You could broadly say that most 26 year olds are just starting to get into their career groove. Few 26 year olds are already at the top of their game, and Tom Booton is one of these impressive exceptions, having been recently appointed head chef of The Grill at The Dorchester.
Earlier this week The Grill re-launched with Tom's personal interpretation of a modern-day British grill. You can expect more relaxed interiors, a statement Pudding Bar, Chef's Table, and some insanely delicious cocktails concocted by award winning bartender, Lucia Montanelli. (See below Tom's favourite!)
Alongside him are an equally young team, all under the age of 30, namely sous chef Adam Nevin, head sommelier Eugenio Egorov and general manager Jennifer Santner. Together they bring a vibrant energy across both the food and the service, celebrating one of London's longest standing restaurants.
We're a big fan as you can probably tell, and I'm sure you will be too once you try Tom's Prawn Scotch Egg and Lobster Thermidor Tart.
Tom, outside of the kitchen, what is your idea of the perfect pairing?
A night in with a good film and a take-away curry
Who is on your restaurant speed dial?
Smoking Goat never fails to impress, it has double-tasty food and a really fun atmosphere
What’s your house Wine, Cider, Beer and Cocktail?
What is the one ingredient you couldn’t possibly live without?
Where is London's best kept secret?
I’m a huge fan of Indian cuisine, Rajput Restaurant in Shepherd's Bush is definitely one you should check out
Where would we find you outside of London?
Singapore is one of my favourite places to visit, I recently went there and dined at Restaurant Zén which is out of this world. We were there to see my partner’s family and were blown away by Björn Frantzén’s concept and menu
What is your favourite Richard Brendon collection?
We have Richard’s water glasses from his collaboration with Jancis Robinson, the best on the market in my opinion
Stemmed or Stemless?
You’ve just woken up: tea or coffee?
Coffee, milky with a generous spoon of brown sugar
Have you ever been behind a potter’s wheel?
I get the experts to make my pottery, so very pleased to be working with London’s best creatives like Richard and also Laura Hughes in Peckham
Where do you start your Christmas shopping?
Truthfully its usually a last minute panic on Christmas Eve, paying for the fast delivery
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
My girlfriend asked for a Dior scarf once, little did I know the scarf was for her handbag…
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A PS2 in 2002, aged nine it was the best thing you could possibly get!
What’s your go-to dinner party dish?
Beef Wellington never fails to impress, it’s always a crowd pleaser
How do you switch off?
A walk in Hyde Park, before a couple of pints in the pub with some friends
Richard loves sourcing antique saucers - what do you collect?
The Dorchester has its own toy duck for guests, all the hotels in the collection have one, I’ve started collecting them in the kitchen at The Grill
How would you describe your personal style?
I am all about comfort, keep it simple
Photos from The Dorchester
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Do you need a different glass for different wines? Can you drink red wine with fish or white with meat? Is it true that only red wine needs decanting? What is the proper way to taste wine in a restaurant?
Who better to ask these questions to than world-renowned wine critic and our good friend, Jancis Robinson. During Jancis' World Atlas of Wine tour in the US earlier this year, she and Richard popped into Food52 to bust some of the biggest wine myths around.
With Christmas now less than a month away, we can't help but start to think about what is going to feature on our Christmas cheese board this year. Better yet, which wines are we going to match them with?
We could think of anyone better than Wine Expert, Writer and Presenter of the Wine Show Joe Fattorini to recommend his cheese and wine pairings for a foolproof Christmas lunch. Like Joe, we will of course be using the "One Glass for Every Wine" Jancis Robinson wine glass, which comes in handy in such situations as we'll be tasting whites, reds and sweet wines!
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