TV chef Tom serves up star praise for venue – and loves Hitchin, too!

TV chef Tom Kerridge

TV chef Tom Kerridge - Credit: Archant

The face of a hugely popular television programme highlighting British food hosted a prestigious industry awards ceremony in Hitchin yesterday

Staff from The Fox at Willian, Howard Nye, James Nye, MD, Sherwin Jacobs, head chef, TV Chef Tom Ker

Staff from The Fox at Willian, Howard Nye, James Nye, MD, Sherwin Jacobs, head chef, TV Chef Tom Kerridge and John Anderson, general manager - Credit: Archant

Tom Kerridge, the new face of BBC TV’s Food and Drink, took centre stage to host the highly-acclaimed 50 Top Gastropub Awards at Hermitage Rd Bar and Restaurant.

Speaking exclusively to the Comet, Tom – whose Hand and Flowers pub in Marlow is the first to win two coveted Michelin stars – said: “It’s great to be here in Hitchin as it’s a beautiful little town and Hermitage Rd is a fantastic venue. You don’t realise how amazing this place until you visit it.

“I would put it on par with some of the best pub offerings in London. It’s superb.

“Hitchin is also excellent in terms of fantastic food offerings.

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“This part of the world with its amazing surroundings is also great in terms of having high quality food suppliers and producers on its doorstep – all of which help everyone here cook simple but great food.

“Hitchin is very much part of the resurgence in great quality pub food. It’s a town on the way up in terms of culinary offerings definitely.

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“Food and flavour are important but there’s no point serving great food in a not particularly nice space – and the atmosphere in Hermitage Rd is magical, served by fantastic people who love what they’re doing. I always enjoy coming to Hitchin and Hermitage Rd.”

It was celebrations all round as The Fox at Willian – also run by Anglian Country Inns – was included in the top 50.

General manager John Anderson said: “It’s the icing on the cake and a fantastic compliment to the team. We feel we’re up there alongside the top establishments in the UK.”

Head chef Sherwin Jacobs added: “This is a huge honour for everyone.”

And Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter said: “Hitchin is on the map for good food. Pubs are part of this country’s DNA and I have previously purposely travelled from London to Hermitage Rd to eat the fabulous food on offer here.

“I only wish we had a place like this in the town where I live.

“Our guide is fuelled by reader feedback and we get so many readers complementing pubs and restaurants in Hitchin.”

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