Born and raised in Hackney, Aidan Brooks graduated with a Professional Chef Diploma in 2007 and promptly relocated to Barcelona to train at Comerç 24, which won a Michelin star that autumn and where he became a Chef de Partie. Aidan broadened his experience in Spain at Michelin-starred Lasarte in Barcelona and at Ferrero in Valencia, where he became Chef Tournant and Pastry Chef and learnt to forage.
In 2010 Aidan returned to London to help set up and open Viajante, which earnt the East End's first ever Michelin star. In 2011 Aidan took a break to study cheese at La Fromagerie, becoming Acting Manager of the Highbury branch. Returning to the kitchen in 2013, Aidan was appointed Sous Chef at Soho's Ducksoup and subsequently helped plan and launch Eelbrook in Fulham as Sous Chef.
In 2015 Aidan was appointed Head Chef at Vanilla Black in the City of London, widely regarded as one of Britain's finest vegetarian restaurants, where he introduced new seasonal menus, re-organised the kitchen and established an award-winning tasting menu. Aidan's love of his home town combined with his strong ethical views on sustainability, seasonality and support for small local enterprises led to him launching his passion project, Eleven98, in 2018.
Born and raised in the London Borough of Hackney, Aidan Brooks started home cooking with his mother at the age of eight. Aged fourteen he attended Junior Chef Academy in Waltham Forest, where he was awarded a merit certificate by Cyrus Todiwala OBE who subsequently offered Aidan the opportunity to train at his award-winning restaurant Café Spice Namaste. Aidan went on to support Raymond Blanc OBE at The Good Food Show and train in several top London restaurants including with Peter Gordon ONZM at The Providores.
Graduating from Westminster Kingsway College with a Professional Chef Diploma in 2007, Aidan promptly relocated to Barcelona to train with Carles Abellan at Comerç 24, which won a Michelin star that autumn. Already a well-known and popular food blogger, he wrote several articles on food for The Guardian newspaper, correctly predicting the rise of Tokyo and Beijing in the world of gastronomy and bemoaning the absence of any Michelin-starred restaurants in London's East End. Meanwhile, leading Catalan newpaper El Periódico referred to this English teenager who had chosen to work in a Barcelona kitchen as "el loco inglés".
Having progressed from stagière to Chef de Partie at Comerç 24, Aidan transferred to Martín Berasategui's restaurant Lasarte, which won its second Michelin star. In 2009 Aidan joined Francisco Morales at Ferrero in Valencia, where he became Chef Tournant and subsequently Pastry Chef and where he learnt to forage for herbs and edible flowers in the Sierra Mariola National Park. In 2010 Nuno Mendes invited Aidan to help set up and open Viajante in Bethnal Green, which subsequently earnt that first ever Michelin star for the East End.
Taking a break from fine dining in 2011, Aidan accepted a personal offer to work at London’s leading purveyor of cheeses, La Fromagerie in Marylebone, where he rapidly progressed from Sales Assistant to Co-Manager of the Highbury branch. After two years learning about cheese Aidan headed back to the kitchen, working first as Sous Chef at the innovative Ducksoup in Soho and subsequently as Sous Chef at Eelbrook in Fulham (backdrop to several episodes of 'Made In Chelsea') - a restaurant which he helped a former colleague to establish from scratch.
In 2015 Aidan was head-hunted to take on the post of Head Chef at Vanilla Black in the City of London, widely regarded as one of the country's finest vegetarian restaurants. He spent over two years introducing new seasonal menus, re-organising the kitchen and establishing an award-winning tasting menu before deciding to strike out on his own. Aidan's love of his Hackney home combined with strong ethical views on sustainability, seasonality and support for small local enterprises led in 2018 to the launch of his passion project, Eleven98.