|Hedonism Arrives On Chiswick High Road
Food writer Mikael Jonsson swaps keyboard for kitchen to become restaurateur and chef
Setting his sights on the highest point of French gastronomy, food writer Mikael Jonsson is swapping keyboard for kitchen to become a restaurant owner and chef.
Transforming the former Ochre site into a fine dining establishment, Mikael wasn't bothered about location; it was the vision of what he could do with the interior that convinced him to take on the restaurant and create Hedone (from Greek word meaning pleasure, and is root of the English word hedonism).
“I have always had an obsession in produce and produce quality and still never stop turning any stones in my search for understanding the various produce our planet has to offer and how to let them shine in different ways,” says Mikael.
“According to my mother this obsessive food interest started about the same time as I could walk. I started cooking very early in life and cooked dinners in people’s homes when I was a young teenager. Obviously destined to become a chef, I did some basic training in professional kitchens but due to allergy I had to give up plans to work professionally as a chef. I was fortunate enough to at an early age be intoxicated by haute cuisine and have for a long time studied fine dining at various dining temples.
“I like to eat most great produce the planet has to offer but I am especially fond of gamberis from San Remo, tuna belly, sea urchins, Gaulois chicken, telinnes from Camargue, Chianina, Salers and Simmental beef, pré-salé lamb, Pauillac lamb, black and white truffles, courgettes nicois, asparagus from Vaucluse and Valbenga, morels and ceps. I like to drink wine from Burgundy and I will never say no to a well matured cheese.”
Mikael has been keeping a blog about the stresses and strains of opening his restaurant. Last week he wrote, “The refurbishment of the place is progressing nicely even if the space now looks like a space in shell condition. A lot of things will happen this week. New floor in the dining and in the kitchen room will be fitted. The tiles to the kitchen arrived the other day. Not totally sure how it will look when they are on the walls. I have not seen a kitchen with the same color. Most things are ordered, except for the glazed partitions for the basement and the new awnings.
“And all the small stuff remains to be ordered. Oh, and the lights to go above the staircase. I got nosebleed when I got a quote on the solution our designer suggested. I am having nightmares that the furniture will not arrive, that the truck with the furniture will be in an accident and the load is destroyed in a fire.”
Hedone is set to open in July 2011.
June 16, 2011