Britain’s most expensive pub where steak and chips cost a whopping £87

He happily admits to running Britain’s most expensive pub which has seen him blasted for selling steak and chips at a whopping £87.

But chef Tom Kerridge is “happy to take the stick” as he reckons The Hand & Flowers boozer in Marlow, Bucks, is the Bentley of the food world.

He says: “I’m very happy to take the stick for it – we are undoubtedly the most expensive pub in the country.

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“However we are probably the cheapest two Michelin star restaurant in the country. It depends which way you want to look at it.

“We buy the best produce we can. The beef we buy has been reared for two years, looked after every single day by a human being. There’s going to be a huge cost on that.

“It’s very similar to cars. You’ve got a Bentley and you’ve got a Ford Focus. There’s nothing wrong with the Ford Focus, it’s an amazing car that gets you from A to B, but it’s been put together on a factory line.

“You can choose to understand why it’s expensive or you can shout at a price. It’s up to you.”

Speaking of cars, Tom was forced to sell his Porsche Panamera back to the car dealer during the first lockdown.

He estimates he lost between £4million and £5million as his restaurants closed in the pandemic.

He’s still not got the motor back, saying: “One day I’ll get it back and I’ll look forward to that but I’m very happy with where I am.

“Last summer I bought a 1986 BMW off the internet and I love it. It’s had loads of things wrong with it – I bought it for peanuts and I’ve spent thousands on it but it’s a great motor.”

Despite his prices – he was also criticised for selling a lamb main course for £69 and £35 fish and chips at his Harrods venue – Tom knows all too well the struggles families face today.

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Brought up on a council estate in Gloucester, his single parent mum Jackie worked two jobs to feed Tom and his brother Sam.

His parents divorced when he was 11 and his dad died when he was 18.

His upbringing inspired him to team up with footballer Marcus Rashford on the Full Time child food poverty campaign, which features budget-friendly family recipes.

“Marcus is magical,” says Tom. “He’s a quiet young man who has a deep understanding of social inequalities and situations people find themselves in.

“He wants to do the right things to help. He’s articulate, he’s very bright and he has this huge understanding of the people he wants to reach.”

Despite his campaigning work, don’t expect to see Tom go into politics.

He says: “I am not the prime minister, I am not the chancellor of the exchequer, I am not on the frontline of political party.

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“I’m very politically aware and have quite strong opinions but the idea of living in that small flat in the centre of London is not for me.

“Knowing my background, knowing how difficult it is to cope in those sorts of situations, the money decisions people have to make…I’m a chef and if I can help in any way I do.”

The 49-year-old also has a new show starting next week – Tom Kerridge’s Sunday Lunch shows him preparing everything from cuts of meat to Mexican and Indian-inspired dishes for that special day of the week.

He says: “It’s based around that vibe – a little more time, a little more chilled, enjoying the process of cooking, hanging out with the family, just making the most of that Sunday.

“All the recipes are incredibly accessible and easy for you to do at home.”

It also stars his six-year-old son Acey and Tom would be very happy if the lad followed in his chef footsteps.

“He does love cooking,” says Tom. “If he said he wanted to be a chef I’d back him 100% of the way.”

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