2 Michelin Star Chefs: Tom Kerridge, The Hand and Flowers

The Staff Canteen

Tom Kerridge is the chef owner of two Michelin-starred The Hand and Flowers in Marlow.

The expression 'from rags to riches' may be thrown around willy nilly, but it describe's Tom Kerridge's journey to a T. The high school drop-out was once at a total loss for what to do with his life, but through hard work and determination, he achieved what might have seemed impossible at the time: one of the country's most successful restaurant empires; two Michelin stars for his flagship, another star for its sister restaurant, The Coach, and two additional successful city restaurants: Tom Kerridge's Bar & Grill in London and the Bull & Bear in Manchester.

The Hand and Flowers

126 West Street
Marlow, SL7 2BP

Tel: +44 (0)1628 482 277
Email: [email protected]

Opening Times

Mon - Sat Lunch: 12.00 - 14.45
Mon - Sat Dinner: 18.30 - 21.45
Sun Lunch: 12.00 - 15.15

Twitter: @cheftomkerridge

Instagram: @cheftomkerridge

Facebook: Hand and Flowers

Tom Kerridge's biography

Tom's parents divorced when he was 11, so he and his brother Sam were raised by his mum. His father died when he was 19, but by then they were estranged.

Tom's mother worked two jobs to make enough money for the family, but they still struggled to make ends meet. Tom still considers her one of his idols and says he inherited his strong work ethic from her.

Tom dropped out of school when he was 15, as, he said, he "was hopeless with numbers, all right with words but not spelling.” 

To keep him off the streets and out of trouble, his mother signed him up at a theatre group.

At the time, Tom often cooked for his younger brother when they were home alone, having learned from his mother.

How Tom Kerridge got into the hospitality industry

Tom attended catering college in Cheltenha before moving to London, where he honed his skills under  Philip Britton, Steven Bull and Gary Rhodes.

He then moved to Norwich to work at Adlards, then a Michelin-starred modern European restaurant owned by David Adlard and headed by chef Roger Hickman.

In 2005, Tom and and his wife Beth decided it was time to spread their own wings and purchased the Hand & Flowers pub in Marlow.

Tom said that he wanted to open the sort of place that he would go to on his day off, and that “if you want something you have to make it happen – no one is going to do it for you.” 

The Hand and Flowers and accolades

Their pub has a comfortable atmosphere combined with high quality food, for which it was awarded a Michelin star in 2006, followed by a second in 2011, making it the first pub (or gastropub) in the UK to do so. It has retained both stars ever since.

The Hand and Flowers is not what you expect of a Michelin starred restaurant: it is not a posh restaurant, the food is extraordinary in quality and in its preparation but comes at a reasonable price. Tom Kerridge describes the food as “Modern British" and "adding new touches and ideas to classic dishes.”

As well as standing out from the rest with its two Michelin stars, The Hand and Flowers is also the first pub to have been named the UK’s best restaurant at the 2013 National Restaurant Awards. Tom received the coveted AA Chefs’ Chef Award in the 2014 guide, and, in 2017, the pub was awarded four rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide.

What the guides say...

Michelin Guide UK        



AA Restaurant Guide 





Great British Menu

Tom starred in two series of the BBC's Great British Menu.

These appearances raised his public profile and enabled him to start his own cooking series, 'Proper Pub Food.'

A book with the same title contains recipes he cooks in his much-celebrated pub, which became a big bestseller.

Tom Kerridge books and other restaurants

His 2017 book, Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet, was number one in the book charts that year. In 2019 came another best-selling book, Fresh Start – which tied in with a 6-part primetime BBC Two television series of the same name.

Finally, in 2020, the chef released The Hand and Flowers cookbook, a celebration of the journey the chef has shared with his wife Beth and the team at his flagship pub, as well as recipes dating back to its humble beginnings, some of which remain on the menu to this day.

The Coach, also in Marlow, received a Michelin star in the 2018 Guide with head chef Tom De Keyser at the helm. In 2018, the chef launched Kerridge's Bar and Grill at The Corinthia hotel in London, and in 2019, backed by investors Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and established hotelier Winston Zahra, he opened The Bull & Bear in the Manchester Stock Exchange.

Videos of Tom Kerridge:

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th January 2021

2 Michelin Star Chefs: Tom Kerridge, The Hand and Flowers