Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens tells us about his favourite venues and events

  • BEST Bash
    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!
  • BEST Buzz
    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.
  • BEST Mates
    My twin brother Rob is great fun to go out with.
  • BEST Game
    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.
  • BEST Bed
    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.
  • BEST Tracks
    Moby makes great music to dance to.
  • National_History_Museum.jpgBEST Venue
    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.
  • BEST Bites
    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.
  • BEST Drink
    Whiskey sour – my personal favourite. 
  • BEST Bag
    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 Aiken - Tom_Aiken_2008_PDR_2.jpgTom 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.