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Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens

Tom’s second restaurant, the brasserie-style Tom’s Kitchen, opened in Chelsea in 2006 and was followed by a number of other branches – one at Somerset House in 2009, Canary Wharf in 2013, St. Katharine Docks in 2014 and in the Mailbox Centre in Birmingham in 2017. These have all since closed to give him time to return to the world of fine dining and open Muse, his experience-led restaurant in the heart of Belgravia. Tom also owns a restaurant in the United Arab Emirates called Pots, Pans & Boards.

A focus on quality ingredients and provenance has always been a theme in Tom's cooking, influenced by his green-fingered childhood. 'You know exactly what you’re eating when you grow it yourself,' he says. 'It’s healthy, seasonal and the environmental impact is pretty much zero. We grew all sorts of wonderful things at Tom's Kitchen Chelsea, which inspired several new additions to the menu.'

This reverence for fresh, seasonal produce comes through in his menus. What he can’t grow himself, he gets from a range of UK farmers and foragers that take sustainable production seriously. An ethically-sourced food pioneer, he works to raise awareness of diminishing fish stocks and illegal fishing, sourcing his seafood from small-scale Lowestoft and Cornish fishermen.

Tom has also made multiple television appearances – including many on Great British Menu, both as a contestant and a judge – and has written several cookbooks. He works with several charities, including School Food Matters, where he teaches young children basic cooking skills. He has a great passion for cycling and other sports, and completed the Marathon des Sables in 2010, running six marathons across the Sahara desert in five days, raising money for the medical charity Facing Africa.

At the beginning of 2020, Tom returned to the world of fine dining by opening the intimate, very personal twenty-five cover restaurant Muse, where he serves tasting menus inspired by his life and career.

Three things you need to know

If Tom wasn't a chef, he would have been an endurance sports athlete or a jump jockey.

Tom's final meal would be scallops cooked in the shell with garlic, butter, lemon zest and thyme, good dry-aged medium-rare cooked steak and his mother’s apple pie.

The weirdest thing Tom has ever eaten is pig's testicles.