theres nothing better than sharing comfort food
Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice
Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
Emiratesvoice, emirates voice

With family

There's nothing better than sharing comfort food

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice There's nothing better than sharing comfort food

Talking food with Tom Aikens, Michelin-starred Executive Chef
Dubai - Emirates Voice

Your favourite memory of food.
When I was about eight, my twin brother and I were helping out my mother in the kitchen. She would often involve us in home baking, or just weighing ingredients; we were always on hand to help lick out the occasional sticky raw cake mix that was left in the bottom of the bowl! I have a great memory of her making milk bread - the smell was so incredible... Also, living in Norfolk, we had a large back garden where we grew a lot of our own fruits and vegetables. As a result, from an early age, I got to learn about seasonality and how to grow and cook fresh produce. We grew lots of soft fruits (strawberries, gooseberries, blackberries etc) which were turned into jams, and which my mother kept in a large larder full of things we made.

What's the most challenging part of your job?
Time. It's the one thing you can't control. I have restaurants all over the world, and wish that I had more time to spend in each place. Luckily, I have brilliant people on my team and they are a huge help there.

Do you have a personal mantra that drives the way you cook food?
I simply don't understand the words 'relax' and 'breathe'. Anyone close to me knows that I'm always on the go; I love to visit new places, explore and constantly challenge myself. I follow this mantra in my personal life, like when I'm training for a marathon, and my professional life too. So, I apply this way of thinking to the way I cook my food. I like to let the ingredients do the talking, but love to research new ways of preparing or serving them, to create exciting dishes for my guests.

If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve them? 
Mr [Usain] Bolt. I'd serve him a nice British Sunday roast beef.

Favourite place to dine at?
I really enjoy eating out at places like Clove Club, Story and The Typing Room - all in London.

After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
Yes, I really enjoy cooking at home. I like to keep it simple there though. I have a pizza oven in my garden in London, so I love to get outside and use that as much as possible. Plus, I have two little ones who love to be in the kitchen too, so it's something we do together.  

You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
Food that can never go off or mouldy, while retaining all its flavour and nutrients - seeing as, in 50 years, we won't have half the food we have, thanks to erosion, global warming, natural disasters and overpopulation! 

Who do you admire most in the culinary world?
I've been fortunate to work alongside some of the world's best chefs, including Joel Robouchon and Pierre Koffman. They have both been real inspirations to my cooking and have certainly influenced my style. I also admire chefs like Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse and the Roux brothers; not only have they revolutionised the industry with their cooking, but they are also great businessmen. My mother was also a great influence in my life. She was a great home cook, so from a young age, I would try to help her in the kitchen with making basic cakes, biscuits, jams - anything I could get my hands on.

Favourite comfort food?
You can't beat good British classics like a roast dinner, shepherd's pie or apple crumble. To me, there's nothing better than sharing comfort dishes like these with family and friends - which is the idea behind Pots, Pans & Boards.

One ingredient you can't stand.
Caviar. I think this will surprise most people, what with my fine dining background, but it's just not for me.

If you could choose a last meal, what would it be?
Something that's very simple. I always love to cook outdoors when on holiday, so (on an open fire) either a beautiful 1kg rib-eye steak with triple cooked chips and béarnaise, or some grilled scallops cooked in the shell with garlic, thyme, lemon and sea salt would be great.

Favourite culinary destination?
It's so hard to pin down just one. One of my favourite destinations is Barcelona. One of the simplest, most amazing dishes I've ever had was a string of 12 cherry tomatoes drizzled with the most beautiful olive oil and a dusting of rock salt at Bodega 1900, a Catalonian restaurant in Barcelona. Then, only a few minutes away, I had some of the wackiest, but again delicious, dishes ever - like the Alice in Wonderland-style pastries from Ferran's elBulli and outrageous tapas in Tickets. But I also love dynamic cities like London, New York and Dubai, where the food scene is changing all the time, becoming a melting pot of flavours, cultures and cuisines

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theres nothing better than sharing comfort food theres nothing better than sharing comfort food

 



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theres nothing better than sharing comfort food theres nothing better than sharing comfort food

 



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بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
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