The Man Behind The Chef: Tom Aikens

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd February 2016

In association with

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In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2016 – Skillery in association with Westlands and supported by the Craft Guild of Chefs at Hotelympia 2016, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage - next up Tom Aikens. 

Tom Aikens is the founder and owner of multiple restaurants, including Tom's Kitchen in Tom Aikens credit MiyagawaChelsea, London along with Tom’s Terrace, Tom’s Deli and a second Tom’s Kitchen site at Somerset House. Tom also oversees the menu at the Hong Kong’s iconic restaurant, The Pawn. Norfolk-born Tom specialises in creative French cooking style.

>>> Read more in the Behind The Chef series here

He was the youngest ever chef to be awarded two-Michelin stars at the tender age of 26 and has made numerous television appearances as well as releasing three books.

At The Staff Canteen we want to see what makes chefs tick. We asked Tom a few questions about what he gets up to when not in the kitchen:

Would you rather order a starter or a pudding?

I’m not that much of a sweet tooth so definitely a starter.

What would your last meal be?

Probably a charred steak medium rare with béarnaise sauce and triple-cooked chips.

What was the last thing you ate?

A ham, cheese sandwich with fresh homemade sourdough toasted.

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

Either a Jump Jockey or I’d be in an endurance sport of some kind.

If you could choose to dine in any restaurant in the world which would you choose?

One of the most amazing establishments I have been to is Michel Geurards’s Les Prés d’Eugénie at Eugenie-les-bains, which is in the most beautiful part of France. I had one of the simplest and delicious things to eat there: a whole baked potato that had been hollowed out and turned into a potato soup, loaded with winter truffle, with another huge layer of truffles on top. It was sublime yet so simple, earthy flavours.

If someone was to write your biography what would it be called?

The man who did not understand the word RELAX

What do you listen to in the kitchen? No music!

What are you most proud of?

My two beautiful daughters, Violette and Josephine.

If you could own another chef’s restaurant whose would you choose?

It would be Marc Veyrat’s La Ferme de mon Père in Megève. Unfortunately, the restaurant is now closed, but being an absolute ski and nature lover, this restaurant looked like heaven to me. A beautiful rustic and comfortable atmosphere, an incredible service, unbelievable food quality and just by the slopes of one of the best ski stations in the world...the dream!

Who would you trust to run your restaurant?

My friend Lee Westcott. He already worked with me at the now closed Tom Aikens Restaurant and I know he would never disappoint me. He is extremely talented and I always take a lot of pleasure working with him.

Why did you choose to get involved in the Staff Canteen Live?

As its great to help promote such a great event for the hospitality industry.

Visitors can go to www.hotelympia.com and register now for a free ticket to the show.

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live 2016 at Hotelympia

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd February 2016

The Man Behind The Chef: Tom Aikens