Tom Kerridge says his restaurant achievements are amazing ‘because I was drinking’

The teetotal chef said alcohol helped ‘escape’ from the intense pressures of the industry

Maira Butt
Thursday 21 March 2024 10:57 GMT
TV chef Tom Kerridge talks about losing 12 stone

Tom Kerridge has credited alcohol for the success of his restaurant empire because it helped him relieve the overwhelming pressure of the kitchen.

The Michelin-starred chef previously said he would drink beer in the shower and up to 16 pints a day before adopting a radical lifestyle change and cutting out alcohol entirely.

“My release from the pressure of being driven was through alcohol,” he told The Times.

“Alcohol was the escape from the pressure that I put on myself to achieve. So that out of the chaos, that chaotic mindset, was achievement.”

The Great British Menu judge weighed 30 stone as he approached turning 40 but has since lost 12 stone through exercise and a change in diet.

However, while he has praised the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, he believes he wouldn’t be where he is today without drinking.

“It was more of an age thing. I think when you get to 40, it’s a reflection point. You think of where you are and what you’ve achieved and what you’ve done.

“In fact, our achievements were amazing because I was drinking, I’m convinced of that.”

Kerridge denied that his change in lifestyle was a result of any health issues saying, “It wasn’t a case of any health issue, it was just a case of age and going, ‘Do you know what? Maybe I need to get a bit of a balance on this and a bit of a grip.’”

The chef believes his achievements are amazing because of drinking (Cristian Barnett/PA)

His marriage to his wife Beth, was unaffected as he said her party spirit matched his own.

“Beth likes to party too. Beth was in on the party. It wasn’t something I did on my own. I would always find somebody to drink with and a lot of the time it would be with my wife.

“She wouldn’t drink the same volume but at that point, late thirties, we both very much liked to party.”

The pair met at a comedy club in north London. “The first sentence she said to me was, ‘Give me three pounds for the stripper.’ She’d organised a stripper for our mate and that was the first sentence.”

The chef who grew up on a housing estate before achieving success and fame said he feels very “lucky” at his achievements and believes willpower is his special strength.

“I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I’ll achieve it. I’m convinced of that. And that’s part of going through that weight loss thing and giving up alcohol, problems with addiction and just going, ‘Right, this is what we’ve got to do.’”

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