Tom AikensSpring 2016
“A menu packed with fresh, seasonal and comforting dishes.”
“From the moment I saw the marina I knew it would be a perfect location for Tom’s Kitchen. I love the mix of people here – workers, residents and tourists. What makes the St. Katharine Docks restaurant extra special is the unique guest experience, with our frontage of full-length concertina windows giving diners a beautiful view of the boats.
Since the River Thames and so many historic landmarks are right on the doorstep, it’s no wonder I’ve pulled on my running shoes to explore the area. While I’m pounding the pavements (or the cobbles under Tower Bridge) I will usually think about recipes – a chef’s mind never stops working! The result of my thinking – and the hard work of the St. Katharine Docks team – is a menu packed with fresh, seasonal and comforting dishes. Where possible, ingredients are sustainably produced from locally-based suppliers, reinforcing the idea of farm-to-table dining.
While everyone is welcome to come and eat in Tom’s Kitchen any time – we’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – I wanted this venture to really serve the St. Katharine Docks community, so we opened a deli next to the restaurant. It’s perfect for workers who need a take-away lunch or for residents picking up ingredients for a home-cooked meal.
Cooking at home is just as important as dining out. I love to cook with my daughter Violetta. I experiment with different foods she might like, and try to get her involved in the dish preparation. My passion for cuisine stems from my own childhood. From the age of 8 or so, my twin brother and I would assist my mother in the kitchen. We would help weigh out and mix the ingredients for cakes and jams. Perhaps it’s because of this emphasis on home cooking that I hate ready meals. Cooking from scratch can be easy and just as quick as buying a microwave meal – and it tastes a lot better! ”
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS WITH TOM AIKENS
Guilty food pleasure?
Vanilla ice cream.
Who would you most like to cook for?
Maybe Pierre Koffman & Joel Robuchon at the same time, just to liven it up a little.
Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, the Roux brothers and my mother.
If you weren’t a chef?
I’d be a jump jockey or an endurance athlete.
A chef must be...?
Passionate, caring, hardworking, dedicated and, most importantly, they must have the ability to listen and follow instructions.