A Quick Chat With: Tom Aikens

'Have dreams as they can come true if you believe in them'


Tom Aikens, 39, is a celebrity chef. He has created a seasonal menu for the Cloudy Bay Shack a pop-up airstream that will provide those picnicking in Parsons Green this weekend with the opportunity to enjoy a glass of Cloudy Bay wine.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be... I would be in the heat of the kitchen with my team of wonderful girls and boys.

A phrase I use far too often... 'take responsibility, use your initiative’.

I wish people would take more notice of... Noma and Facing Africa. It’s the charity that I ran for in the Sahara desert, doing the MDS. Its a terrible disease where the child is infected with a gangrenous bacteria through infections caused through malnutrition. 90% of kids have that.

A common misperception of me is... that I’m an angry person. Most of it is fair enough - I was a bit angry when I was in my twenties! - but I have definitely mellowed.

The most surprising thing that ever happened to me was... going to Buckingham Palace and meeting Princess Anne as an ambassador for team 2012

I'm not a politician but... I would improve the transport in London, particularly the tube. I’d try and bring in proper air conditioning and music to the underground.

I'm good at... polo and I did fencing for a while.

But I'm very bad at... saying ‘No’!

The ideal night out is... having a great barbecue with friends in Ibiza, with grilled wild seabass marinated in wild dill and orange, big gambas with garlic and rosemary, plenty of rose, mojitos and maybe Pete Tong playing on the decks. Perfect!

In moments of weakness I... try looking at the bad times and thinking how lucky I am.

In another life I'd have been... a sportsman of some kind. Running, cycling, windsurfing, something like that.

The best age to be is… for me, it’s now. I have come through many hard things, and I have learnt an awful lot from it. I have become so much more thick-skinned and maybe less trusting than before.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is… believe and never give up. Have dreams as they can come true if you believe in them.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz