Tom Kerridge: Keep Moving Forward

Tom Kerridge: Keep Moving Forward

Interview by Drew Mason / Photos by Joff Alexander-Frye

 


Gloucestershire born Tom Kerridge, has an enviable culinary career. Holder of two Michelin stars, Tom owns and runs his own pub restaurant in Marlow, has made countless TV appearances, took two dishes to the Great British menu banquets in consecutive years and is the author of several best-selling cook books. There is no doubt that Tom is a very busy man but luckily we grabbed a few minutes of his time this weekend.

So Tom, tell me a little about your background.

“I ended up going into a kitchen as an eighteen year old; it was something I needed to do. I started washing up and from there just fell in love with the industry in the first place and it grew from there.”

When did you first realise you wanted to work with food?

“It was the industry I fell in love with; being a chef, the hours, the idea of being in a dynamic environment in the kitchen, the people, the space that you’re in, the slightly left field way of life that it creates. It wasn’t about food at all, it was about the industry. I suppose that love for food grew afterwards but it’s being in the kitchen in the first place that I fell in love with. Being a chef is very different from being a domestic cook. It’s a way of life and that’s the thing that I really fell in love with. You slowly grow to understand the passion of everybody else around you and that’s hugely infectious but it’s the industry in the first place that’s really important.”

Tom Kerridge cooks at the Great Food and Drink Show.

Any highlights over your career that you’d like to share with us?

“Winning two Michelin stars is probably the biggest career highlight. I mean, it’s kind of a crowning glory for most chefs, to be honest.”

Any plans and projections for the future?

“We’ve just opened our London site and we just keep going, you just keep moving forward and growing. Organic growth of staff and people, people who have been around us a long time; we all just grow together as a company which is really exciting for us and, I hope, the British food scene.”

Is there anything you like to do outside work?

“There isn’t anything outside of work.”

Unable to keep the incredulity out of my voice; nothing outside of work?

“There’s nothing outside of work. Food is a way of life and being a part of it is a way of life.”

Tom Kerridge cooks at the Great Food and Drink Show.

Do you have a favourite meal at the end of the day? Beans on toast, that’s what I always hear chefs like to have at the end of the day!

Laughing, Tom replies: “Grapes and cheese actually.”

That’s amazing. Is there anything you particularly like about the food culture of the South West?

“I’m from the South West originally and we’re very good down here in terms of fish. The coastline down here is fantastic, you get incredible produce. But also dairy; dairy down here is fantastic. The cheeses, the milk, the creams, the butters; they’re always something that Devon and Cornwall is always relating to very well. It’s a wonderful area for dairy produce and fish, definitely.”

Tom, thank you so much for your time.

“Hey, it’s an absolute pleasure.”

Tom hadn’t heard about Grow Magazine and after we explained a little about Grow’s relentlessly positive attitude and our efforts to celebrate positivity in business, Tom took away a copy to read when he arrived home.

Tom Kerridge at the Great Food and Drink Show.

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