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This month Jeremy Emmerson catches up with an old friend - chef Hywel Jones...

October 2002
Back in 1989 a young Welsh kid walked into the kitchen of the Royal Garden Hotel. He was a sight for sore eyes - we were as short staffed as ever, an addition to the team was always welcome. We worked side by side for the next year and it soon became apparent that my fellow commis had talent.

Over the years that followed Hywel Jones and I kept track of one another, through friends of friend's we knew where one another were working. Hywel went to work for the big boys, Nico Ladenis then Marco Pierre White the two London chefs that were the proud possessors of three Michelin Stars.

After putting in his time with these culinary icons, Jones took the helm at a new London eatery Coast. But when a phone call came from old boss David Nicholls the opportunity to take the post of chef de cuisine at Foliage was too good to pass up. Foliage aimed to be the jewel in the crown of the newly refurbished Mandarin Oriental Hotel (London). The operation's multi million pound refurbishment had involved the infamous interior designer Adam Tihany, the man who created the look for Le Cirque 2000 in New York. Foliage had its look - now it needed the food.

As the chef of Foliage, Jones defined his culinary style, matured as a leader, received excellent reviews and in January 2002 landed the restaurant its first Michelin Star. Two months later he left… (more)
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