How I Got Here: Tom Brooke

Why restaurants?
I love food. Simple as that I love cooking and eating. This is my passion so it was really the only business I could have ever been in.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Have a thick skin, you are going to need it. 

What do you do in your spare time?
I love cooking with my children. The day my daughter came to the restaurant and cooked her first burger was a really special moment. Other than that I play golf and I have also developed a bit of an addiction to playing and watching darts.

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your current one)?
My favourite restaurant has to be Esarn Kheaw. It’s a tiny little Thai family restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. The mum does all the cooking. It’s spectacular.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in restaurants?
I’m an entrepreneur at heart. So I would be in business of some kind. The technology market has boomed over the last ten years so I would try to find a good angle there. I don’t have the ability to grind out a nine to five office job.

What motivates you?
When the food is coming up on the pass and it looks stunning, the restaurant is full and the customers are smiling having a great time. It’s a really special feeling to think all your hard work, blood, sweat and tears over the years have been worth it.

Where was your last holiday?
We go whenever we have time to my wife’s country house in Suffolk. 

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
I was inspired growing up by watching chefs on television. My favourite was definitely the Roux brothers. Their skill, attention to detail and passion was infectious.

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