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Top 100: Tom Kerridge, the Hand & Flowers, The Coach, The Butcher's Tap

19 April 2018 by
Top 100: Tom Kerridge, the Hand & Flowers, The Coach, The Butcher's Tap

Overall ranking: 18 (83 in 2012)

Chef ranking: 6 (22 in 2012)


What we think As the nation's poster boy for food-led pubs up and down the country, Kerridge has encouraged a generation of chefs to raise their food to the highest levels, while ensuring the restaurants and pubs where they serve it remain as warm and accommodating as possible.

Together with his sculptor wife Beth, Kerridge opened the Hand & Flowers in 2005 in partnership with Greene King, but on a shoestring nevertheless. It fast became a foodie destination thanks to Kerridge's robust cuisine and was awarded a Michelin star within a year; a Newcomer Catey followed in 2007.

When Kerridge triumphed in the BBC's Great British Menu - in 2010, the Hand & Flowers was catapulted into the public's psyche. The business took off, as did Kerridge's TV career. When another Michelin star came two years later, the Hand & Flowers became the first two-star pub, and bookings went through the roof.

So it's something of a surprise to learn that Kerridge wasn't originally destined for the hotplate. As a child actor, he appeared as "borstal boy" and "thug one" on TV shows such as Miss Marple - and London's Burning, before finding his way onto a catering course.

After cutting his teeth at Calcot Manor in Tetbury in his native Gloucestershire, he went on to work at the Capital hotel under renowned chef Philip Britten. Three years at the Stephen Bull restaurant followed, then two years with Gary Rhodes at his Pimlico restaurant, before joining Odette's in Primrose Hill as sous chef. A stint at Monsieur Max in Hampton preceded a move to Norwich in 2003, where he took over the running of the kitchen at the Michelin-starred restaurant Adlard's.

The Hand & Flowers was the first business Kerridge owned. He and Beth transformed it from a run-down boozer into a pub that won immediate acclaim for outstanding food and lack of pretension. Two years after opening in 2005, four bedrooms were added, subsequently increased to 11.

In December 2014, concerned that the Hand & Flowers had morphed from the accessible local pub they wanted, the Kerridges opened the Coach in Marlow, operating on a non-bookable, first come, first served basis; it was awarded a Michelin star in the 2018 guide.

Early this month Kerridge launched a catering and events business in collaboration with Brand Events TM. Lush By The Hand And Flowers will see the his culinary team in Marlow work with the company behind events including the chef's own Pub in the Park as well as the Top Gear Live show and CarFest family festivals.

In 2017 Kerridge won the prestigious Chef Catey. He also won the GQ 2014 Chef of the Year Award and the AA's 2013 Chefs' Chef Award.

Despite a busy diary, the affable chef is well known for his support of many charities, including the Alex Lewis Trust, Hospitality Action and Scannappeal, acting as a patron for the latter two.

Further information

Tom Kerridge says London restaurant will be 'a feel-good place which celebrates Britishness' >>

Cateys 2017: Chef Award, Tom Kerridge >>

Masterclass: The Hand & Flowers' lamb bun >>

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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