Corinthian spirit: Tom Kerridge launches his first London restaurant

JOnathan Prynn
Chef's special: Tom Kerridge to open his first London restaurant: Dave Benett

Tom Kerridge, the two-Michelin-starred celebrity chef who made his name running a rural gastropub, is opening his first London restaurant in one of the capital’s grandest hotels.

The 44-year-old, whose slimming book Lose Weight for Good is topping the bestseller charts, will take over the kitchen at the five-star Corinthia Hotel in Whitehall.

His as yet unnamed “British brasserie” will replace the current restaurant Massimo on the ground floor of the 283-room hotel and is due to open after the summer.

The move marks a dramatic change of direction for one of Britain’s best- known chefs, whose career to date has been focused on the small Buckinghamshire market town of Marlow, where he opened The Hand and Flowers in 2005.

He launched a second Marlow pub Marlow, The Coach, in 2014. Last November he opened a butcher’s and ale house there, The Butcher’s Tap.

Mr Kerridge, presenter of BBC Two’s Food Detectives and Bake Off: Crème de la Crème, is also known for his remarkable weight loss achievements and has lost 12 stone since he peaked at about 30 stone.

The Corinthia’s managing director Thomas Kochs said: “It is important to us, Corinthia Hotel London, to be an integral part of the city, and for our guests from London and internationally to experience true British hospitality. When we met Tom, we knew he was the perfect partner to open a restaurant together. We admire his approach to food, restaurants and his spirit of hospitality. I am confident together we will create an incredible dining experience.”

Mr Kerridge said: “We are incredibly excited about this opportunity to bring a bit of what we are doing in Marlow to London.

“Corinthia Hotel London is one of London’s most prestigious hotels, and we are looking forward to doing what we do best — quality British cooking that is modern and exciting. We will be taking inspiration from The Coach and The Butcher’s Tap as well as The Hand And Flowers.”

Kerridge, who has also fronted Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food and Spring Kitchen With Tom Kerridge as well as a TV version of Lose Weight For Good, follows in the footsteps of another fêted chef who made his name outside the capital before a move to a five-star London hotel.

Simon Rogan, whose L’Enclume in Cumbria also has two Michelin stars, was appointed to replace Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s in 2013 by Mr Kochs, then its general manager. He left Fera, the restaurant he established at the hotel, last April.

Mr Kerridge’s previous attempt to open in London fell through in October with the collapse of plans to take over The Rib Room at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel Tower hotel.