Meet Tom: the face behind our food. Passionate, talented and just a genuinely nice guy, he’s gone from Chef de Partie to Head Chef in just short of a year.

Tell us a bit about your experience as a chef

I’m from Dunedin in New Zealand and I started in the restaurant business as a KP at the age of 14.

After graduating from school, I enrolled in university to study music. I only lasted a year before realising university wasn’t what I expected it to be and joined culinary school to follow my passion for cooking.

While studying I worked at a fish restaurant in Dunedin and worked my way up through the business before moving to Melbourne, Australia where I worked in a gastro pub for three years. Then I worked in a Middle Eastern restaurant which was not-for-profit and feasting-style rather than mezze and small plates – I met an amazing group of people there, and it was an experienced I really loved.

After that I moved outside of Melbourne to work in the Dandenong Ranges National Park where I worked at the Piggery Café which had its own truffle garden. For the next two years I had my first job as a Sous Chef at St Cloud Vitenamese restaurant.

I moved to Edinburgh in 2018 where I got the job as Chef de Partie at BABA, and over the next 10 months I was promoted from Sous, to Senior Sous and finally to Head Chef.

Now for some quickfire questions…

What’s your favourite part about being a chef?

It’s the opportunity to meet interesting people, be creative and to continually learn about the trade.

Why do you love working at BABA?

I get to work with a variety of different spices and flavours alongside the sharing style of service.

Tell us about a recent memorable meal out…

I visited Timberyard not too long ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience – there was a lovely atmosphere and the food was delicious!

What’s your favourite thing to cook?

A full breakfast.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The fridge – simply looking at what I have available to me.

Where does your passion for cooking come from?

Years of working in the industry and gaining knowledge as I go.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Watching live music.

Where was your favourite place to work (before BABA of course!)?

St Cloud, because I got to cook with fresh and interesting flavours and met an amazing, fun group of people.