Tom Kerridge praises Marcus Rashford's 'wonderful heart' over school meals campaign

Tom Kerridge and Marcus Rashford teamed up on a food campaign (Getty)
Tom Kerridge and Marcus Rashford teamed up on a food campaign (Getty)

TV chef and Michelin-starred restaurateur Tom Kerridge has praised Marcus Rashford's 'wonderful heart' and 'connection to the community' after the pair worked together on the Full Time Meals campaign.

Speaking to Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast, the chef said there were a lot of similarities between him and 24-year-old Rashford, whose campaigning for meals during school holidays forced a government u-turn during the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The reason me and Marcus teamed up is our backgrounds, [both from] single parents, you know, mum had two jobs," Kerridge says.

"We were latchkey kids. I'd come home and cook stuff for my brother when I got in. Marcus was the same, he would just go and play football.

"Our backgrounds are exactly the same. But Marcus has an incredible social reach and a wonderful heart that is really connected into the community and not for a single minute forgets where he's come from."

WATCH: Tom Kerridge on the Saturday night tea from his childhood that got him interested in food

Kerridge, who has appeared on our screens in Fresh Start, Great British Menu, and Lose Weight And Get Fit said the campaign had raised enough money to feed more than 800,000 people and that he felt giving back to people with a similar background to him was the least he could do.

He said that because Rashford earns a lot as a professional footballer he was in a position of privilege — the same as Kerridge himself — recognising that it came from "hard work craft and being able to put yourself into that space."

Listen to the full episode to hear about Tom's favourite childhood foods and sneaking into the Viennetta factory as a teenager!

He added: "I recognise that where I've got to I'm very lucky. This industry has given me so much, it's given me opportunities to travel the world, meet incredible people and let's be honest, I've earned quite good money out of it."

He said that his pubs and restaurants – including the two Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers – don't necessarily make a great deal of money but that TV shows and books have helped him 'do alright in the industry'.

A picture shows a mural by grafitti artist Akse P19 of Manchester United football player Marcus Rashford on teh side of a building in Withington, Manchester, northwest England on November 8, 2020. - The UK government on November 8 relented anew to a vocal campaign by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, promising to give free meals to poorer children over the coronavirus-afflicted Christmas holidays and beyond. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Mural by grafitti artist Akse P19 of Manchester United football player Marcus Rashford (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

He added: "So when you find yourself in that position, the least you can do is give back. We work hard, we play hard, we're very honest about what we do.

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"And if you can connect to people [from] the same backgrounds that you come from, and you can make a difference.

"I think no matter who you are, if your moral compass is in the right place, you work hard, and you get to a position where you can try and give something back, you should always be doing it."

WATCH: Tom Kerridge on nostalgic foods, the importance of pubs for local communities, and the time Liam Gallagher came for Sunday lunch.