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Tunbridge Wells: Chef Tom Kerridge and pals celebrate pubs ahead of Pub in the Park

By Angela Cole

Chef Tom Kerridge has been celebrating something close to many of our hearts - the great British pub and all that it stands for.

Tom, who brings his Pub in the Park festival to Tunbridge Wells’ Dunorlan Park from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8, sat down with some of the chefs who will be joining him at the event, for a pub feast of burgers, chips, door-step toasties, award winning scotch eggs, pie and mixed charcutterie at the Wigmore Pub in London.

They included Michelin starred Angela Hartnett, from Whitstable, Chris and James Tanner of the Kentish Hare, near Tunbridge Wells, and Rob Taylor from the Compasses Inn at Crundale, near Ashford.

Tom Kerridge and chef pals who will be at Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells
Tom Kerridge and chef pals who will be at Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells

Others attending were Paul Ainsworth, Josh Eggleton, Stephen Terry, Chris King, James Mackenzie, Phil Carmichael, Emily Watkins, with former model turned publican Jodie Kidd.

Asked what their favourite pub dish was, and some real classics were chosen, with Tom’s being fish and chips - but well-sourced fish, crispy chips, tartare sauce and some mushy peas - while Angela said: “Chicken in a basket. It’s a classic, someone’s going to have bring back chicken in a basket. With chips - you have to have chips.”

All the chefs were also unanimous that the best British pub snack was a scotch egg.

Michelin starred publican and chef Josh Eggleton said “In no other country will you find a concept like a pub, at the centre of the community, with the ability to adapt through changing environment and provide for its punters in ever changing ways. Plus the standard of food you can get in a good pub now is unbelievable.”

Tom Kerridge is staging Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Studio Lambert, Andrew Hayes-Watkins
Tom Kerridge is staging Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Studio Lambert, Andrew Hayes-Watkins

Of Pub in the Park, Tom said: “Last year for me the biggest and best thing about the festival was the vibe and the fun that all the chefs had – it’s just the all-round enjoyment of everyone having fun with food.”

The festival boasts the best food the country has to offer, live music, chef demonstrations, shopping and other festival fun, with the line-up including Melanie C, Razorlight, Billy Ocean, Tom Odell, Will Young and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Tom added: “I am delighted to be able to share the magic of Pub in the Park with the people of Tunbridge Wells. Expect great food, brilliant music and an ace day out.”

Tickets to Pub in the Park cost £25 (afternoon) and £40 (evening). To book visit pubintheparkuk.com

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