Hedone, Mikael Jonsson’s game-changing Michelin-starred Chiswick restaurant, has closed. The former gastrotourist and food blogger opened the restaurant — which earned significant acclaim in the tick-box-travel communities of Michelin and World’s 50 Best — in 2011, and has been forced to call it a day after eight years. It has held its Michelin star since 2012.
Big Hospitality reports today that Jonsson’s cites the psychological and physical toll the business has had on he and his business partner wife, Aurelie Jean-Marie-Flore, in recent years.
Last year, Eater learned that Jonsson was planning to scale back the number of shifts he was running, and for the full service tasting menu to take place only twice a month for international customers; indeed plans to make the restaurant less formal were underway when it announced a new brunch burger, and menu, in March this year.
Jonsson, for a long time considered the most accomplished baker among London chefs, has enjoyed growth in that department in the past 18 months. As well as providing his famous white and brown sourdough, the Hedone bakery brand has branched out into viennoiserie and patisserie, expanding its operations to a larger site in Vauxhall and opening a dedicated retail bakery out of Dynamic Vines at Spa Terminus at the weekend.
Hedone, as one of the original 38 essential restaurants, came with the following blurb:
Chef-owner Mikael Jonsson used to be a food blogger — the kind that travelled the world in that faintly deranged but fascinatingly obsessive quest to find out what can be better than the best. He opened Hedone in the affluent Chiswick neighbourhood in 2011, having learnt all he knew from eating at the world’s ‘best’ restaurants. It’s not an exaggeration to say that his own restaurant now belongs in that select group. Jonsson is as mercurial as he is talented; his tasting menus can be staggeringly accomplished — steak tartare aux frites reimagined as raw deer, potato ice-cream and Oscietra caviar.
In recent months and years, the restaurant did not necessarily carry the same precision, brilliance, nor novelty when it came to such a rarefied obsession with provenance. Others had caught up. Indeed, the restaurant and its singular identity was so reliant on Jonsson himself, who had, he told Big Hospitality, “the last year or so has been disastrous financially...the margin has been OK. The problem is the number of covers. We’re not the only ones.”