Some may say the odds were against Mikael Jonsson when he decided to quit his day job as a lawyer and open up fine-dining restaurant Hedone in Chiswick, London.
Swedish-born Mikael Jonsson had always had a passion for gastronomy but suffered from severe allergies to seafood, gluten and raw meat. Despite training as a chef in his early career, prior to opening Hedone he had never worked in a professional kitchen.
Yet after being open only a couple of weeks, the restaurant was awarded 4 stars from Fay Maschler and 5 stars from Time Out Magazine. Critics such as AA Gill of The Sunday Star Times and Andy Hayler sang its praises, and a mere 14 months after the doors were opened Hedone was awarded a Michelin star.
Not bad for a business that was birthed out of ‘no concept’ other than to offer people good food in a relaxed environment where they could feel at home.
The food at Hedone stands out thanks to Jonsson’s extensive knowledge and sourcing of the finest ingredients. Crates of fresh produce arrive from Paris, Scotland and the south coast of England. The menu evolves as the ingredients arrive, and no two days are the same. Each ingredient on the plate is treated with reverence and allowed to display its character without complication, but this is in no way simple cooking.
Restaurant critic Andy Hayler sums up Headone as, “An exception, bringing a level of quality of ingredients pretty much unknown even in multi-starred London establishments. For this reason alone it is to me the most exciting London restaurant opening for years.”