Our people

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere so just keep on rolling under the stars”

If travel and storytelling go hand-in-hand, then our experts are definitely in the right job. They’ve lived in our destinations, and spent a lot of time exploring. Their stories are our inspiration. Their knowledge is the basis for organising your perfect trip – and they’ll be excited to hear all your stories when you return, too. Here’s just some of our London and New York team…

Amy
Travel Expert

Amy Hellman

“Travel makes human better!” This bumper sticker spotted on the back of a ’76 Volkswagen Beatle at the ripe age of 12 has resonated within the farthest reaches of my cranium on every trip I have taken in the last 15 years. Bearing this mantra in mind, travel started as a way for me to enhance my understanding of the spice trade, origins of flavor combinations, and basic cooking practices to enhance my culinary skills. Starting my life path as a chef, a deep love for eating and food has taken me to some of the most fantastic places and allowed me to eat with some of the most generous of people. Experiences ranging from buying local dayboat seafood in St. Martin and preparing it in the kitchen alongside the chef; to privately dining on top of the Reichstag in Berlin; or collecting the freshest salad ingredients during a flower safari on the Garden Route in South Africa; and pressing the beets alongside the head pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria New York for their world-renowned red velvet cake.  Humbling and gracious, travel for me has inspired this innate need to constantly strive to deepen my understanding of why people act in specific ways, how cultures have survived for thousands of years and what traditional dishes bring people together in the most loving or trying of times. Now forever wander lusting for new destinations you can find me at a currywurst cart one moment and sitting in a Michelin star kitchen the next taking in as many culturally epic experiences as possible. Let’s travel. Let’s eat. Let’s become better humans.

Kati
UK PR Director

Kati Jagger

Talking about travel has always been a passion of mine, and now at Black Tomato, it’s the best part of my job – in my role as UK PR Director, I make sure that we appear in top-notch publications to keep our profile high and customers aware of who we are and what amazing things they can experience with us. My parents instilled a sense of adventure from a young age, encouraging me to travel and taking me on intrepid outdoor trips – I’ve visited many of the National Parks in the Western US and had been to most states by the time I was a teenager. My experience with international travel started comparatively late with my first trip to the UK as a high school graduation present when I was 17, but I made up for that by leaving the US for good after I finished University, moving to London permanently to pursue an academic life in Medieval Literature. Now that didn’t quite work out career-wise, but I continued to travel on the weekends and while representing a luxury cycling brand – as a result I’ve seen a lot of Europe by bicycle and can personally attest to the beauty and brutality of routes through the Dolomites, various parts of the French Alps and the Spanish Pyrenees. I still have a deep love for all things ancient and medieval including art, architecture, and literature, and my family humour me in this respect as I seem to find at least one ‘old thing’ to visit nearly everywhere we go. Pretty much everywhere in Southeast Asia is still on my bucket list, along with the ancient sites of Meteora, Paro Taktsang, and Petra.

Rosie
Head of Client Relations & Loyalty

Rosie Simpson

My childhood summers were spent scrambling up mountains in the Lake District and sailing around the Mediterranean. These seminal experiences sparked my passion for discovering different cultures, landscapes and wildlife, and eventually led me to study geography at the University of Nottingham.

Since I finished my degree, I have been fortunate to travel widely across five continents. Some highlights include hiking to the top of a glacial lake on Mt. Cook in New Zealand; swimming alongside whale sharks in Mexico and accompanying an anti-poaching patrol whilst working on a game reserve in South Africa. I had caught the travel bug.

Determined to combine my studies and passion I sought a career in Travel, starting out in Marketing at Maybourne Hotel Group (owners of three luxury London hotels including the iconic Claridge’s, the Berkeley and the Connaught) and then later moving to the globally renowned Virgin brand determined to develop and learn best in class customer experience. I am now fortunate to work at Black Tomato, leading the Client Relations team. I feel privileged to be working for such a dynamic luxury brand, speaking directly with our clients and hearing their personal travel experiences. These help us to constantly evolve our offering as we strive to create the ultimate customer experience for our clients.

My parents first taught me the magic of travel and adventure. Today I work at Black Tomato because I want to share that magic with other people.

Brendan
Director of Public Relations & Communications

Brendan Drewniany

My love affair with travel started when I was 5 years old, headed for an extended stay with my parents in London and the Cotswolds. Reared by two academics, travel was always a part of my life and proud to say I was the youngest member of the Thomas Hardy Society. While I may not have followed the winding road to academia, I found myself a lover of words and communication and fused this with the world of food, wine and travel. I was fortunate enough to work agency-side representing remarkable Relais & Chateaux and Small Luxury Hotel properties alongside some big names in food. The vines eventually wound themselves around my legs and I represented both small and large-scale vineyards, wine regions and spirits producers, including such Rias Baixas, Esporao and Martin Miller’s Gin. Travel was always an integral part of the stories I would tell with the media and took me to Portugal, Spain, and even Iceland. After a tenure leading the US PR efforts for global luxury powerhouse brands such as Cole Haan, I was routed back to travel with the inspiring team at Black Tomato, where I belonged all along. Being able to collaborate with a team as well-traveled, well-versed and creative is a privilege and leading the US Communications strategy rewarding. Each day offers a new challenge, inspiration and stokes my inner-adventurer. I’ve traveled all over the world, though not yet been to Asia…but that is definitely next up.

Laura
Operations Executive

Laura Knight

Whether it was long days spent on beaches off the west coast of Scotland or racing down slopes in the Alps as a child, the thrill from the freedom that travel, and the outdoors, gives you has been ingrained within me from a young age. After school, I spent 6 months traveling through South America. I was in my element.  I danced in the streets in Rio De Janeiro during Carnival, skydived over the Andes, watched the sun set from the moonlike landscapes of the Valle de la Luna and swam with pink river dolphins in the Amazon. Realising the way that living abroad made me feel and how it opened my eyes I packed up and moved to Cape Town to study. Whilst there, I spent most of my weekends (and many weekdays – after lectures, of course) on Llandudno and Clifton beaches, vineyard hopping through Constantia or Franschhoek and scaling Lion’s Head to enjoy some sundowner’s while watching the sunset over the Atlantic. Being Cape Town, you can explore so much of Southern Africa so I took full advantage and paddled the Orange River, slept under the stars in Namibia and drove the sand dunes in Mozambique. Wanting to understand different cultures and experience a destination as a true local has fueled my passion for travel from a young age; I still pour over travel articles, trend reports and blogs to fill my notebooks to help plan my next travels. Being a part of the Black Tomato team, means that my curiosity to learn about new places, experiences and secret local spots, as well as my appetite for innovative travel, is constantly being whetted.

Black Tomato Group

From the original Black Tomato, our group has grown organically, always as a response to what our clients have said they loved, wanted or needed. We’re now a collection of four innovative teams – Black Tomato, Black Tomato Agency, Epic Tomato and Studio Black Tomato. We create remarkable, bespoke travel experiences for individuals and groups, and inspiring content for selected brands and businesses.

From our headquarters in Shoreditch, London, and our office in New York, here’s what we do:

Black Tomato

Black Tomato is the award-winning, luxury travel company that specializes in creating rare, wonderful and life-enhancing experiences for individuals. We’re here to encourage and indulge your curiosity about the world – and to ensure your time away is perfect. We’ll provide you with insightful, curated travel advice and a bespoke itinerary, organized to perfection. Since 2005 we have taken an independent, innovative approach, inspired by our own restless curiosity and a passion for service that’s creatively shaped around individuals.

Black Tomato Agency

Black Tomato Agency is an award-winning team dedicated to group incentive travel and prize fulfilment. We take a Black Tomato experience and use it as a tool to influence, motivate, educate and unite a group of people – all over the world. As proof of our success, we count FTSE100 companies and well-known household brands among our satisfied clients.

Epic Tomato

Epic Tomato specializes in expedition-led adventures to remote corners of the world. Having organized specialist trips like these for a number of years, we’ve created a standalone brand that focuses on offering the very best and rarest of life-changing adventure travel experiences.

Studio Black Tomato

Studio Black Tomato is our content, marketing and brand strategy agency, born organically from Black Tomato’s innovative approach to travel marketing. We started by producing content for tourist boards and hotel groups. Now we create strategic, impactful content, consult within the luxury industry and implement campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world.