Tom Kerridge Talks Food

The Michelin-starred chef reveals his fondness for great gastronomy that makes you smile.

As the first chef in the UK to own a pub – the Hand and Flowers in Marlow – that has gained two Michelin stars, Tom Kerridge is used to breaking boundaries and famed for his happy-go-lucky attitude. His latest project is a new cook book that details his typically positive approach to dieting.

What’s the recipe for the perfect pub?

Comfortable surroundings, value for money, great company and most importantly, staff that smile. And the ideal pub dish? Something comfortable that you understand. It isn’t about bowing down to temples of gastronomy, it’s about good produce.

What’s your favourite restaurant and why?

So many to choose from. I have travelled all over the world with this job, which makes me one of the luckiest people around. Arguably the best restaurant in the world is The Fat Duck, but I’ve also had some great meals at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in New York. I’ve even enjoyed meals sitting on plastic chairs in an alleyway in Singapore at 3am, and simply having takeaway fish and chips on a beach in the winter time is a great eating experience. All of these qualify as my “favourite restaurant”.

It’s Easter – what’s your favourite chocolate dish?

Since I’ve been on the diet, I’ve swerved away from chocolate and sweet stuff as much as possible, but a classic chocolate tart made with 85 per cent cocoa chocolate is hard to beat.

Pie or pud?

Pie every time, but at the minute just pie filling as I’m doing no carbs, ha ha!

And what type of pie?

Savoury – beef, mushroom and onion, probably.

All this talk of rich food but you’ve lost a lot of weight recently and published Dopamine Diet – tell us about it.

It’s a low-carb diet, nothing new about that, but it’s focused on foods that you enjoy eating, that help with the release of dopamine which hopefully makes you smile. It means that long term you can maintain a low weight rather than yo-yoing.

What do you think will be the next big thing in British cooking?

There will be more emphasis on growing your own, and a re-introduction and better understanding of pickling, preserving and smoking.

T&L caught up with Tom Kerridge at the recent cookery event at Bentalls Department Store. Tom’s new book Dopamine Diet is out now.

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