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Tom Kerridge Talks Festive Food

Tom Kerridge, the British chef behind the two Michelin-starred The Hand & Flower and The Coach, is the Harrods Chef of the Season. Having just completed his hugely-successful Tom's Table pop-up restaturant in-store at Harrods, his exclusive Christmas range of foodie treats is now available to buy in the Harrods Food Halls - up to Tuesday 5th January. 

We chatted to Tom about all things food and festive fare...

On Location…
“The cooking scene is now not just city-centric. The best places to eat in France or Spain aren’t just in the centre of the cities. It’s all about the places where people are embracing the produce that’s near them - where you cook to your environment rather than the latest food fashions. While London is undoubtably a phenomenal diverse place for eating, if you look outside the city, I would argue you’ll find some of the best chefs cooking around the country.”

On Work-Life Balance…
“A chef’s life is quite different to a regular job. You need time to find your own space. I swim a lot - it’s a good physical exercise and some escapism for me where I can think of my dishes and come up with ideas. It brings clarity. When you’re at work and there’s a lot going on - there’s always something, but when you’re in the pool you’re focused. Your mind finds itself.”

On Being Harrods' Chef Of The Season…
“Working with Harrods is great. I remember being a child and walking through the Food Halls and being mesmerised by how wonderful it all was. The opportunity to work with them has been amazing, it’s one of the most iconic, world-renowned British shops.”

On The Xmas Dishes Created For Harrods…
“They are recipes we have put together so people will be able to take flavour profiles from and maybe get inspired to try their own versions. It’s all about taking a nice pie home and having a really good meal. 

“The Turkey Roll is from our first TV series. It’s a perfect Christmas dish and a lovely way of cooking it. Everyone has a problem with turkey being dry so we’ve rolled it and stuffed it so it’s really moist. The stuffing is delicious and works beautifully.“

On His Favourite Food…
“Forget TV and the light bulb, whoever invented black pudding and sausages was a genius. Flavour profile-wise you can get so much from them. And, being from the West Country I’m a huge fan of ham and pork - who doesn’t love crackling.”

On His Perfect Christmas Dinner…
“Christmas has to be traditional. Goose is amazing, roast beef is stunning and honey roast ham is phenomenal, but I love turkey - it’s perfect cold for leftovers. I think turkey gets a bad name because people don’t know how to cook it properly. I prefer to cook it low and slow at about 100 degrees for a long time until the core temperature has reached 70 degrees at the thickest part of the bird. Use a probe thermometer - it’ll be the best £15 you spend all Christmas - and then it won’t be dry.
“Even if I cooked different meats on Christmas Day, I’d still cook a turkey just to have it cold on Boxing Day. I’m a huge fan of Boxing Day - it’s all about that bubble and squeak, cold meats and pickles - amazing. I’m a fan of putting cold, leftover meat in a pasty. Use ready-rolled puff pastry, chop up the leftover meat and vegetables, add loads of cracked black pepper, wrap it in the pasty and put in the oven. Job done.” 

On His Dream Christmas Hamper…
“In my perfect hamper I’d have English mustard and cured meats. Amazing. I love charcuterie of all sorts. I’m a huge fan of English mustard - anything that can make a grown man cry. Mustard on anything and everything.”

Inspired to get in the kitchen? Try out our Chef’s Recipe: Beef Wellington.

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