Tom Kerridge Group confirms three head chef appointments

Included in this is the appointment of Tom De Keyser as the new head chef of The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, the UK’s only two-Michelin starred pub

The Tom Kerridge Group has announced a slew of head chef appointments in various sites across the UK.

First, it has appointed Tom De Keyser as the new head chef of The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, the UK’s only two-Michelin starred pub. 

Prior to the appointment, De Keyser was the head chef of Kerridge’s one-Michelin starred Marlow pub The Coach, and has worked for Kerridge for nine years.

He replaces Jamie May, who, after 10 years at The Hand and Flowers is heading up a new role as butcher and CEO of The Butcher’s Tap and Grill, a premium butcher’s shop and grill restaurant, which is also in Marlow.               

De Keyser will reportedly continue to showcase the signature dishes The Hand and Flowers has become famous for, including the deep-fried turbot, Avruga caviar tartare sauce and minted pea purée and the Essex lamb ‘bun’ with sweetbreads and salsa verde.

De Keyser said: “I am so excited to take the helm at The Hand and Flowers, its reputation is world class, and I look forward to working with Tom and the team to deliver exceptional dishes that surprise and delight guests.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Hayward, head chef of The Bull and Bear, Kerridge’s Manchester restaurant in the Stock Exchange Hotel, has been appointed head chef of The Coach, where she was previously sous chef for two years. 

She is one of three female head chefs within the Tom Kerridge Group and has been with Kerridge for over seven years.

Hayward said: “I am thrilled to be coming back to The Coach, this time running my own kitchen. I love the menu and can’t wait to put my own spin on it using the fantastic British produce that we have.”

Finally, Connor Black has been appointed as head chef at The Bull and Bear. Black has been with The Tom Kerridge Group since he was a 16-year-old apprentice and was part of the opening team for Kerridge’s Bar and Grill in London

He moves from a joint role as Sous Chef at The Hand and Flowers and Head Chef of The Shed, the restaurant’s 10-seater private dining room. He will be helping to evolve The Bull and Bear menu to align with the Kerridge’s Bar and Grill model, which is a produce led, three-course a la carte menu.

Kerridge said: “Tom is an incredible chef and it’s an absolute pleasure to promote him to Head Chef at The Hand and Flowers. I’ve watched him hone his skills over time and I’m so proud and excited to see what the future holds. 

“Jamie has been with me for many years, he is an exceptional chef, and the time is right for a new challenge, he is so creative and we have some really exciting plans for the Butcher’s Tap and Grill going forwards.” 

He added “Sarah is a remarkable chef and real team player, she knows The Coach inside out and will lead from the front, whilst Connor’s cooking skills are amazing, it’s time for him to head up a busy and buzzy kitchen and develop it into something really special.” 

“I’m incredibly excited to make these changes and to have so many staff that have been with me for many years, I feel that we are in a really strong position to grow the business and I’m excited about the future.”

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