The Mind of a Chef. What goes on in there anyways? Chefs are hardworking, creative people and one can only assume it takes a little bit of crazy and a lot of passion to do what most of them do. Anthony Bourdain has created a PBS series that at least gives us a glimpse.
The Mind of a Chef premiered in 2012 and the past two seasons have featured David Chang (Momofuku, Ssam Bar), April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin) and Sean Brock (McCrady’s, Husk). The focus of each episode is very different: from following David Chang around North Carolina, Texas and Kansas City eating BBQ or hanging out with world-renowned chef Rene Redzepi (Noma) to talking about heirloom corn, beans and rice with Sean Brock or returning to April Bloomfield’s British-roots with a trip to London. They’re entertaining, casual and very realistic; it feels like you’re right there, hanging out with some of the best chefs in the world.
For the first 8 episodes of Season 3, which kicked off on September 6, 2014 Mind of a Chef follows Edward Lee, Korean-American chef who owns 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY. Episode 9 “Winter” takes us to the snow-covered land of Jarpen, Sweden with Chef Magnus Nilsson of Faviken. Magnus Nilsson is a chef that other chefs geek out over. His tiny 16 seat restaurant is on a 20,000 acre estate 750 miles north of Stockholm and lays claim to being among the most isolated restaurants on the planet. Now 30 years old, Magnus Nilsson started at the Faviken estate in 2008. By 2012 he had published his first cookbook with Phaidon and was ranked 34 on the San Pellegrino’s World’s Best 50 Restaurants list (Note: Faviken is now ranked 16). The majority of the products he serves are from the surrounding land and waters, including fish he personally catches from a pond on the property.
“By analyzing what you have in front of yourself and what you perceive, you can tell quite a lot about how it’s made. But for me, in the creative process, it’s also very important to be able to describe how something is going to be, to anticipate the future.” – Chef Magnus Nilsson
The Mind of a Chef episode “Winter”, emphasizes Magnus’ art (and necessity) of knowing his ingredients extremely well and preserving everything possible to get through the the harshest of the seasons. He is soft-spoken and extremely eloquent as he takes us through his root cellar full of stored vegetables and preserves, then prepares fresh-caught mahogany clams served with custard, malted cabbage, rowan berries and roseship. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with this guy?
Check out the Season 3 preview below (or even the full version of Episode 9, if you’ve got the extra 23 minutes!) and be sure to tune into PBS to catch the next episode Saturday, November 15.
Each season of Mind of a Chef is also available to purchase on iTunes.