Tom Aikens is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspirational British chefs, owing to his innovative style and creative interpretation of modern French cuisine With a father and grandfather working in the wine industry and a childhood mostly spent gardening and cooking with his mother, Tom put Food and the use of the finest ingredients at the centre of his life from a very early age, This enthused Tom’s continual passion for using the finest seasonal ingredients from the British Isles, provided by Tom’s long standing suppliers. Inspired to further develop his cooking skills, Tom enrolled at the Norwich City College Hotel School.
‘I found something I was good at,’ he recalls, ‘and something I loved’. His first Job after he left college at 18 was at Michelin Starred, David Cavalier’s restaurant in Battersea, which proved to be a defining experience and most certainly motivated him early on in his career.
His remarkable career took him to Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire in Chelsea, which gained a third Michelin star during his time there, then as Sous chef at Pied-à-Terre in Charlotte Street, under Richard Neat.
Tom also worked with Philip Britten at the Capital Hotel After spells in Paris, with Jöel Robuchon, and in Reims with Gerard Boyer in Reims, Tom returned to Pied-à-Terre as a Head Chef at 26, he became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars Tom Aikens Restaurant opened in 2003, gained its first Michelin star in 2004, and was ranked 10th in 2007 by the Worlds 50 Best. It then obtained a rising two star status in 2008 and held 5 AA Rosettes.
Tom’s Kitchen, a brasserie-style concept, opened in Chelsea in 2006, and became the first restaurant in London to deliver a true farm-toplate culture, thus building a strong relationship between farmers, producers, suppliers and chefs. Tom announced in 2013 that Tom Aikens Restaurant would be closing, after 10 very successful years, so that Tom can relocate his flagship to a more central location in London and in the meantime, have the ability to focus on his international expansion.
Tom has written three books; Cooking (2006), Fish (2008), and Easy (2011), and has collaborated with designer David Linley on a beautiful range of kitchenware. Tom collaborated with Qatar Airways with an all star team of culinary ambassadors to create the ‘Qatar airways culinary world menu’ for discerning first and business class passengers. A second Tom’s Kitchen was launched in Somerset House, including Tom’s Kitchen Terrace and Tom’s Kitchen Deli. It was followed by a third site in Canary Wharf in June 2013 and a fourth one in Saint Katherine’s Docks in Sept. 2014, both comprising a Deli.
The first International Toms Kitchen opened in Istanbul in Nov. 2013. The brand of Toms Kitchen keeps growing with a new Toms Kitchen & Deli opening in Birmingham in Dec 2016 and a Toms Kitchen Deli in Dubai in October 2016.