A delicious Q&A with Tom Aikens

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Who better to turn to for tips on British food than a celebrated chef? We caught up with Michelin-starred British chef Tom Aikens, and here's what he told us: Aside from your own restaurants, what are your favourite places to eat around the UK? I enjoy The Champignon Sauvage, Hibiscus, The Square and The Waterside Inn. What makes British food GREAT? The produce we have is amazing and it has improved tenfold in the last decade. I remember when I was a head chef for the first time at Pied a Terre and we were buying nearly everything from France.  Now that has completely changed for the better as has the quality and consistency - we now have great producers in this country that are really dedicated to making great produce! What do you love about British produce? British producers are truly passionate and care a great deal about what they are making and growing. We have so many great suppliers and at Tom Aikens Restaurant and Tom’s Kitchen we use particular suppliers for game, beef, lamb and chicken. Where would you suggest tourists go who have a love of food? All over really! I don’t think that there is a particular place anymore that is stronger or better than another.  Of course in the south west you have a better climate so the season for growing is slightly longer. What makes British food different than other cuisines? The best British dishes are big on comfort and are timeless and tasty. They are traditional and full of history and meaning and therefore will never go out of fashion or favour. I am talking about things like toad in the hole, lovely pies, fish and chips, shepherds pie and while they might not be all that exciting, they still taste really great. What would you say to international tourists who claim British food is bad? That the claims are unfounded - we are one of the most exciting food nations in the world in terms of the diversity and quality of produce and product. Tom Aiken Tom Aikens is a food ambassador for the GREAT Britain campaign. If you love British food, tweet a picture of your favourite British meal or recipe using #FoodisGREAT

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