/ Written by Grace Fitzgerald

Spotlight on Sweden

Inspiring stories based on vision, hard work and perseverance at The World Food Travel Summit, Gothenburg. DAY 2. Talks. 24/9/2013

by Grace Fitzgerald

Way out there

A vegetarian, eco-freindly music festival? That what Fredrik Holmstedt and partners set out to do with the idea to ‘give them what they don’t know they want’. This translated into a sustainability geared music, art, film and food festival called Way out West (going on 7 years now).  Held in the Gothenburg city park and city venues the second weekend of August every year, it attracts 30,000 people per day over its three days. But this festival really is different.  It’s vegetarian, enviromentally freindly, and it’s based on their passions—not a financial model. Values first.

Never in a million years 







A Swedish whisky. A crazy idea? That’s what people said to Magnus Dandanell when he got the idea to make whisky—in Sweden. He explained the concerns; “We do not have hundreds of years of experience. Like the Scots and Irish. And legislation is not the easiest in Sweden if you want  to start alcohol companies in Sweden. We cannot sell to anoyone else than government monopoly. Nor advertise”.

But regardless, Magnus went to Scotland to check out the distilleries. And noted the public welcome and tour aspects of distilleries there. This he could do in Sweden. Bring people into the distillery. A tour. Advertising by another name. That was allowed in Sweden. And so Magnus went forth, championing his idea. He found a distillery named Mackmyra and set off making whisky. And now? Sweden has its first Mackmyra single malt.


And now for something totally different …

Magnus Nilsson. Living his dream. The famed renegade 28-year old Swedish chef from the back and beyonds did not let a lack of surrounding population and access to the usual restaurant ingredients stop him. In fact, he embraced reality, and dedicated his kitchen to sourcing authentic and local raw produce and ingredients, even if he had to go out there and shoot it himself. He foraged from farm, forest, lake and land. And it worked.

Now there are people flying in on jet planes from all continients to eat dinner before flying off again. His restaurant named ‘Fäviken’ opens only 4 days a week, has 14 seats, and uses only local ingredients. Magnus is now working on a book about Nordic Food. His mission? To showcase that Nordic food is not just one package; that there is a large diverstiy and variety within Nordic food. Go Magnus.

Final words?

Three visions, three goals, and three inspiring stories— involving dedicated vision, hard work and perseverance. Not rocket science.  Don’t give up hope. Just go for it.


/ Written by Jenny Jonevret

Culinary Academy in WestSweden Gothenburg 2015

Crayfish - Photo Lisa Nestorson
West Sweden is famed for its wide variety of top-quality, natural, organic produce. The forests of inland Dalsland provide an impressive range of game, berries, mushrooms and fresh fish, while the countryside bordering the Göta Canal is teeming with farm shops selling locally produced fine cheeses, high-quality dairy products, beer and schnapps. Fertile farmland makes the region ideal for growing crops and raising livestock on sustainable and traditional organic lines. Unique culinary highlights include wild garlic in the spring in Kinnekulle, exclusive roe from Lake Vänern in the autumn and fresh seafood all year round. In the cold, clean and mineral-rich water of Sweden’s West coast, shellfish grow more slowly, developing a fuller flavour, which makes these North Sea shellfish some of the best in the world. Visitors can treat themselves to lobster, mussels, oysters, crayfish and prawns, and learn how to catch and cook them on a unique seafood safari.

The region’s capital city, Gothenburg’s coastal location means easy access to fish and shellfish that stand out on quality and flavour. Add an authentic coffee shop culture that prides itself on its cakes and pastries, and Gothenburg is a food lover’s paradise. The city’s chefs work with local produce and seasonal food, preferably organic. Their modern approach to cuisine rests on Swedish traditions combined with new flavours and ideas drawn from all over the world. Today six restaurants in Gothenburg – 28+, Bhoga, Koka, Sjömagasinet, SK Mat & Människor and Thörnströms Kök – have been awarded a Michelin star. But if you’re looking for fabulous food, there’s far more to Gothenburg than that. Gothenburg was named Sweden’s Food Capital in 2012, with the jury citing the vast array of food the city has to offer, its abundance of local produce and high-quality restaurants, not to mention the fact that the food served in schools and hospitals is nutritious as well as sustainably sourced.

Read more
/ Written by Grace Fitzgerald

If you build it, they will come

photocred: Fia Gulliksson, Food in Action

There’s no beating about the bush with Swedish Fia Gulliksson of Östersund—a woman on a mission. She is all about three things; people, passion and produce. She tells us how she brought Östersund, her regional area of Sweden, to international acclaim through sheer will and determination.

Read more