Global Phenomenon Modernist Cuisine Has Landed Down Under

Modernist Cuisine, a team of chefs and editorial led by super food geek, author and photographer Nathan Myhrvold, has taken the culinary world by storm with three exquisite books that bring the innovation and genius of the Cooking Lab into professional and home kitchens around the world.

Broccoli Cutaway

Brocolli-credit Nathan Myhrvold/Modernist Cuisine LLC.jpg

Nathan Myhrvold, founder of The Cooking Lab, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home, and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, is renowned for routinely pushing the boundaries of culinary science as a chef, scientist, photographer, and writer. This summer, Australian fans can finally forget about hefty shipping charges and will be able to buy all three of these exquisite books on home turf,

Mark Best of of Marqe Restaurant in Sydney recently hailed The Photography of Modernist Cuisine as ‘enormous in all respects’.

Pulpo a la Gallega Opener

Octopus – credit Ryan Matthew Smith/Modernist Cuisine LLC.jpg

Nathan Myhrvold takes home cooking to new heights, revealing a world of culinary possibilities and innovation. Nathan’s favourite dishes are deconstructed and explained in a way that will fascinate, inspire and motivate the curious home cook. Readers will be inspired to experiment with showstopper techniques such as caramelizing vegetables in a pressure cooker, and slow-roasting chicken with a Peking-duck approach for crisp, almost papery skin.

Vegetable Garden_Opener

Vegetables – credit Ryan Matthew Smith/Modernist Cuisine LLC.jpg

Nathan Myhrvold has never ceased to push the boundaries of culinary science, which is the latest turn his career has taken, in addition to being an avid inventor, CEO and founder of Intellectual Ventures, and prolific author in fields of technology, palaeontology and beyond. His three books demonstrate his genius along with some of the most exquisite photography ever to be printed.

Please see the Modernist Cuisine website for more information:

For more information on Nathan and his books, please don’t hesitate to call out and ask Sarah Canet to contact you!

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Great British Bake Off – who is up for the challenge?

The Great British Bake OffJust when we thought we’d said goodbye (and dabbed our cheeks dry after that season finale), The Great British Bake Off is already on its way back into our lives. Well… it is at least if you are one of the courageous few prepared to apply as a contestant to the show’s seventh series.

The nation’s favourite BBC baking contest is returning in 2016 and the production team are currently looking for the next batch of great home bakers to take part.  If you, or someone you know, can turn out a terrific tart, produce a perfect pie or serve up a sublime sponge, then please get in touch now.

For more information or an application form, go to:

or email

… And especially given that Sarah had to make do with a Waitrose bought cake and we have another birthday in the Spoon office this week, we really do think that any keen candidates should test out their birthday cake baking skills on us as a trial run. Any takers…?

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New book by Questlove to feature Nathan Myhrvold

Neo-soul and hiphop musician as well as legendary music producer, Questlove, may not be the first person you would think of when it comes to writing about food. However, over the past few years the Roots band member has been proving himself to be a serious food enthusiast, running a chicken shop in NYC’s Chelsea Market as well as hosting so-called ‘food salons’ from his home in Lower Manhattan where prestigious chefs come in and cook for a privileged and eclectic group of guests.

Now, Questlove has announced that he will be releasing a book, ‘somethingtofoodabout: Exploring Creativity with America’s Most Innovative Chefs’, in which he will muse over the creative processes of cooking with certain experts in the industry described by Chris Crowley at Grub Street as “food world luminaries”, including Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine.

The book comes out in April 2016.

To read Grub Street’s article on the book release, click here.

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Massimo Bottura’s Praise for Pasta

After Monday’s announcement from the WHO that processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages are to be placed on the high-risk carcinogen blacklist, health kicks and clean-eating are certainly on the brain.  If, as it does for us, this comes with a dose of disappointment at the prospect of cutting out some of your favourite food treats, then don’t be disheartened quite yet.  In today’s Guardian, Massimo Bottura has done us all a favour and given us the go ahead to keep pasta (so often seen as the carbohydrate demon) firmly on our shelves.  This statement comes out of a campaign that Massimo is currently working on to encourage people to embrace Italy’s favourite staple food as part of a healthy, balanced diet.


Having started to get used to the idea of pasta as a delicious but high-calorie and non-nutritious ingredient, this news comes as a bit of surprise.  However, working alongside university experts as well as farmers and agriculturalists, Bottura has outlined the ways in which pasta can help people maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.  The chef explains that it simply comes down to serving pasta in a moderate portion and with plenty of vegetables rather than rich meat or dairy-based sauces, urging a movement towards the Mediterranean diet which characteristically turns towards fresh fruits & vegetables and olive oil and away from animal fats.  He also points out the sustainability of grains over meat, and is exploring ways of making delicious pasta with non-conventional grains such as quinoa.

© Paolo Saglia

© Paolo Saglia

To read the full article on the Guardian about Massimo’s praise for pasta, click here.

Beyond the parameters of pasta, Massimo has other exciting projects up his sleeve.  After his key involvement in the Milan EXPO this year, he will be moving on to other large-scale projects similarly focused on food sustainability and biodiversity in Italy.  This time, the chef will be working as artistic director of 20 restaurants at the Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (F.I.CO.), 80,000 square metres of markets, workshop spaces, restaurants, classrooms as well as demonstrative fields and livestock raising grounds, which is due to open in Bologna late next year or early 2017.  The initiative, which will be aimed at foreigners and locals alike to inspire and educate about Italy’s diverse food culture, is intended to “carry on the Expo’s legacy” according to Stefano Bonaccini, governor of Emilia Romagna, the region widely-renowned as Italy’s food capital and also home to Massimo Bottura’s 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, Osteria Francescana.

To read the full article about the F.I.CO. project, click here.

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The Proof is in the Eating

Not too long ago we announced on our blog that the spectacular breads from Mikael Jonsson’s Michelin-star studded Hedone bread ovens were making their way across London, finding themselves in neighbourhood bakeries like our local Bayley & Sage store in Parsons Green (click here to have a look). Regular customers and other chefs alike scramble for these fine loaves. With determination and perseverance, a select number of restaurants in London, most with Michelin stars, have persuaded Jonsson to allow them to serve his bread in their restaurants.

Hedone - Homemade brown sourdough bread © Richard Haughton

Well, it seems that this exciting bread-related activity is on the rise…

This year has also seen Massimo Bottura take a lead role in EXPO Milano, which, running since May, will close at the end of this month. During this project Chef Bottura has invited chefs from around the world to participate in Food for Soul at Refettorio Ambrosiano, located in a disused and refurbished theatre. At the inauguration of the Refectory, dinner guests were served “Bread is Gold”: a culinary celebration of bread’s rich symbolism, made from a mixture of breadcrumbs, sugar, and milk to evoke treasured childhood memories (including those of Bottura himself) of “the most delicious meal you could eat before going to bed… a cup of milk, bread crumbs and sugar.”

Meanwhile, Nathan Myhrvold, founder of The Cooking Lab, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home, and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, will be devoting his forthcoming book to the art and science of bread. This multivolume book will detail bread’s origins and evolution, honouring the work of great bakers who have influenced the diversity of bread around the world and featuring a fascinating range of scientific and historical topics from grain agronomics and fermentation to traditional and modernist recipes.

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Food For Tomorrow 2015

Yesterday at The New York Times Food For Tomorrow 2015 conference. Nathan Myhrvold, founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, creator and primary author  of the Modernist Cuisine series of books gave the keynote speech.

How can technology, which is often associated with the pitfalls of our food system, provide answers for improving it? Nathan Myhrvold — scientist, inventor, chef and coauthor of “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” — explores technology’s role in this changing culinary landscape.

Set aside a few minutes, listen and learn from a master thinker.

Click the link for more on this blog about Nathan and Modernist Cuisine a delicious story…...

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Observer Food Monthly Awards were on fire

Was this the best ever Observer Food Monthly Awards event?

Those lucky enough to go and to eat the Ekstedt’s food and drink 69 Colebrooke Row’s cocktails might agree with me that it was. Naturally, I’m biased but Niklas Ekstedt’s fire pit menu was utterly delicious. Cooked outside in pans on burning wood, the menu read like this:

Ekstedt Fireside Taster Menu - OFM Awards 15 October 2015

Ekstedt Fireside Taster Menu – OFM Awards 15 October 2015

For those that went to the awards but didn’t manage to find their way outside to the courtyard, there was even more Ekstedt food circulating. Inside he was serving :


Hay-baked turbot on Swedish crispbread

Vendace roe on rye bread

Smoked reindeer heart tartar and elderberry capers

Chanterelle and radish


West Sweden squid, juniper and seaweed

Fjällbacka langoustine, smoked tomato and toasted almonds

Beef, roast leek, potato and Västerbottensost purée

Sea buckthorn and carrot dip, blackened broccoli


Hazlenut cake, cloudberry butter and Oviken yoghurt

Lemon thyme bavaroise, raspberry and wood sorrel

Chef Niklas Ekstedt and cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro

Chef Niklas Ekstedt and cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro

If you want to see the list of winners see the Hot Dinners website. Then on Sunday buy The Observer so you can read all about them in the Observer Food Monthly supplement magazine. It’s a cracking read.IMG_0056

With congratulations to all those who won and all those who organised the event.

If you’d like to know about Ekstedt, click here.

If you would like to visit Ekstedt, restaurant details are on the website here.

Montage of Ekstedt Images by PA Jorgensen

Montage of Ekstedt Images by PA Jorgensen

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Osteria Francescana makes history in the L’Espresso Restaurant Guide 2016

News has just flown in from Italy that has made us very excited indeed here at Spoon HQ…

Osteria Francescana Team
One of Italy’s most prestigious and widely-read publications, L’Espresso, has announced its restaurant rankings for the L’Espresso Restaurant Guide 2016, and needless to say Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana has been awarded a shining result.

No surprises there, we hear you say…but this time, Osteria Francescana has reached new heights, making history in the process. For the first time on record L’Espresso has dished out a 20/20, and by now you may have guessed who that has been awarded to… full marks for Osteria Francescana!

A huge congratulations to Massimo Bottura and the whole team in Modena for this wonderful achievement. Once again, they leave us wide-eyed and open-mouthed in astonishment and admiration… what will they achieve next??

Click here to read more about Massimo Bottura, and here for the Osteria Francescana website.

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Rye and Raisin added to Bayley & Sage’s collection of exceptional Hedone breads

We are very excited to announce that our very own local Bayley & Sage store in Parsons Green is now stocking two more spectacular breads from the Michelin-star studded Hedone bread ovens: rye and raisin.


Both have been tried and tested here at Spoon HQ and we can confirm that the Hedone loaves, previously proclaimed ‘best bread in Britain’ , are true to the name.

We think that the Hedone raisin makes a perfect breakfast, toasted and topped with a generous swipe of butter. The moist golden raisins add a lovely sweet, chewy energy boost to the bread, which is exactly what we feel like first thing in the morning to get the day off to a good start.


The rye, with its doughy centre and perfectly crunchy-yet-chewy crust, makes for an exquisite lunchtime treat (and even wholly converted the resident rye sceptic here at Spoon).


We’re very glad to know that these baked delicacies are just a stones-throw away from us here at HQ. We are also pleased to announce that Feast, Barnes and Feast, East Sheen are also now stocking Hedone bread, meaning that even more of us will be within reach of Chef Mikael Jonsson’s exceptionally fine loaves.

Click here to read more about Mikael Jonsson’s bread and where to find it.

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HEDONE – to launch the restaurant with no menu

October 2015

Chef-patron Mikael Jonsson has never done things the so-called normal way. The path he taken has certainly not been the route most have travelled. Swedish born, Jonsson was fortunate enough to eat in some of the best restaurants in Europe before he had even left school. It was a world which intrigued him but it didn’t claim him. Instead he became a lawyer in Sweden before settling in France.

Now he has made his mark as a chef via his restaurant in Chiswick, he is destined to take another gamble. This time he is closing down Hedone and on the same site opening a new version of his restaurant still to be called Hedone. The site will be shut for 10 days and when it reopens will have undergone minor refurbishments including new furniture and a makeover of the dining room and most importantly, it will radically reduce the number seated in the dining room. Instead of seating 40 covers, Hedone will seat just 18 in the main room and up to 4 on stools overlooking the open kitchen.

The restaurant will be opened for dinner Tuesday to Saturday and for lunch on Saturday only.

The food will change dramatically. By reducing the number of covers served, the food will be more elaborate and it will be possible to use increasingly sophisticated techniques. Chef Jonsson will be offering his customers the opportunity to experience his restaurant which will no longer have a menu. Instead it will propose to its customers two different tasting ‘menus’ though neither will be written down. The prices have yet to be set but one will have more exclusive or rare ingredients. Whilst this may appear at first glance of a press statement to offer a limited choice, chef Jonsson believes that it will be an exciting and liberating customised experience for the many returning customers that he and business partner Aurelie Jean-Marie-Flore cherish.

This is a restaurant which concentrates on food and with the reduced numbers, chef Jonsson and his kitchen brigade will be able to pour all of their energy into creating more refined food, the type of dishes that produce ripples of amazement in its diners. They are aiming to secure the wow factor that causes regular guests to fly in to London. Some even eat lunch and dinner on the same day before their schedules force them to leave this island. Pescatarians will be catered for but the unadventurous diner need not book here.

The dishes will be constantly changing. Having no menu gives the chef the freedom to do this.

One aspect that chef Jonsson wants to create it is a work environment that will be more attractive to the staff, as today’s work hours simply lead to high turnover. With fewer services, working hours will be more forgiving than that which is the norm in fine dining establishments in the UK. “I want my chefs to come back to work every week rested and full of energy. It is just not the case today”.

HedoneSignage © Richard Haughton


Over the past four years London restaurant Hedone has emerged as a star of the international culinary scene. Chef-patron Mikael Jonsson’s rapid rise from amateur cook with no formal training to the height of recognition from Michelin has earned Hedone its deserved position as a destination restaurant. With the help of business partner Aurelie Jean-Marie-Flore, Hedone, named after the Greek goddess of pleasure, opened in July 2011 in Chiswick, a quiet corner of west London. At the time of opening, Jonsson had neither lived in the UK nor worked in a professional kitchen before.

Shortly after opening, praise from critics at The Evening Standard, The Guardian and The Financial Times rained in, before AA Gill, the notorious Sunday Times critic, visited in October 2011. Capturing the restaurant perfectly with his prose, he explained:

“Everything about this kitchen implies an unrelenting and committed hunt for idealised ingredients, prepared with an intensely cerebral and emotional attachment to true flavours and sound combinations.” AA Gill.

Gill awarded an especially rare 5/5 stars and one year later, a mere 14 months after opening, Chef Mikael Jonsson’s restaurant was awarded a Michelin star.

In early 2013, Hedone made The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards list for the first time at position 70. By 2014, it had climbed to position 63 and was placed 7th at The National Restaurant Awards (UK). Hedone progressed yet further up in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and knocking loudly on the top 50 door, it currently sits at position 60. Hedone is one of just four London restaurants to be awarded 18 out of 20 by critic Andy Hayler.

The objective of Chef Jonsson’s cooking is to bring the very best ingredients to the plate with much time dedicated to the relentless pursuit of the finest produce. At Hedone, the produce is handled with the upmost respect and Jonsson undertakes detailed experiments to build on his knowledge of how his star ingredients should be served. With meticulous standards and a high level of skill, the resulting dishes are an original expression of clear, precise and surprising flavour combinations. At Hedone favoured ingredients are often only available in small quantities. Dishes may change only hours before they are presented to guests. Tasting menus for different tables can vary so that the experience of meal at Hedone is a truly personal one.

Jonsson’s technical skill is evident in a taste of his brown sourdough, recently proclaimed by UK restaurant critic Fay Maschler to be ‘simply the best bread in Britain’. It has taken years to perfect. In March 2014, after Jonsson had quietly taken a Soho kitchen under his wing, his cooking was exposed by a well-tuned blogger who recognised the look and flavour of his uniquely crafted crust and crumb. The kitchen was that of Antidote, an intimate wine bar and restaurant just off of Carnaby Street. Several Michelin starred chefs in London have persuaded Jonsson to allow them to serve his famous bread in their restaurants. The bread is now also sold in Bayley & Sage in Chiswick, Parsons Green and Wimbledon branches.

When compiling the wine list, Jonsson seeks out suppliers and wines in search of the rare gem. Hedone’s list includes around 400 wines, with a focus on those hailing from Burgundy and the Loire Valley. Here Jonsson shines a light on little known bottles and winemakers with a list that is all about drinkability.

Chef-patron Mikael Jonsson. Photo credit: Richard Haughton

Chef-patron Mikael Jonsson. Photo credit: Richard Haughton


Jonsson had worked successfully as lawyer in Gothenberg, in his home country, before relocating to the South of France. Though deeply interested in food from a young age, throughout his life severe food allergies plagued him, initially meaning a career in the kitchen was impossible. Later, when in his early forties, he began following a paleolithic diet which caused these allergies to disappear. At last, Jonsson could finally do what he had always dreamt of.

“No kitchen in London today pays quite such attention to ingredient quality”

Andy Hayler, July 2014

PRESS CONTACT:                Spoon PR Ltd, Sarah Canet

                                                   T:+44 (7780 911630)

LOCATION:                           Hedone – 301-303 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4HH


PHONE:                                    +44 (0)208 747 0377





HOURS:                                 Lunch: Saturday: 12:00PM- 2:30PM

Dinner: Tuesday- Saturday: 6:30PM- 9:30PM

Closed Sunday and Monday

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