wine Magazine

 A parallel display at ASI will show photographs by Minnesota-based photographer Cameron Wittig taken of Nilsson’s Fäviken restaurant, kitchen and the workings of a chef, beautifully annotated in essays by Swedish journalist Po Tidholm.

MAGNUS NILSSON is the head chef of Fäviken Magasinet restaurant in Sweden and author of the cookbooks Fäviken and The Nordic Cookbook (Phaidon, 2012/2015). After training as a chef and sommelier in Sweden, he worked with Pascal Barbot of L’Astrance in Paris before joining Fäviken as a sommelier. Within a year, he had taken over running of the restaurant. Fäviken just earned two 2016 Nordic Michelin stars and is ranked in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.  Nilsson is featured in the Emmy Award-winning US PBS-TV series, Mind of a Chef, and the Netflix documentary series, Chef’s Table. In 2015, Magnus Nilsson was awarded the White Guide Global Gastronomy Award.

OPENING WEEK EVENTS – Celebrating Magnus Nilsson

In his first-ever Minneapolis appearance, Chef Magnus Nilsson arrives in person to debut his work as a photographer in “Nordic:  A Photographic Essay of Landscapes, Food and People.” The 30-piece, large-format exhibition of photographs runs June 2-August 14, 2016 at the American Swedish Institute’s Osher Gallery and Turnblad Mansion Galleries.  Related activities, tours and workshops will continue throughout the exhibition.

Wednesday,  June 1, 2016

Craft-Sprit Beer & Spirits Tasting Party, Exhibition Preview

7-10 p.m.  ASI Courtyard/FIKA.

Featuring handcrafted sprit/libation samples by regional distilleries: Far North Spirits, Du Nord Craft Spirits and Gamle Ode; and local beer samples by Indeed Brewing Company, Fulton Brewery and Fair State Brewing Cooperative. Welcome remarks by Magnus Nilsson.Greenwood carving demos.Live music by Minnesota artist Ben Weaver, and other activities.  Tickets: members $30, Non-members $35

Friday, June 3

Nordic Heirloom Recipe Exchange.

 2 – 3 p.m.  Bring your recipes to share! Moderated by Richard Tellström, Food Historian at Stockholm University, who wrote the introduction about the origins of Nordic cooking in The Nordic Cook Book.  Opening remarks by Magnus Nilsson.  ASI Paulson Hall Tickets: Members $12, Non-members $15

Exclusive Exhibition Tour — Focus on Photography with Magnus Nilsson SOLD OUT

10-11 a.m. and 5–6 p.m. tours with Nilsson and moderator Leslie Hammons, Director of the Weinstein Gallery are sold out. Tickets: members $30; non-members $35.  Regular exhibition tours will also be offered throughout the run at 11 a.m. every Wednesday and Sunday.

A Night at the Chef’s Table

6:30 – 10 p.m.  Distinctive menu and libations curated by FIKA chef John Krattenmaker with special guest chefs Tim McKee of Libertine, Ryan Cook of Sea Change, Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa, and Jim Christiansen of Heyday, Magnus Nilsson - special remarks. ASI Courtyard.

Tickets: members $185; non-members $200 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Magnus Nilsson Book Signing – Exhibition Catalogue and The Nordic Cookbook

10 – 11 a.m.  Magnus Nilsson talks about his work and the cookbook project and questions moderated by Lee Svitak Dean, Taste Editor, Star Tribune.  ASI Larson Hall.  Tickets: Members $12, Non-members $15.  Presented with support by Star Tribune and Phaidon Press.


Nordic Specialty Cocktail Tours

June 10, 30; July 7, 15 and 24; August 5. All scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m.

These exclusive Cocktail Tours are paired with three distinctly Nordic cocktails and light-bite appetizers from FIKA. While touring Magnus Nilsson’s Nordic: A Photographic Essay of Landscapes, Food and People, partake in fun conversations about photography, culture and Nordic culinary traditions. Tour topics including Skål with Style (June 10), Nordic Comfort Food (June 30), Nordic Food Preservation (July 7), Tools of the Trade (July 15), Seafarers (July 24) and Skål with Style (August 5). Tickets: $50 member/$55 non-members. Limited to 26 people per tour.

 Adult Slöjd (Craft)Workshops

Wednesday, June 8 and June 15,  6:30-8 p.m.(Class offered on both dates)

Workshop — Fly Tying 101 with Catch & Release Trout School

Learn the secrets of a great fly tyer!  Hands-on, step-by-step techniques to craft three to five basic fly patterns are taught by instructor Jay VerHelst. Members: $45 members/$55 non-members; $10 Materials

Youth and Family Summer Day Camps—–Nordic Cooking and Culture

Thursdays: July 14, 28 and August 11. All scheduled for 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

With Magnus Nilsson as inspiration, the youthful set (suggested for grades 1-5) gets cooking in ASI’s Summer Day Camps, the only program of its kind in a castle! Explore Nordic culture through hands-on food preparation, story-telling, art and imaginative play. $50 per child, per session.

Nordic Table Classes

Wednesday, June 15 and July 1, 6–8:30 p.m.(Class offered on both dates)

The Modern Nordic Supper — More than Meatballs

Inspired by Chef Nilsson’s The Nordic Cookbook, create custom versions of taco paj, Biff à la Lindström, Flying Jacob, strawberry dessert and condiments such as juniper salt with caraway. Led by Instructor Patrice Johnson, $65 members/$75 non-members. Price includes one drink from FIKA.

 THE AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE (ASI) is a vibrant arts and cultural organization, museum, and historic home located at 2600 Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis.  ASI serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden.  In 2013, the Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.”

 ASI Museum Hours:  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Noon-5 p.m.; Wednesday, Noon-8 p.m.; Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday. Noon-5 p.m., closed Monday. Museum Admission: $9 adults, $7 ages 62 +, $5  ages 6-18 and full-time students with ID. Free for ASI members and kids ages 5 and under.

 FIKA, ASI’s award winning café, is open until 5 p.m.  The ASI Museum Store is open until 5 p.m., except for Wednesday when both remain open until 8 p.m. Purchases can also be made through  For more information, visit ASImn.orgorcall 612-871-4907.


The Nordic exhibition project was produced by the American Swedish Institute of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with support from Anne Ray Charitable Trust, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Karin L. Larson, and ASI contributing members and donors.

The exhibition catalogue was supported by a generous gift from Chuck and Jill Koosmann. 

Lead sponsors include Delta Air Lines and Phaidon Press. 

The Print Media Sponsor is the Star Tribune. The Hotel Sponsor is Radisson Blu Minneapolis and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group



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