An Interview with Tom Kerridge

We had an absolutely fantastic day at the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2015 in Birmingham yesterday, meeting loads of brilliant companies selling all kinds of delicious foods and handy tools for your kitchen. We have so much to tell you all about so you need to keep an eye out for upcoming blogs from the day.

But let’s start off with one of the highlights from the show…

Sitting waiting at the interview stage for one of my favourite TV Chef’s…Tom Kerridge!

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Tom Kerridge was great to listen too, he had so many stories to tell us which were really interesting to listen to. Originally from Wiltshire, Tom Kerridge moved to London when he was 20 and his experiences and skills led him to move to Marlow where he has the pub ‘The Hand and Flowers’ which he has owned now for over 10 years. The pub provides wonderful tasting meals that are really down to earth and homely at reasonable prices. Bookings are so busy and they are booked up to around a year in advance. However Tom Kerridge has also opened ‘The Coach’ just a few minutes walk down the road where bookings are not made, allowing you to go whenever you fancy. Both pubs look great and you can find more information by clicking here for The Hand and Flowers and here for The Coach.

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There were questions asked by the audience and here is what Tom had to say…..

‘What is your favourite thing to cook?’

‘So my favourite thing to cook, it’s not actually a thing, it’s a method of cooking. So I’ve been a chef for 24 years now and you learn processes and systems and ways of doing things, but recently last year I bought a second-hand wood fired oven to go in my back garden. It is such a primeval way of cooking, you set fire to something and then you put something next to it and watch what happens….It’s going back to really basic level cooking, which I really quite enjoy doing. But what I do like doing the most, I really love a slow-cooked shoulder of lamb. Somthing that you marinade for a long time where the flavours kind of marry and it works really well for summertime. Everyone normally associates slow-cooked food as being a wintery dish as that’s the nature of where we are. But if you think of some of the most warm and amazing countries like India, the foods there are sometimes curries that have been cooked there for a long time which are just amazing in beautifully hot countries.’

‘What made you choose to come to The Hand and Flowers at Marlow?’

So, I’m from the West Country, I moved to London when I was about 20 years old and it was almost 10 years working as a chef. When myself and my wife decided to set up a business, we were gonna open orginally in North London but it all fell through at the last minute, so we decided to have a look at something else and a pub was something that I always wanted to do. I could cook the food that suited me in an environment I wanted to be in. So when Marlow came up, we thought this is it, this is the one, we gotta go for it. Marlow is lush!’

‘What food do you like to cook for yourself when yo’re not feeling ‘cheffy’?’

‘I’m a massive fan of burgers. In the last couple of years I’ve shed a lot of timber and that was down to cutting out booze and pushing on eating the food that I wanted to eat which is loads of protein. I’m a big fan of anything meaty and delicious, so bugers I’m a big fan of. Also, I’m a secret lover of Peperami, absolutely love a Peperami, God knows what’s in ’em but they are lush! I like the red ones, the ones that are a little bit spicy, they are the best…I have eaten 3 before in one go…’

‘How can you make the most out of belly pork, it never crisps?’

‘There is all sorts of different reasons for it not to crisp. Firstly, you gotta buy the best value pork, get the best pork that you can get. Secondly, a good trick is to leave it out overnight at room temperature before you cook it. So what happens is the skin goes dry and then you put it through the oven. Another option is to put it in the oven at a really high temperature then turn it down, or to put it in a really low temperature oven, cook it for ages and then turn it up. So there’s lots of different ways. Michel Roux taught me this one, pour boiling water from the kettle all over the pork which scalds the top of it, then pat it dry and then put it in the oven. So there is lots of little methods that you can play around with.’

After the interview, we went over to the book signing stand where we had Tom Kerridge’s book, ‘Best Ever Dishes’ signed. Stay tuned on our Facebook page because very soon we will be giving this away to one very lucky follower!!!

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Click here to buy Proper Pub Food and here for Best Ever Dishes


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