Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens tells us about his favourite venues and events
The best party of my life has to be my surprise stag night. I had been told I was having dinner with a great aunt of my wife’s, but when I turned up to Townhouse on Beauchamp Place, about eight
of my closest friends plus my two brothers were there. It was a great laugh!
I really enjoyed the Dîner des Tsars at the Guildhall last year. It was hosted by Mariella Frostrup and it raised £200,000 for Unicef. I designed and cooked the eight-course dinner – there was
chicken consommé, lobster, foie gras, roast veal, poached turbot, braised beef shin, spiced pears and chocolate mousse.
My twin brother Rob is great fun to go out with.
The top hospitality ticket has got to be Formula One – it’s by far my favourite sport. I once cooked on a yacht for the Monaco Grand Prix and I’d love to go back.
My favourite hotel in the world is Como Shambhala Estate in Bali. Comfortable, relaxing and with the best food I have ever tasted in a hotel, it’s the ultimate place to go and recuperate
and detox. Amazing.
Moby makes great music to dance to.
The Natural History Museum – they put on some spectacular parties. There’s the added bonus of being in such an educational and historic setting, which is incredible.
There were very good canapés from Giorgio Locatelli at Giorgio Armani’s RED collection launch at Earls Court two years ago – figs, Parma ham, salami, steamed chicken. The turnout wasn’t bad
either – Leonardo DiCaprio, Bono, Elle Macpherson and Beyoncé, who performed Crazy In Love.
Whiskey sour – my personal favourite.
Not a goodie bag as such, but my favourite gift was a Tag Heuer Monaco Sixty Nine watch – I was given it as a present from the company for cooking a small dinner for them.
BEST Of The Best
If I were to organise the ultimate party, I’d head for Ibiza. There would be good food – with lots done on the barbecue by me – good beaches, good weather, and great music.
Tom Aikens started cooking at the age of 16, and worked at some of the top restaurants in London and Paris – as well as serving as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s personal chef –
before launching his eponymous restaurant five years ago. Since winning a Michelin star there, he has opened an all-day restaurant and bar, Tom’s Kitchen, and an ecologically friendly fish and chip
restaurant, Tom’s Place.
For the past two years, he’s also been involved with event caterers the Admirable Crichton, offering menu design and consultancy services. Tom, now 38, lives in London with his wife
Amber. For more information, visit squaremeal.co.uk/tomaikens
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Summer 2008.