Renowned Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge is no stranger to culinary fame, but recently, he found himself at the center of a stormy gastronomic debate. Kerridge’s upscale establishment, Kerridge’s Fish and Chips, located within the opulent walls of London’s prestigious Harrods, stirred controversy when a disgruntled diner publicly criticized his £37 plate of fish and chips.
The outrage began when Rob Boyd, an unsatisfied customer, took to Twitter to vent his disappointment. Boyd’s photo of what he described as a “bland” and “average” serving of fish and chips quickly went viral, igniting a firestorm of public discontent. In a world where a bag of McCain’s chips and a dozen boneless cod fillets from Tesco cost less than Kerridge’s dish, the hefty price tag raised eyebrows.
Kerridge, a household name thanks to his television appearances on shows like MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen, boasts a culinary empire with multiple restaurants across the UK. He is celebrated for his upscale gastronomy. However, the cost of his fish and chips at Harrods sparked widespread debate.
The menu at Kerridge’s Fish and Chips boasts a plate of ‘market day fish’ sourced from Cornwall’s day boats, enveloped in Kerridge’s gluten-free batter. It is accompanied by chips, Matson curry sauce, tartare sauce, and pease pudding. Yet, this seemingly luxurious description did not sit well with Rob Boyd, who expressed his dismay on social media, lamenting, “THIRTY SEVEN POUNDS for this bland plate of fish & chips at Tom Kerridge’s in Harrods. NINE chips. NINE.”
Boyd’s tweet quickly captured the attention of over two million people within days. The image of a rather meager portion of fish and chips ignited a barrage of criticism. One disgruntled diner exclaimed, “Frigging disgrace! Fine dining taking the royal p***.” Others weighed in, describing the fish as “oddly flat, almost processed,” and one person simply stated, “What a bloody rip-off.”
Despite the criticism, some found humor in the situation. One Twitter user joked, “You went to London and so were mugged,” while another quipped, “They are taxing for lemons these days… I see they gave you half of one.”
When Boyd was asked about the chips, he conceded that they were “rather nice” but bemoaned their scarcity. He also expressed disappointment in the fish and criticized the pea puree, likening it to “the consistency of margarine.”
This isn’t the first time Tom Kerridge has faced backlash over his dish prices. Previously, he drew ire for selling £87 steak dinners and a £60 ready-made fish pie. In his defense, Kerridge emphasized the quality of his offerings, stating, “This Market Day Fish is made with my light and crisp, gluten-free batter and served with triple-cooked chips. It includes Matson curry sauce, tartare sauce, and pease pudding.”
With a culinary empire comprising eight restaurants, including Hand of Flowers and The Coach in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Kerridge has firmly established himself as a prominent figure in the world of gastronomy. However, the controversy surrounding his £37 fish and chips plate underscores the current debates on pricing disparities in the restaurant industry and the perceived value of upscale dining experiences.
This controversy comes at a challenging time for chip shops across the UK, struggling with rising energy costs and supply shortages, exacerbated by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Reports suggest that up to half of the UK’s chip shops could face closure by 2025.
In a parallel narrative, a historic chip shop in Derbyshire, serving customers for over six decades, recently announced its closure due to the cost-of-living crisis. Dennis Jackson, the 84-year-old owner of Jackson’s Chippie in Ilkeston, attributed his decision to rising food and energy costs, along with his age.
As the controversy continues to brew, both Harrods and Tom Kerridge have been approached for comment, leaving the public eagerly awaiting their responses.
In conclusion, Tom Kerridge’s Michelin-starred fish and chips have taken center stage in a culinary controversy, shedding light on pricing disparities in the restaurant industry and raising questions about the value of upscale dining. This incident also highlights the challenges faced by chip shops across the UK in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.