Byrne’s not the only one. “He’s strict and disciplined and one of the greatest chefs around,” says London society fixture and designer Anouska Hempel, who did the interiors for Aikens’s first restaurant and has employed him as a private chef. “He can turn his hand to anything. In Italy he’ll go to a market and come home with 16 mushroom varieties you’ve never heard of. In France, it’s cheese. Tom is fascinated by food and is on a constant search to make his better.”
And nothing, it seems, gets in the way of that search—not even a walk down the aisle. In June he married Amber Nuttall, a London publicist and former chef whose late father was Sir Nicholas Nuttall, heir to a civil engineering empire. (Nuttall’s mother, Miranda Quarry, is an ex-wife of Peter Sellers’s and is now married to the Earl of Stockton.) The day after the festivities, which were attended by several members of the Parker Bowles family and society decorator Nicky Haslam, the couple pulled on their Wellies and took off for the Cornwall villages of Newland, St. Ives and Falmouth “to see fishermen and go to the markets, go direct to the source,” as Aikens describes the honeymoon. Ahhh…romance.