Tom Kerridge: how the celebrity pub chef became who he is today

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Treble champ: Kerridge won the top spot at the Top 50 Gatropub Awards with the Hand & Flowers three times
Treble champ: Kerridge won the top spot at the Top 50 Gatropub Awards with the Hand & Flowers three times

Related tags: Tom kerridge, Cook, Buckinghamshire, Culinary art

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge opened his first gastropub in 2005, gaining his first Michelin star within a year. The Morning Advertiser charts some of the highlights of his career.

December 2006​ – Top chef talks training with GK

Kerridge opened a training kitchen for fellow Greene King licensees at the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

He said: “The plan is to run training courses, which could last up to three days, to show licensees how to improve quality, how to source from suppliers and basically how a little extra effort can improve GP.”

January 2010​ – Hand & Flowers owners to open bar

Tom and Beth Kerridge announced they would be opening a bar a two-minute walk away from the Hand & Flowers, Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

The drink-led venue, Claytons, featured food cooked at the Hand & Flowers and the menu featured 25 dishes.

Tom Kerridge said: “There’ll be no waiters, no maitre d’, you’ll order from the bar, the food’s all very simple, and you don’t have to eat at all. If you want to come in for a drink, that’s fine.”

June 2011​ – Pub chef wins mains on Great British Menu

The Hand & Flowers owner cooked a banquet for Prince Charles after winning the main meal round of BBC Two’s Great British Menu​.

Kerridge beat 23 chefs with his dish of slow-cooked Aylesbury duck with a crispy duck leg, duck fat chips, peas and gravy.

February 2012​ – Hand & Flowers crowned top gastropub 2012

Two-Michelin-starred the Hand & Flowers took the top spot at the Top 50 Gastropubs Awards, after rising from second place in 2011’s list.

The pub scored its first star in 2006 and second one in 2011, and Kerridge told guests and fellow finalists it was an honour to be named best gastropub in Britain

May 2013​ – Michelin-starred pub chef Tom Kerridge to host BBC2 series

The chef-patron was announced as the host of six-show series, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food,​ in which he revealed how to cook the best ever pub food dishes.

The show also saw the chef visit other pubs and producers who were pushing the food boundaries.

He also visited suppliers who provided tips on how to find the best ingredients for specific styles of cooking.

October 2013​ – Hand & Flowers crowned UK’s best restaurant

The UK’s best restaurant at the 2013 National Restaurant Awards was won by Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers.

The Marlow-based pub beat London restaurant the Ledbury to the top spot in the awards, which recognises the 100 best places to eat out in the UK, as voted for by 150 industry experts.

The chef and his wife Beth received the award at a ceremony in London from that year's guest of honour, Joan Roca of Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca.

October 2013​ – Tom Kerridge to open second low-key Marlow pub

Kerridge announced he was aiming to open a second pub in Buckinghamshire as a pared-down counterpart to his two-Michelin-starred flagship, the Hand & Flowers.

The aim was to create a genuine community pub where people could go to drink and watch sporting events, as well as eat.

April 2014​ – Celebrity pub chef Tom Kerridge launches new BBC show

Kerridge hosted Spring Kitchen​, which was a sister show to Saturday Kitchen​ presented by James Martin, on BBC One for three weeks.

The show saw the celebrity pub chef and his guests cook and demonstrate a range of recipes which showcased the best spring ingredients.

January 2014​ – Tom Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers crowned UK’s top gastropub for third consecutive year

The Hand & Flowers was crowned the top gastropub in the UK for the third year running at the Top 50 Gastropubs.

Around 450 respected people across the industry, including top chefs, food writers and journalists, guide editors and pubco chiefs, cast their votes to determine the top 50 gastropubs in the UK.

September 2014​ – Tom Kerridge to present the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2015

The Top 50 Gastropub Awards was hosted by Kerridge at Anglian Country Inns’ Hermitage Road Bar & Kitchen in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Having taken the top spot for the previous three years, Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers was retired to the Top 50 ‘Hall of Fame’.

December 2014​ – Launch menu at Tom Kerridge pub revealed

The menu at Kerridge’s pub the Coach in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, which opened on 1 December 2014, had a big focus on rotisserie cooking.

The 40-cover site had an open kitchen with eight chefs, was open from 8am each day, and some dishes on the menu changed daily.

June 2015​ – Tom Kerridge to release new cookbook

Kerridge launched a third cookbook called Tom’s Table​, which featured 100 of the chef’s everyday recipes including starters, main and desserts.

The recipes included quick midweek meals and weekend dinner ideas such as Cheddar and ale soup, date and banana milkshake, and pecan tart.

November 2015​ – Tom Kerridge given honorary doctorate from Gloucestershire University

Kerridge was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire for making “an outstanding contribution to his field, both national and internationally.”

The chef-patron said: “I am delighted to receive this award and it is wonderful to share this special occasion with the students graduating.

“Having lived and been to school in Gloucester, I am very pleased to be able to accept this award.”

April 2016​ – Tom Kerridge to release new diet-focused cookbook

Kerridge announced he was releasing a new cookbook - Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet: My Low-carb, Stay-happy Way to Lose Weight ​- chronicling the diet he used to lose 12 stone in two and a half years.

The book, published by Bloomsbury, was his fourth. Kerridge’s previous books, Tom’s Table, Best Ever Dishes ​and Proper Pub Food​, had sold nearly 400,000 copies.

July 2016​ – Tom Kerridge ‘in talks to open third pub’

Kerridge was reportedly in talks to take over a third pub in Marlow.

The chef-owner was said to be in discussions to open another Greene King pub, O’Donoghues, in the Buckinghamshire village.

February 2017​ – Tom Kerridge launches ‘Pub in the Park’ food and drink festival

Kerridge announced the launch of a new food and drink festival in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, called Pub in the Park.

The festival, which was held in Higginson Park from 19 to 21 May, offered visitors the chance to try a selection of dishes from his two pubs in the town, the Hand & Flowers and the Coach.

A range of other top chefs, including Raymond Blanc, Tom Kitchin and Angela Hartnett, also showcased their expertise at the festival and Kerridge curated a line-up of music acts.

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