‘It’s the best bread I’ve had anywhere, full stop.’ 1
Brown Sourdough. White Sourdough. Raisin Bread.
Pastries to follow.
Hedone opened in July 2011 in Chiswick, a quiet corner of south-west London. At the time of opening, Chef Mikael Jonsson had neither lived in the UK nor worked in a professional kitchen before. Such were the hurdles which required his attention.
Jonsson believes that going from amateur to professional is a difficult transition to make and success is down to the level of determination. His sourdough bread recipe has taken years to perfect.
Cooked in specialist bread ovens, in the basement underneath Hedone restaurant, Jonsson’s technical skill is evident in a taste of his brown sourdough, proclaimed by UK restaurant critic Fay Maschler to be ‘the best bread in Britain’. A different recipe was used to create the white sourdough, which she declared to be the ‘the second Best bread’
Not only do regular customers appreciate the brown and white breads but other chefs do too. 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.
The bread is highly recognisable and when its maker wanted to keep his identity a secret, it exposed him. In 2014 a well-tuned blogger recognised the look and flavour of his unique crust and crumb. It was the clue needed to reveal Jonsson as the food shepherd at Antidote, an intimate wine bar and restaurant off Carnaby Street.
Initially the chef produced every loaf but has recently increased the number of bakers to two and is training more. As Jonsson’s confidence in the team grew, more loaves have been able to be produced. A raisin bread using golden raisins has been added to collection.
Jonsson has also been able to experiment with pastries. Tom Kemble at Bonhams restaurant, worked at Hedone when it first opened. He explored the world and following a decent stint at Faviken in Sweden returned to London. His restaurant is planned to be the first to stock the pastries – sourdough croissants and pain au chocolat – when these are given regular production.
Three breads and two pastries require more space and so in July 2015 Hedone’s private dining room was sacrificed to bread making and was converted to a forming, shaping and fermenting room.
Deliveries, up until now, have been satisfied by a local mini cab company, this is soon to be usurped. The restaurants and the retail shop orders will in future be delivered by Hedone’s own unbranded van.
‘Some of the finest sourdough you’ll find in the city’ 2
The sourdough loaves are now also sold to the public via all three Bayley and Sage stores in West London and on Saturdays at Dynamic Vines in Bermondsey.
You can read more about Hedone here.
1 Pat Nourse, Gourmet Traveller, September 2014.
http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/travel/travel-guides/2014/9/londons-best-new-restaurants/2 Michelin 2015 London guide
Antidote (3 breads)
Arbutus (Brown & white sourdough)
Hedone (3 breads & pastries)
Hibiscus (Brown & white sourdough)
Le Chabanais (Brown sourdough)
Texture (3 breads)
Wild Honey (Brown & white sourdough)
Bayley and Sage – Chiswick (formerly Mortimer and Bennett)
Bayley and Sage – Wimbledon
Bayley and Sage – Parsons Green
Dynamic Vines – Bermondsey (Saturdays)