chef-name: Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens was born in London in 1970 along with twin brother Robert, into a family of wine merchants. The family had a converted barn in the Auvergne region of France, where he would spend his summers and discover French gastronomy and the importance of food in his life. He enrolled at the Norwich City College Hotel School and found something he was good at, and loved.

His first job after school was at Michelin starred, David Cavalier’s restaurant in Battersea, London. From there he worked his way up through Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire, which received its 3rd Michelin star while he was there; then on to Philip Britten at the Capital Hotel; then as sous chef at Pied a Terre under Richard Neat; Joel Robuchon and Gerard Boyer at Reims.

At age 26, he returned to Pied a Terre as Executive Chef, and became the youngest British chef ever awarded two Michelin stars in 1996. Great Chefs Television showed up in 1999 to record three dishes for their Great Chefs of the World series: Roasted Scallops and Braised Pork Belly with Celeriac Purée and Rosemary Sauce as an appetizer; Roasted Lobster Tail with Apple and Lobster Ravioli with Apple Sauce as an entrée and a Carmelized Apple Phyllo with Vanilla Sauce and Apple Sorbet.

Chef Aikens left Pied a Terre in 2001 under a well-publicized cloud involving himself, and his sous chef. In 2003 he opened Tom Aikens Restaurant in Chelsea, a second restaurant Tom’s Kitchen in 2006, and more in 2009 and finally a Tom’s Kitchen in Canary Wharf in 2013. He closed down Tom Aikens Restaurant in January 2014.

He has written three books and has appeared on other television shows like Iron Chef, Market Kitchen and Great British Menu in the UK, but Great Chefs of the World on the DISCOVERY CHANNEL was his first appearance.