🔪 MEET THE CHEF: Tom Booton of The Grill at The Dorchester, London, England
Tripveel sat down with Chef Tom Booton of The Grill at The Dorchester in London, England.
Where did you grow up and/or where have you traveled to that has helped inspire and shape your cooking philosophy?
I grew up in Colchester in Essex, which is where I started my career as a chef. When I was 15 I did work experience at Le Talbooth, just up the road from my parent’s home, but quickly rose through the ranks. After five years there, in 2013 I moved to London and worked for Michelin-starred chef, Alyn Williams at The Westbury then moved to L’Autre Pied under Andy Mcfadden. After two years in London I left to go travelling and worked in restaurants in New York, Copenhagen and Iceland. I came back to the United Kingdom in 2016 to work for Ollie Dabbous as sous chef and then I moved to head chef at Alyn Williams. Seeing how different restaurants work around the world and learning from chefs of different cultures hugely helped shape the concept of my menu and philosophy of food.
Tell our readers an interesting fact or two about yourself.
I would say the fact I’m the youngest head chef The Grill at The Dorchester has ever appointed is pretty interesting!
Tell us about your absolute favorite food and why readers should try it if they haven’t already.
There is nothing better on a Sunday morning than a sausage butty with a generous squirt of brown sauce, served with a strong cup of tea with milk and sugar.
What are three ingredients that you simply couldn’t live without?
My team, salt and Duchess Farm raw rape seed oil.
We love the art behind plating. What do you love about designing the perfect dish?
The simplicity. When you cook with respect you can let the ingredients speak for themselves on the plate.
Tell us about one of the most creative dishes you’ve created?
One of my favourite dishes to make is a Lobster Thermidor Tart, which is undoubtedly tasty and looks just as good as it tastes.
Share your most recent awards and accreditations with us!
This year I won an Acorn Award by The Caterer, which celebrates the industry’s talent aged under 30, I was also recognised in CODE magazine’s 30 under 30.
What are some of the latest trends you’re seeing in top restaurants across the globe?
The food culture has changed dramatically in my 12 years as a chef. We have developed from very formal and theatrical dining experiences, to a more wholesome focus on quality ingredients and sustainable sourcing.
What’s your favorite cocktail or liquor?
I am more of a beer drinker, my go-to is Chapel Down. I am actually using their stout to make the daily bread for The Grill at The Dorchester.
What do you love about being the Head Chef of The Grill at The Dorchester?
The Dorchester has an incredible reputation, I love that I am able to lead its legendary restaurant into its next chapter. With a history of 88 years, we are taking a fresh approach to the menu and atmosphere of the restaurant. I’ll be developing the concept over the coming months to ensure that we are fully ready for the October showcase.**
The Grill at The Dorchester officially reopens in October of 2019 to a new menu and atmosphere—this article will be updated with new cuisine images at that time.