The 5-minute Interview: Tom Aikens, Chef

'I would like to have been a jockey – I like riding horses very fast'
Click to follow
The Independent Online

The youngest chef to win a Michelin star, Tom Aikens, 38, began his career at Marco Pierre White's Mirabelle restaurant. He now owns three restaurants,appears regularly on television and is the author of two books. This summer he is taking part in the national Taste Festival.

A phrase I use far too often is...

My favourite is "move your arse" or, more appropriately, "come on, hurry up." It doesn't have quite the same effect, does it? In my line of work I find myself having to use them quite frequently.

If I weren't talking to you right now, I'd be...

Writing my latest book on how to cook fish. I literally finished 30 minutes ago.

I wish more people would take more notice of...

Free time. My free time is really precious. People don't take enough time to enjoy things. Sometimes it's good just to take out 10 minutes in the day to do nothing.

The most common perception of me is...

That I'm a bit of a naughty boy. One of the things I tend to find with people is that when they meet a new face they place a strong emphasis on making assumptions about who you are, what they think you believe in and what you stand for.

I am not a politician but...

If I were, I would make substantial changes to the whole travel system in London. The thing that depresses most people is that it just doesn't work. It's far too expensive and there are frequent delays. The service is just bad most of the time.

The ideal night out is...

A nice quiet night in with the wife.

I'm good at...

Photography. I enjoy taking pictures whenever I can. I generally take pictures when I go on holiday or of nature.

I'm bad at...

Being patient. Although it does pay to be impatient in my line of work. The only thing is, sometimes when I'm elsewhere I forget that I can't be as impatient as at work.

You know me as a chef, but in a truer life I would have been...

A jockey. I like horses and I like riding very fast on them. At the moment I don't have one but I when used to play a bit of polo I did. One of my cousins is a professional jockey in Northern Ireland. It would be great fun.

In moments of weakness I...

I don't think I really have any, if I am honest. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that I don't really think about being weak.

The best age to be is...

In the thirties. Maybe 35 to 40. I think after the age of 35 you are more in control of your life. You know your boundaries and limits, you have your head screwed on. And you are generally more mature.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this...

To do as much as you possibly can. Never believe that anything is unattainable. Anything is possible – don't ever take no for an answer.

Lucy Chakaodza

Comments