Tom Cook’s talents were identified in 1996 by Gary Rhodes, during a one off dinner the celebrity chef was hosting in association with Gardner Merchant. Due to open a new restaurant, Rhodes enlisted the help of Cook and brought him on board as chef de partie at City Rhodes. During his time there, he saw the restaurant gain a Michelin-star and was chosen to go to Tokyo with Rhodes to prepare a special promotional menu in the Hilton Hotel.
After four years’ service, Cook moved on to pastures new as chef de partie under Michel Roux Jr. at legendary two Michelin-star Le Gavroche. Working on garnish, meat and fish, Cook comments that “Michel was one of the calmest chefs I’ve ever worked for, a trait I’ve tried to bring into my own leadership style.”
In 2002 Cook progressed to his second two Michelin-starred kitchen as a junior chef at The Capital Hotel under Eric Chavot. After one year, he joined Daniel Clifford at two Michelin-star Midsummer House.
From there Cook, aged 30, went overseas – first to Paris at Laurent Duchene to learn the art of patisserie and then on to Australia. Cook put his new found skills in to practise at The West Auckland where he worked as head pastry chef for six months. From there, he spent three years at the three Hat Pier Restaurant in Sydney as sous chef, before moving back to London and taking the position of head chef at Tom Aikens Restaurant. With one Michelin star, Cook commanded a brigade of 10 and a 70 cover restaurant.
After a year with Aikens, Cook began working for Le Pont de la Tour in 2011, taking up the position of executive head chef. On top of running a busy service, he also ran cookery classes for customers, working hard to raise the standards and improve the overall experience for guests.
In 2015, Cook made the move to Skylon as executive head chef, giving two years of service at the large Royal Festival Hall restaurant with stunning panoramic views across the Thames.
Cook is now executive head chef at boutique Smith & Wollensky located just off the Strand, the first UK branch of the American eatery opened in 2015 and has since received rave reviews for their incredible steaks, wide selection of wines and stunning art-deco style interiors.
To find out more about Tom’s 14-course nose to tail menu click here