When Tom Booton was brought in to oversee The Grill at The Dorchester back in 2019 – becoming, at 26, the youngest head chef in the five-star London hotel restaurant’s history – his brief was to strip away some of the formality and introduce a fresh approach to what was a rather traditional fine dining restaurant. And so out went the immaculate white table clothes, and the stiff-upper-lip service; and in came a pudding bar, complete with soft serve machine.
Describing his vision as “fine dining without the ‘fine’”, Booton has created a place that can confidently stand side by side with any of London’s top Michelin-starred restaurants.
Booton began his career in cooking at the age of 15, working at a local Essex restaurant, where he rose through the ranks and won ‘Chef of the Future’ at the Essex Food & Drinks Awards. He then moved to London and worked at the Michelin-starred Alyn Williams at The Westbury in Mayfair; first as a commis chef and sous chef, and then later head chef.
With The Grill at The Dorchester, Booton is on a mission to offer a modern-day grill experience in a style that nowhere else offers. His produce-led approach and vibrant cooking style rightly catching the attention of many, while his talent and energy have proven formidable in reaffirming The Grill at The Dorchester’s position as a leading London dining classic.
The Chef to Watch award is sponsored by Belazu