Tom Brown

Chef Tom Brown operates the much-lauded seafood restaurant Cornerstone in Hackney Wick. He was also a contestant on BBC’s Great British Menu in 2017.


Birthday: 25 July 1987

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The old saying goes that it takes 10 years to become an overnight success and that seems to have been the case with chef-to-watch Tom Brown. While viewers first fell in love with the Cornish chef when he competed on television cooking competition Great British Menu, Brown had been working to hone his kitchen skills for many years before then.

Tom Brown was born in Redruth in Cornwall, a coastal town that is well known for its botanical attractions, including The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project. Brown’s passion for cooking first took hold of him as a child and he went on to study under Paul Ripley at Rick Stein’s Restaurant and St Kew Inn.

In 2012, Brown took on his first formal role as chef de partie at the St Enodoc Hotel in Cornwall’s Wadebridge, before moving to London in 2016, where he took up the position of head chef at Nathan Outlaw’s eponymous restaurant, Outlaw’s at The Capital. The restaurant, found at The Capital hotel in Knightsbridge, has served diners under many different guises over the years, with Brown being the last in a long list of famous names to be at the helm, which includes the late Gary Rhodes and French chef Eric Chavot. Outlaw’s at The Capital lost its sole Michelin star following Brown’s departure in 2018 (although the Michelin guide insists that chef exits do not affect the outcome of its awards) and in that same year Nathan Outlaw parted ways with the restaurant.

Just one year after joining Outlaw’s at The Capital, Brown would go on to compete in the 2017 series of Great British Menu, a cooking competition which sees some of the top professional chefs from around the UK compete for the chance to cook one course of a luxury four-course banquet served at a special event featuring prominent guests. Brown reached the finals of the competition and became a popular fixture, gaining a large following on social media through his time on the show.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Tom Brown opened his debut restaurant in the spring of the following year. Found in Hackney Wick, Cornerstone is a laid-back restaurant which serves a daily-changing menu of simple, but high-quality seafood dishes. The restaurant has been lauded with praise by critics, with The Guardian’s Jay Rayner praising the “beautiful fish” used, whie The Evening Standard called the food “spellbinding”. Although the menu changes often, dishes you may come across on your visit include mackerel pate with cider and treacle bread, or raw oysters with a seaweed hot sauce.

Aside from running his restaurant, Brown has also forged a successful television career for himself, regularly making appearances on the likes of ITV’s This Morning and the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. Brown even returned to the TV show that made him a household name when he reappeared on Great British Menu: The Final Banquet as a judge in 2018.

Want to know more about Tom Brown? Check out below to see a whole host of uick-fire facts, famous quotes and a full list of his television appearances.