Chef Tom Kerridge on Manchester
The people, the food scene and of course, the football.
Tom is one of the UK’s most popular chefs, well known for his two pubs in Marlow, The Hand & Flowers and The Coach, as well as his London restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill. Tom will be opening The Bull & Bear in Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester city centre on 15th November.
The Manchester food and drinks scene
“The dining scene in Manchester city centre is one of the most talked-about and I believe, one of the most vibrant in the country. Scratch beneath the surface and there is a wonderful bubbling energy of great food for all different tastes, all connected with a warmth of friendliness, culture and a desire to offer something great.
“Over the last few years, the scene has definitely changed; people used to worry about awards and accolades but now the scene is being driven by restaurants that people want to visit and spend time in. Places that create a buzz and a vibe that sit so well in this electric city.
“That said, the scene is set to shift yet again with Mana and Simon Martin getting a Michelin star. It’s a very exciting time for Manchester and as a destination, it’s becoming more and more the place to be.”
My favourite places to eat
“I’m a huge fan of Hawksmoor, not only do I think it’s a great restaurant for food, I actually think the Manchester Hawksmoor is one of the best restaurants in the country. They know their product, they say hello when you walk through the door and they get it right every time.
Hispi & Kala
“I’m also a massive fan of anything that Gary Usher does. His ethos to the industry and his brilliant cooking is everything that restaurants should be… fun, solid, dependable, value for money, produce led. He is an exceptional restauranteur that cares deeply, not only about his customer, but his staff. He is an example for everybody in hospitality.
“And Dishoom is a brilliant breakfast. I mean, sausages in a naan bread – what’s not to like?!”
“I love how welcome my team and I have been made to feel; from the first moment we started looking at the dining room at Stock Exchange Hotel, the builders, the office workers and even the traffic wardens all said hello with a smile and genuinely meant it. There is a great community feeling of a very proud city in Manchester and we can’t wait to be a part of it.”
“In the early 80s when I was growing up, everybody was a Liverpool fan, so I went with the complete opposite and chose Manchester United as my team.
“My earliest memory of Manchester is coming up to watch United play as a child and I remember being so in awe of Old Trafford, I was hooked.
“Since then I have been coming to Manchester to watch the red side play football regularly, I’m a season ticket holder.
“I’m a huge football fan in general and to be honest I’d watch any team. I love competitive sport so any excuse, whether it’s United, Manchester City, or Salford, I would quite happily go and watch.
“I’ve not been to see any of the rugby or even the ice hockey in Manchester yet, but when we open The Bull & Bear on 15th November I’ll be in Manchester a lot so I’ll be there if I get chance.”