An Audience with Tom Aikens

10.30am - 3.45pm Friday 15 March 2024

Tom Aikens will headline a special ‘Audience with ……‘ event at the magnificent Rosewood London. This exclusive event will provide guests with the opportunity to spend an afternoon with one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspiratio
nal British Chefs - the celebrated and popular Tom Aikens whilst raising vital funds for industry charity Only A Pavement Away.   ARENA WILL DONATE 20% OF ALL TICKET SALES TO ONLY A PAVEMENT AWAY

Buy Tickets

Single Tickets Excl. VAT

  • Members £180
  • Non-members £280

Tables of 10 Excl. VAT

  • Members £1,620
  • Non-members £2,520

Event Timings

10.30am Guest Arrival
11.00am Welcome and Introduction to Only A Pavement Away by Greg Mangham, Founder and CEO
11.10am Panel Discussion 'What's in Store for 2024?'
12.00pm Drinks and Canapé Reception
1.00 pm Three course lunch with wine
2.45 pm Interview with Tom Aikens by Simon Young, Executive Chef, Rosewood London plus audience Q&A
3.30 pm Closing Speeches
3.45 pm Guests Depart or Networking Continues

The Event

An Audience with Tom Aikens in partnership with Only A Pavement Away

Taking place on Friday 15 March 2024 over 150 hospitality and foodservice professionals will gather at the stunning 5* Rosewood London hotel for Arena’s ‘Audience with Tom Aikens’. In an inspiring and exclusive interview hosted by the Rosewood's Executive Chef, Simon Young, Tom will share the life events, opportunities and challenges that have shaped his phenomenal career, bringing them to life with anecdotal stories. Tom will also share his thoughts on the latest industry hot topics, his work with Only A Pavement Away, where he is Patron and what the future may look like.

In addition to Tom's interview, the event also includes:- 

What's in Store for 2024?  An insightful panel discussion hosted by Mark Stretton, CEO, Fleet Street Communications looking at the trends, opportunities and challenges that will most likely affect the hospitality sector over the coming year.  Our panellists who include Emma McClarkin OBE, CEO, British Beer and Pub Association and Janene Pretorius, Head of People and Culture, Wolseley Hospitality Group will share their views on the sector - and in particular the current staffing challenges - and how they are working with Only A Pavement Away to relieve those challenges. 

Drinks and Canapé reception with plenty of time to catch up with industry colleagues and cement those all important business relationships as we move forward into 2024

Three course lunch with wine paired to each course. 

Arena will donate 20% of all ticket sales to Only A Pavement Away

Only A Pavement Away

Only A Pavement Away’s purpose is to provide pathways out of homelessness and crime into purposeful employment within the hospitality industry. Over the next six years, it is estimated that there will be around 1.3 million vacancies in the sector. At the same time, the number of people who are facing or are at risk of becoming homeless, is rising. 

Only A Pavement Away facilitate training & development and offer financial support to anyone facing homelessness, leaving prison or the armed forces who need support to overcome barriers to employment.  The project is underpinned by a strong commercial & financial benefit to the hospitality industry whilst reducing the ever-increasing strain on government funding required to support those who find themselves in extreme and vulnerable circumstances. Since launching in 2018, the charity have helped place 1600 Members into work and another 440 have gained employment adding almost £12.9 million back to the economy.

With a solid foundation Only A Pavement Away are now recognised as the ‘go to’ charity for the employment of those facing homelessness, prison leavers and vulnerable veterans into careers within the hospitality industry and forging connections in some of the key major cities and regions across the country. They have over 150 hospitality businesses signed up to the programme alongside 199 referral charities all of whom have work ready candidates eager to start new careers in hospitality. 



Meet Our Speakers

Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspirational British chefs and also the Patron of Only A Pavement Away.  Growing up in Norfolk, with a father working in the wine industry and a childhood spent gardening and cooking with his mother, Tom learnt how to make use of the freshest ingredients, putting food at the centre of his life from a very early age. As a child, Tom and his twin brother Rob would help their mother in the kitchen with the preparation of cakes, biscuits, jams, chutneys and home cooked meals, using fresh vegetables picked from their garden.

He began his career at Michelin-starred Cavalier’s in Battersea, London. He then moved onto The Capital Hotel working under Philip Britten, followed by a chef-de-partie position with Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire at a time when the restaurant was awarded with its third Michelin star. Tom later worked for Joel Robuchon in Paris, Gérard Boyer in Reims and Pied-à-Terre to name a few. It was in Pied-à-Terre that Tom became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars, aged just 26. 

 In 2000, Tom decided to take some time out of the restaurant kitchen and immerse himself in the world of farming but after three years of farm life, Tom was keen to get back into a kitchen again and went on to open his immensely successful eponymous restaurant, Tom Aikens, which won a Michelin star and rising 2 star in 2009. 

Having worked with Nick Jones of Soho House and launching three restaurant concepts in Abu Dhabi Tom opened Muse in 2020 - a cosy 25-seater renovated mews house in the heart of Belgravia.  Muse opened with critical acclaim and rave reviews quoting “a menu of pure genius.” The first Michelin star was won in January 2021, despite having only being open for just 7 months in 2020 due to various lockdowns. Muse has won multiple awards such as The Hardens London Restaurant Award for “Best Gastronomic Experience” in September 2021, as well as London’s “Best Restaurant Design” at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards in October 2021. 

Charity and Support Work

In 2012, Tom was proud to become a fundraising ambassador for the British Olympic Games, donated his services several times to produce huge banquets.  At the largest fundraising event, The Olympic Golden Ball at Earl’s Court, Tom curated the menu, leading the team to cook for 2,500 guests and was then awarded with the incredible opportunity of being a torch bearer for the London Olympics that year.

As patron of OAPA, Tom and OAPA launched a social media cookery campaign during the first national lockdown. The aim was to cook a recipe in 5 minutes, donate £5 and nominate 5 others to take part, in aid of raising vital funds for the charity. Due to the success of the campaign, Tom and OAPA have been working on a new charity cookbook that will celebrate the recipes submitted by both celebrity chefs and recipes of the general public.

Tom is also a regular veteran judge on Great British Menu and Great British Bake Off’s “The Extra Slice”

Simon Young


Simon Young has over 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry.  Growing up in Sussex, Simon knew from the age of 15 that he wanted to be a chef.  After working in various South Coast hotels he moved to London and worked in a number of hotels including The Inn On The Park (now the Four Seasons Hotel) the Royal Garden and the luxurious Dorchester as Premier Sous Chef.

Following a stint in Ontario, Canada, Simon returned to the UK.  He took up a position as Head Chef at Harrods and then became part of the opening team at the Great Eastern hotel. Following this and at the age of 36 Simon was appointed Executive Chef of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower overseeing the entire culinary division – a position he held for 16 years.

In 2019 Simon then became Executive Chef at Rosewood London overseeing the luxury hotel’s kitchens and restaurants including the popular Scarfes Bar and elegant Mirror Room

Well-established within the hospitality sector, Simon boasts a number of esteemed accolades attached to his name, including Hotel Cateys Chef of the Year and Craft Guild of Chefs’ Banqueting Chef of the Year.

Mark Stretton, CEO, Fleet Street

Mark Stretton is a former Sunday Times journalist, and leisure industry editor. Today he heads the hospitality and leisure sector’s standout strategic communications consultancy, Fleet Street.  Supporting management teams on a range of reputational challenges and opportunities, they work across the corporate and consumer comms landscape, including ESG, crisis management, CEO and leadership messaging, as well stakeholder and community relations. 

He is a regular commentator and speaker on key industry issues, and in addition to Only A Pavement Away, Fleet Street’s client partners include Arc Inspirations, Big Table Group, Clermont Hotels Group, Diageo, Heineken, Nutritics, Parkdean Resorts, UKHospitality and Zonal.

Emma McClarkin OBE, CEO, British Beer and Pub Association

Emma has been the Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association since 2019 and was recently awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) award for her exceptional services to the hospitality industry.

A passionate beer and pub lover, Emma is the voice for the beer and pub sector leading them through the pandemic, interfacing with Government and stakeholders to secure vital grant support and economic stimulus to aid the recovery of the Sector. Protecting the future of the Great British Pub and our world-renowned brewers.

Prior to joining the BBPA, Emma served as a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands for 10 years. As a true beer lover, she also served as Vice President of the European Parliament Beer Club during this time. She has also held posts including Chairman of the Commonwealth Forum and Director of Global Policy for the Sports Integrity Global Alliance and is currently Chair of the Worldwide Brewing Alliance, Vice Chair of the Tourism Alliance Board and a Director of the Ivors Academy.

Outside of work, Emma is a big fan of music and sport, closely following the rugby, football and cricket – as well as watching them in her local pub!

Janene Pretorius, Director of People and Culture, The Wolseley Hospitality Group

Janene has over 20 years experience working in hotels and restaurants.  Born and raised in South Africa Janene developed a keen interest in the hospitality industry very early on. From the age of 16, Janene worked in a number of restaurants whilst studying, taking on a variety of roles and eventually graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. 

In 2001, Janene moved to the UK and embarked on a career in hotels and restaurants. Having spent five years honing her skills in operational roles, she decided to channel her passion for people into a purposeful career in Human Resources. Joining Gaucho in 2003 she took the role of Head of Staff Training and Development where she implemented The Gaucho Academy. 10 years later, she joined Prezzo as Training and HR Director, before moving to The Ivy Collection as Director of People in February 2017.

Her role grew to encompass Caprice Holdings, Bill’s Restaurants as well as The Ivy Collection brasseries across the UK and internationally as Chief People Officer. In November 2022, Janene joined The Wolseley Hospitality Group as Director of People and Culture.

Janene has been a supporter of Only A Pavement Away since the start of their journey five years ago, actively taking part in many of their initiatives including Cook and Dine, Fill a Flask and Winter Warmth.

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Event Bookings Terms and Conditions: 

For bookings cancelled 28 days or more before the event, a full monetary refund will be given. For bookings cancelled between 21 and 28 days prior to the event, a credit against a future event will be given. No refunds or credits will be given less than 21 days before an event. No refunds or credits will be given for non-attendance of the event​.