Star chefs teaming up for charity night

Tom Kerridge

Tom Kerridge - Credit: Archant

If you have ever tried to book a table at Michelin-starred The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, then you will know just how popular Tom Kerridge’s food is. I want to tell you about a very special opportunity to try Tom’s cooking in our very own lovely Thompson@Darcy’s, and if you are quick, you might be able to get a ticket.

Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson - Credit: Archant

Phil Thompson and Tom Kerridge have been friends since they met at a party in 2009 to celebrate Phil winning his first Michelin star.

They went on to appear together on The Great British Menu (which I loved) and judged MasterChef the Professionals for four years. You might also have seen Tom Kerridge on his TV series Proper Pub Food and the BBC 2 show Food and Drink.

As both chefs are very busy, I’m impressed that they have made the time to do this event and I am sure it will be very well received with the local regulars.

I have written about Thompson@Darcy’s before, and regular readers will know that Phil was executive head chef at L’Auberge du Lac before opening his own restaurant in St Albans. It is always a treat to eat at Thompson’s; every time I go there the food is delicious.

The dinner is on Monday August 3 and will start fairly early in the evening, between 6.30-7.30pm to allow time for all the courses and for the chefs to come out and meet everyone.

The evening is to raise funds for Rennie Grove Hospice, which Phil has supported since opening his restaurant. So far he has raised £5,800 and hopes the evening will bring the total to £8,000 this year.

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Phil explained to me why they are doing it: “In the chef world we love doing this sort of thing for each other, especially if it’s a charity that means something to that particular chef.

“It’s a chance to cook with great friends, work alongside them and their chefs, as well as creating a fantastic atmosphere with lots of fun banter in the kitchen. It’s happy chefs, happy customers and great food!”

Phil told me that Tom’s friendship gave him the courage and conviction to launch his own restaurant and he has been able to offer advice along the way. The whole Thompson’s team is excited about the event and I’m sure all the chefs will be able to swap ideas and see how each other work.

The plan is that Tom will cook the starter and main course, and Phil the fish course and dessert. Tom and Phil plan to come out of the kitchen to meet everyone, so it is a fantastic and very rare opportunity to meet them both. I am away on holiday and am totally gutted to be missing it; it sounds like a lot of fun and the menu sounds amazing. Without giving too much away, I can reveal the main course that Tom plans to cook is Treacle-cured beef fillet with ragout, courgette flower and clotted cream pomme purée. Apparently the two chefs have been discussing the menu for ages, which I guess is what chefs love to do! Other than that spoiler, you will just have to wait and see!

Tickets are £95 per person to include canapés on arrival and a four-course tasting menu (drinks/wine are not included, at least £30 per ticket going to the Hospice). To book a ticket call 01727 730777. Thompson@Darcy’s, Hatfield Road, St Albans.