The chefs’ guide to life: how to change career

Mikael Jonsson, the chef-owner of Hedone, on trading a successful law career in Sweden for a Michelin-starred restaurant in London

I was interested in food from a young age. It was a hobby and I enjoyed cooking and baking with my mother and grandmother. Also, since I was a baby I had extreme eczema and asthma, then chronic ulcer problems, although we didn’t know at the time that these were food allergies. Later in my teens, doctors tried many contact allergies on my skin and it turned out I was allergic to shellfish, raw meat, lots of vegetables and almost everything else they tried. The only solution was cortisone treatments – injections when it got bad and various creams the rest of the time. My hands would bleed terribly. Basically, I was told I shouldn’t touch foodstuffs. Cortisone alleviated it but there were side-effects – the skin gets very thin, is ruined, and the immune defences, too. Gloves weren’t a solution because I was allergic to gloves. It was a nightmare.

It was only after many years that I found the appropriate diet for me to be able to consume and cook. In the meantime, I’d become a commercial lawyer. Mergers, acquisitions, a bit of litigation. Nothing about it really bored me, although airplane leasing was pretty dull. Yet I didn’t work on anything I felt passionate about. And if you want to feel passionate, why not change profession?

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from Network Front | The Guardian

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