Meet Chef Tom Aikens | Restaurants, Wiki, Net Worth & Facts

Tom Aikens, sometimes known as Tom Aikens, is an English Michelin-starred chef who was born in 1970.

Chef Tom Aikens on the joys of Bajan cooking in Barbados - Spear's Magazine

Biography of Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens was born in 1970 in Norwich, England, to a family of wine merchants. Robert, his twin brother, was born first. Tom was born weighing more than three pounds and spent two months in an incubator.

At the age of 16, Tom and Robert enrolled in City College Norwich’s Hotel School. In 1989, Tom completed a two-year Advanced Catering Diploma. Robert went on to become a chef as well.

Tom Aikens early cooking career and Pied à Terre

Aikens began her career at Pierre Koffman’s three-Michelin-starred La Tante Claire. In 1993, he worked as a sous-chef at Pied à Terre, a London restaurant on Charlotte Street. He went on to work for Jol Robuchon in Paris afterwards.

In 1996, Aikens returned to Pied à Terre and was named head chef in May of that year. Then, in January 1997, Pied à Terre, with him as chef patron and co-owner, received two Michelin stars, making Aikens the youngest person to do so since Marco Pierre White (age 27) at Harveys in 1990.

Marcus Donaldson, a 19-year-old cook, was burned with a hot knife on December 10, 1999, and Aikens was accused of being the perpetrator. Pied à Terre’s board of directors urged Aikens to take a break from work for the Christmas season less than a week later. Aikens, on the other hand, chose to leave Pied a Terre and open his own restaurant, a decision made some time ago and unrelated to the incident, according to a statement. Shane Osborne, the sous-chef, took over for Aikens. Laura Vanninen, Aikens’s then-wife, resigned as the company’s assistant manager.

Aikens worked for Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire of The Berkeley hotel for nine months after leaving Pied à Terre, and then as a private chef for wealthy clientele such as Anthony Bamford in Gloucestershire and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

First eponymous restaurant

In April 2003, Aikens and his then-wife and co-owner Laura Vanninen established their eponymous restaurant Tom Aikens (also known as Tom Aikens Restaurant and Restaurant Tom Aikens) at 43 Elystan Street, Chelsea, a former site of a pub, the Marlborough Arms. AA plc awarded Aikens’ eponymous restaurant four rosettes, followed by its first Michelin star in January 2004,.

Tom Aikens - TWISPER, Experience Positivity

In January 2008, the restaurant was awarded its second Michelin star. It was then closed for refurbishment from July 2011 to January 11, 2012, resulting in the loss of its Michelin stars. The following day, it reopened. The restaurant recovered its first Michelin star in late 2012. In late January 2014, it was permanently closed. It lost its Michelin star in September 2014 due to closure.

Tom’s Kitchen

Aikens built a fresh restaurant, Tom’s Kitchen, on November 2, 2006, in the former location of a defunct bar, The Blenheim, on Cale Street, near his previous eponymous restaurant. Tom’s Kitchen, unlike Aikens’ earlier eponymous restaurant, was a gastropub rather than a fine dining establishment. From the opening through May 2007, Ollie Couillaud, the previous head chef of a Chiswick restaurant La Trompette, co-owned by Nigel Platts-Martin and Bruce Poole, held the position of head chef.

On June 29, 2013, Aikens and his eponymous restaurant firm, Tom Aikens Group, opened another location in Canary Wharf’s Westferry Circus, followed by the Mailbox Birmingham location in December 2016.

The Birmingham and Canary Wharf incarnations of Aikens closed on May 30, 2019. On January 2, 2020, he closed the Chelsea branch, claiming “very severe market conditions [and] staff and skills shortages.” There have been no more iterations to this point.

Other eateries

Aikens owned and operated Tom’s Place, a fish-and-chip restaurant that closed in August 2008 due to financial concerns, such as debt, and negative criticism, particularly about the high pricing. Yves Girard was the executive chef.

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Six years after stepping away from the fine dining scene, Aikens reopened Muse, a 25-seater fine dining restaurant in Belgravia, on January 11, 2020. Muse received its first Michelin star a year later, in January 2021.

Aikens operates three restaurants at The Abu Dhabi Edition hotel as of January 2020.

Tom Aikens wife

Aikens married Laura Vanninen, his then-business partner, from 1997 to 2004, one year after they opened their first eponymous restaurant. From June 2007 to November 2010, he was married to Amber Nuttall, daughter of the late engineer Nicholas Nuttall.

Who is Tom Aikens? Great British Menu 2018 guest chef and youngest Brit to  receive two Michelin stars

In the summer of 2018, Aikens married his nine-year partner Justine Dobbs-Higginson, a former Goldman Sachs banker, in Corsica. They are the parents of two girls.

Quick facts about Tom Aikens

NameTom Aikens
Age50 years
SiblingsRobert Aikens
WifeJustine Dobbs-Higginson
Divorce2004, 2010
EducationCity College Norwich
FacebookTom Aikens

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