No stranger to hard graft in the kitchen, Tom Aikens became the youngest chef at 26 to win two Michelin stars, and now has an impressive UK and international restaurant portfolio to his name. He’s battled through culinary competitions such as TV’s Great British Menu, and personal feats such as running the Marathon des Sables (six marathons across the Sahara desert in just five days), but now he’s facing an altogether different challenge; cooking a full menu for 22 guests while harnessed to a kitchen-platform suspended from a crane 25 metres above London's South Bank.
Chef Tom Aikens should already be fairly familiar with the South Bank. His Tom’s Kitchen restaurant at Somerset House is just across the river, serving up his classical British and European food with hints of his renowned creative and innovative flair. Key dishes on his menu include seasonal bouillabaisse and gazpacho, triple-cooked chips, and grilled fish and meats on the bone, but cooking and plating them on a limited kitchen while open to the elements is quite a different matter.
The current menu for the lunches and dinners Tom will be serving include starters of a home-cured venison carpaccio and a jasmine-cured salmon, a main dish of Yorkshire jugged hare leg, and a dessert of apple and vanilla panna cotta.
We asked Tom about his chosen dishes, expectations and fears for his events at London in the Sky…