Tom Aikens

Author Profile

Tom Aikens is undisputedly one of the most exciting chefs in the UK. Although he has been cooking since the age of 16, it was when he launched his own eponymous restaurant in London in April 2003 that he truly sealed his culinary reputation.

Born in 1970 in Norwich, Tom’s early exposure to food and wine came from his father and grandfather who were both wine merchants, and the family regularly travelled throughout France and sampled fine regional French cuisine.

Tom and his identical twin brother, Rob, both studied at Norwich City College Hotel School. Tom completed the Advanced Catering Diploma in 1989, securing his first job as a Commis Chef at the Mirabelle restaurant in Eastbourne.

He then moved to London as Commis Chef with Michelin-starred David Cavalier at Cavalier’s, then to The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge with Philip Britten, also with one Michelin star at the time. Aged 22, Tom then worked as Chef de Partie with Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, and during this period the restaurant earned its third Michelin star.

In 1993, Tom was appointed Sous Chef at Pied à Terre in Charlotte Street, working with Richard Neat. He then took a year off to work in France to gain more Michelin experience at the three star level with Joël Robuchon in Paris and Gérard Boyer in Les Crayères in Reims.

Returning to London in 1996, he re-joined Pied à Terre as Head Chef and co-proprietor, where the restaurant maintained its second Michelin star. Tom left the restaurant after a dispute, and spent the following year as Head Chef at La Tante Claire, which had relocated to the Berkeley Hotel in Belgravia, while Pierre Koffman took a temporary reduced role in the kitchen.

The following two years were spent working in the private sector, for both Lord Lloyd Webber, and the Bamford family, where he helped Lady Bamford develop a range of organic products for Daylesford Farm Organic Shop and Wootton Organic.

Then, in April 2003, Tom Aikens Restaurant was opened in Chelsea. The 60-seat site has since earned numerous prestigious critical accolades, including a Michelin star in 2004 (and a ‘rising two-star’ status in January 2008), 8/10 in the Good Food Guide 2009, five rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide since 2008, Decanter/Laurent-Perrier Restaurant of the Year 2005 and three stars in Egon Ronay Restaurant Guide 2006.

Tom, now 38, lives in London with his wife, Amber. His first cookbook - Tom Aikens: Cooking - was published by Ebury in October 2006.  Tom’s second cookbook FISH was published in November 2008, again by Ebury.  Tom’s second restaurant - Tom’s Kitchen - opened in November 2006 – an informal all day dining restaurant serving home-style brasserie cooking. (http://www.tomaikens.co.uk/)

Website: http://www.tomaikens.co.uk/
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Cookbooks by Tom Aikens

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