Man Behind the Chef: Tom Brown

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th February 2017

In association with


In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2017 - supported by Westlands, at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) 2017, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage.

We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites - next up is Tom Brown, head chef at Outlaw’s at the Capital, which has a star in the Michelin Guide UK.

Tom Brown has come a long way since working as a kitchen porter in his local pub in Cornwall. After falling in love with the creativity and sense of pride from cooking, Tom honed his skills at Rick Stein’s Seafood Bar and St Kew Inn near Bodmin, where he developed a natural speciality with cooking fish.

In recent years, Tom has been working with Nathan Outlaw and joined Nathan at the St Enodoc Hotel in 2012, working as head chef for three years. In January, 2016, Tom moved to London to become head chef at the Michelin starred Outlaw’s at the Capital restaurant.

The restaurant prides itself on serving the best fish in London, so Tom focuses on simply prepared dishes sometimes only serving two elements such as a fish and a sauce – meaning the fish must be the best the diner has ever tasted.

Tom Brown

What item of food do you hate cooking?

I’m really not good with pasta. I haven’t got the finesse for it and it doesn’t come to natural for me.

What food, if any, are you allergic to?


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

What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?

Fish and oysters in particular.

What’s your guilty pleasure food?

Hellman’s mayonnaise, everything tastes better with a bit of mayo on it.

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and why?

I would get some salt, take a Cornish pasty and take some cooking oil in case it got really bad and just have a drink.

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

I always wanted to be a doctor when I was younger.

What radio station do you listen to in the kitchen?

We listen to Magic.

What other kitchen would you most like to work in?

We did a pop up with Nathan (Outlaw) at the Marksman in Hackney and it just had such a nice vibe. The guys were really great and the food was amazing so I think that would just be a really nice environment to be in.

Traditional cooking methods or modern techniques?

Traditional all the way. The only thing I use a water bath for is for a wash so I’m very old school.

Why did you choose to get involved with TSC Live?

I think The Staff Canteen is a really valuable thing for the industry especially for chefs that aren’t that well known and want to get the word out about their food or want to post pictures, I think it’s a really great forum for people in the industry.

>>> IFE takes place on March 19-22, 2017 and you can register now here 

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live here

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th February 2017

Man Behind the Chef: Tom Brown