Food blogger wins coveted Michelin star in his first year


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The Independent Online

A food blogger has been awarded a Michelin star barely a year after opening his first restaurant.

Mikael Jonsson, who published his reviews on, detailing his passion for freshly-sourced ingredients, won the accolade for Hedone, the Swedish restaurant he opened 14 months ago in an unfashionable part of Chiswick High Road in west London. It is the first professional kitchen he has ever worked in. Jonsson gave up his day job as a lawyer as word spread that Hedone was serving up something special. A A Gill, the hard-to-please Sunday Times restaurant critic, gave the establishment a double five-star review for food and atmosphere.

It emerged that Michelin's inspectors had recognised Jonsson with a star when the 2013 ratings for UK restaurants were accidentally revealed on the guide's website, a week before their official publication was due.

With a dinner menu starting at £50, Hedone won acclaim for dishes including a squab pigeon dish, roasted complete with an entire leg and claw, and Jonsson's use of foraged ingredients including sea aster. Jonsson said: "I am overwhelmed; utterly unable to digest it at this stage."

Other new one-star restaurants in England include Heston Blumenthal's Hinds Head dining pub in Bray, Berkshire. The award for Blumenthal brings him level with Gordon Ramsay – both now have five UK Michelin stars. Ramsay's flagship Chelsea restaurant kept its three-star status, as did Blumenthal's Fat Duck, Waterside Inn and Alain Ducasse.

Tom Aikens, the firebrand chef who admits to "moments of genius and madness", regained the Michelin star he lost after his restaurant business collapsed under a debt mountain.

The Tom Aikens restaurant in Chelsea, west London, lost its Michelin star when it closed for a complete refurbishment last year.

Backed by new business partners, it has returned to favour with both the inspectors and a celebrity clientele following its relaunch in January.

New one-star eateries in the Michelin guide include Tristan in Horsham, West Sussex, Alimentum in Cambridge and Thackeray's in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.