In terms of precocious achievement, it’s up there with George Harrison: Tom Booton, the new Head Chef at The Grill at The Dorchester, is the same age – just 26 – that The Quiet Beatle was when they committed their final recording as a band to tape.
Booton, whose career began at age 15, was running the kitchen at The Westbury in Mayfair when The Dorchester’s General Manager, Robert Whitfield, dined there and deemed a Colchester crab dish to be the best meal he’d tasted in his life.
“I’m hoping to create a destination restaurant within the hotel with a fresh energy and buzz, seen both in the dining space and across the menus,” says the consistently articulate Booton of the challenge ahead. “We’ve got a strong core team of young talent behind The Grill including my Sous Chef Adam Nevin and together we can create a restaurant that is accessible to everyone, to be enjoyed by generations old and new.
London’s culinary culture has changed dramatically in Booton’s 12 years as a chef, he says. “We’ve developed from very formal and theatrical dining experiences to a more wholesome focus on quality ingredients and sustainable sourcing. I’m ready for the challenge in taking the restaurant into a new era. I love that I am able to lead this legendary restaurant into its next chapter.”
Specific dishes in the planning include lobster thermidor as well as and native-breed ribeye with maitake mushroom ketchup, creamed spinach and bone marrow mash.