Wild Mushroom Risotto


Michelin starred chef Tom Aiken‘s early exposure to food and wine came from his father and grandfather, who were both wine merchants. Tom and his identical twin brother, Rob, both studied at Norwich City College Hotel School. At 22, Tom became chef de partie at Pierre Koffmann’s legendary La Tante Claire in London. In 1993, he became sous chef at Pied à Terre in London and then gained more Michelin experience at three-star level in France. In 1996 he returned Pied à Terre and, aged just 26, became the youngest head chef to earn a second Michelin star. It was when Tom launched his eponymous restaurant in London in 2003 that he sealed his reputation as one of the most exciting young chefs in the UK. His second, more informal restaurant, Tom’s Kitchen, was launched in October 2006. Tom has also written several cook books

Here he shares with us his recipe for a perfect mushroom risotto.


250g-risotto rice

800ml Chicken Stock

500g Button mushrooms sliced

200g roughly chopped shallots

3 cloves garlic bashed

8g thyme leaf

3 bay leaves

400g Mixed wild mushrooms cepe ,trompette ,girolles. ect

100g butter

200ml Vegetable oil

100ml olive oil

2g Salt

12 turns of milled pepper

50g grated Parmesan

150g banana shallots peeled and diced finely

4 cloves garlic finely chopped

250ml white wine

80g crème fraiche

2g salt

12g chopped chervil

4 Slices of ripped Parma Ham

Saute all the button mushrooms in a large hot sauté pan with the veg oil and butter, add 2g of salt and 12 turns of milled pepper, cook till nicely coloured and caramelised for about 5 mins, add the shallots, bay and thyme, cook for a further 5-8 minutes till soft and coloured. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, leave to cool covered with cling film over the top. Once this has cooled then you can pass this off and use this stock for the risotto.

Have the other mushrooms already cooked off in a little butter and seasoning so you can add them at the end. Sweat off the shallots, garlic, salt, pepper on a low heat in the olive oil with no colour, add the rice and cook for 2 minutes stirring all the time, so they soak up the excess oil. Place in the white wine and cook till absorbed it will take a minute or so stir till its absorbed. Slowly add the mushroom stock to the rice little by little stirring every minute or so, this will take around 14-16 minutes till the rice is almost cooked. At the end add the sautéd wild mushrooms, once it is almost cooked add the crème fraiche Parmesan, chervil and re-season then leave to rest for a minute serve into bowl, then lay on the ham.

Tom Aikens

Aikens started his cooking career as a commis chef at the Mirabelle in Eastbourne. He continued his career as a commis chef at the Cavalier's with David Cavalier. Aikens moved to London’s Capital Hotel under Michelin-starred head chef Philip Britten as a commis chef. Aikens was working as chef de partie at Pierre Koffmann’s La Tante Claire in London when the restaurant won its third Michelin star before becoming sous chef at Pied à Terre in 1993 under Richard Neat. Aikens left London to work under Joël Robuchon in Paris and Gerard Boyer in Reims before returning to Pied à Terre as head chef in 1996, where he held onto the two Michelin stars earned by his predecessor, Richard Neat. In doing so, he became the youngest British chef to be awarded two Michelin stars. Aikens spent a year as head chef at La Tante Claire before opening Tom Aikens in April 2003. The restaurant won a Michelin star in January 2004 and three stars in the Egon Ronay Guide for 2005. In 2005, it was named as the eighth best restaurant in the world in Restaurant's Top 50