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Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens talks Tania Ballantine through the kitchen of his Battersea home
We moved into this flat about three years ago – it’s a nice building and I was really attracted to being near Battersea Park. I go running there quite a lot at weekends. It’s also very peaceful around here,as there’s no Tube station, which is what I love about it. My wife Amber’s cousins are just down the road, which is nice, and I’m only 10 minutes from work on the bike.
The flat was completely different when we bought it – very higgledy-piggledy and a bit strange. So we knocked through some internal walls and moved the rooms around. The current kitchen was an office, I think, or a bedroom. We had to design everything. Amber’s sister is an interior designer – her company is Gytha Nuttall Designs – so she helped us, and we got ‘family rates’. We had this long back wall that would be the main work surface area, with the hob in the middle, and it went from there. It’s often more difficult when you have a big room, and it’s a blank canvas.
We wanted to have this room as the kitchen because it was big enough to swing the cat in. And we’ve got a nice little ancillary room, with a washer and dryer and store cupboard. We’ve had a space
shortage in every kitchenI’ve ever been in, so here, we’ve tried to maximise asmuch cupboard space as we could.
It’s a very easy kitchen to use, although I don’t do enough cooking at home. I’m at work by 7am and then I’m only home by about 11.30pm, five or six days a week. I last cooked in this kitchen – I mean properly, with people over, for a sit-down do – about 12 months ago. It’s quite embarrassing, really.
Amber is good in the kitchen. Before she got into marketing [her roles include PR consultant and publicist], she did three years’ training with Michel Bourdin at
The Connaught. I’m always jumping in and saying do this, try this, add the salt now, which she finds a little annoying – but she does know her stuff.
Gaggenau bx280 double oven £5,739, www.wigmore.poggenpohl.com
Gaggenau cooker hood £1,000-£3,000, www.wigmore.poggenpohl.com
Gaggenau KG291210 gas hob £2,150, www.wigmore.poggenpohl.com
JA Henckel and Wusthof knives from £11.98, www.cooks-knives.co.uk
KitchenAid Artisan 1.5L blender in black £149, www.amazon.co.uk
KITCHEN DESIGN by Gytha Nuttall Designs, various prices, www.nuttallhome.com
Mauviel non-stick M’Stone pans from £55.50, www.armorica.co.uk
Tom has launched an offshoot of Tom’s Kitchen at Somerset House (Strand, WC2R 1LA; 020 7845 4646; www.tomskitchen.co.uk/somersethouse).His other restaurants are Tom Aikens (43 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT; 020 7584 2003; www.tomaikens.co.uk) and the original Tom’s Kitchen
(27 Cale Street, SW3 3QP;
020 7349 0202; www.tomskitchen.co.uk/chelsea).
PHOTOS: stephen perry