Renowned Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has found himself in hot water recently, as a furious customer took to social media to criticize his upscale eatery, Kerridge’s Fish and Chips, for serving what was deemed a “bland” and “average” plate of fish and chips. The controversy arose when a customer, Rob Boyd, posted a photo of his underwhelming meal, accompanied by a scathing review on Twitter. This episode has sparked a wave of public outrage, drawing attention to the prices charged by high-end restaurants.
Kerridge, a famous TV chef with a string of restaurants across the UK, has been known for his upscale culinary offerings. However, the £37 price tag for a plate of fish and chips raised eyebrows, especially considering that it costs more than purchasing 12 boneless cod fillets from Tesco and a 1.6kg bag of McCain’s chips.
The meal was served at Kerridge’s Fish and Chips, situated inside the luxury department store Harrods in London. Harrods is known for its extravagance, where a portion of Cornish brill with chips can set diners back a whopping £52, and lobster can cost up to £80.
Kerridge’s restaurant menu described the £37 dish as ‘market day fish’ caught from day boats in Cornwall, coated in Kerridge’s gluten-free batter, and served with chips, Matson curry sauce, tartare sauce, and pease pudding. However, this seemingly lavish description did not resonate with Rob Boyd, who expressed his dissatisfaction on social media, saying, ‘THIRTY SEVEN POUNDS for this bland plate of fish & chips at Tom Kerridge’s in Harrods. NINE chips. NINE.’
Mr. Boyd’s tweet quickly went viral, garnering the attention of more than two million people within days. The image of the rather meager portion of fish and chips triggered a flurry of criticism. One disgruntled individual exclaimed, ‘Frigging disgrace! Fine dining taking the royal p***.’ Others criticized the fish, describing it as ‘oddly flat, almost processed,’ and one person simply stated, ‘What a bloody rip-off.’
Despite the negative feedback, some individuals 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 asked about the chips, Rob Boyd conceded that they were ‘rather nice’ but lamented that there were ‘not enough’ of them. He further expressed his disappointment in the fish and criticized the pea puree for having ‘the consistency of margarine.’
This is not the first time Tom Kerridge has faced criticism for the prices of his dishes. Previously, he faced backlash for selling £87 steak dinners and a £60 ready-made fish pie. In his defense, Kerridge has 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.’
Tom Kerridge, a chef who has made appearances on popular TV shows like MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen, owns a total of eight restaurants, including Hand of Flowers and The Coach, both located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
The controversy surrounding the £37 fish and chips plate in Kerridge’s upscale restaurant comes at a time when the UK’s chip shops face challenges due to rising energy costs and supply shortages, exacerbated by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Recent reports suggest that half of the UK’s chippies could be at risk of closure by 2025.
In a parallel narrative, a historic chip shop in Derbyshire that had been serving customers for over six decades announced its closure, citing the cost-of-living crisis as a significant factor. Dennis Jackson, the 84-year-old owner of Jackson’s Chippie in Ilkeston, attributed his decision to rising food and energy costs, as well as his age.
As the controversy continues to brew, both Harrods and Tom Kerridge have been approached for comment, but their responses remain awaited.
In conclusion, Tom Kerridge’s Michelin-starred fish and chips have become the center of a culinary controversy, highlighting the pricing disparities in the restaurant industry and raising questions about the value of upscale dining experiences. This incident also sheds light on the challenges faced by chip shops across the UK in the face of a cost-of-living crisis.