Formerly of Sat Bains Restaurant, Tom was appointed head chef at Adam Stokes’ eponymous restaurant in Birmingham in August 2017. Tom describes his cooking style as modern, flavour driven, educated, clean and seasonally led.
The start of every season excites me, I love seeing all the new ingredients come into fruition, especially when we work so closely with our suppliers and see it all first hand, they’re all as passionate as we are, these relationships alone are the most important in my opinion, as chefs are the finishing link in the chain, all the hard work has been done by the growers and producers, beforehand, were the lucky ones who get to finish it off and showcase it to our customers.
I fell into cooking really, I was a trainee manager at New Hall hotel in Walmley and part of the management training was that I had to work for three months in the kitchen. Within a week, for the first time in my life I felt naturally comfortable with the jobs and work load, it came very easy to me, I very quickly discovered a genuine love and passion for the environment.
My main influence that got me into cooking was Gordon Ramsay, watching his programmes and just seeing his natural desire and demands inspired me greatly, everything had to be perfect, and what he’s achieved in this industry goes to show what passion, determination and focus can achieve. My family are incredibly important to me, and they have always been so supportive and so proud of my achievements, without them id not be the man I am today, that’s for sure.
Birmingham’s food scene is thriving and I’m so proud to be part of it. There are a lot of talented chefs and I love the fact that my generation of chefs are coming through the ranks and taking charge of some of the best kitchens in the city, such as Leo Kattou at Simpsons and Luke Butcher at Purnells. As business owners, Brad Carter and Ben Tesh are doing great things in the city, I’ve had fantastic meals at both Carters and Folium, so it’s impossible to pick a favourite.