In case I’m not actually the last one to know this: There’s a Nordic angle on the PBS series The Mind of a Chef. I’m a foodie and a fan of Anthony Bourdain enterprises in general, so I’ve been meaning to catch up on the whole Mind of a Chef series— even halted Bob just last week when he started to watch it without me. I had a few knitting/sewing friends visiting last weekend, and over dinner on Sunday Kate happened to mention there was an episode shot in the Faroe Islands, land of some of the most striking sweaters known to mankind. So of course we all curled up in my living room with our knitting and called it up on Netflix.
The second half of Season 3 focuses on Magnus Nilsson, head chef of the tiny, hyperlocal Swedish restaurant Fäviken and a student of Nordic culture. In Episode 15: Documentation, Nilsson dons his Faroese sweater (worn in multiple eps) and travels around with sweater-clad members of the family that inhabits the tiny island in question — collecting birds’ eggs from insanely steep hillside roosts and tasting air-cured meats, while the camera takes in breathtaking shots of the island and its beautiful sheep, from which the family’s livelihood derives. Sadly, they never actually mention the sweaters, but they’re front and center regardless.
Until I sat down to work on this post, I hadn’t put together that Nilsson is also the author of The Nordic Cookbook, which Nordic-curious knitters have been drooling over since its release last year. I ran across this talk he gave at Google, wherein he discusses the geology and ethnology of Scandinavia and the larger Nordic region with regard to food/culture. The footage of him standing in front of a projection screen in a Google meeting room obviously can’t compete with the vistas on Mind of a Chef, but if you’re interested in Nordic culture, both are worth your knitting-while-viewing time.
For more on Faroese sweaters and a great pattern source, see: New Favorites: Faroese colorwork