Tom Kerridge and his Pub in the Park are heading to Tunbridge Wells

Popular TV chef Tom Kerridge is bringing his ‘Pub in the Park’ to Tunbridge Wells this summer

A brigade of celebrity chefs and musicians are primed to turn picturesque Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells into a feastival of food, drink and great music this summer. Top TV chef Tom Kerridge is bringing his ‘Pub in the Park’ three-day celebration to the town over the weekend of July 6th – 8th, showcasing the very best food the county and country has to offer.

Live cooking demos from celebrity and Michelin starred chefs at ‘Pub in the Park’

Tom launched his festival in Marlow, Buckinghamshire in 2017 and now he and his merry band of foodie friends are touring the country with a stellar line up of world-class chefs, Michelin-starred pubs and a hand picked roll-call of top UK pubs and restaurants to serve their most popular dishes to an audience hungry to pick up cooking tips and taste great food. Alongside Tunbridge Wells, only three other towns were lucky enough to be included on the tour including Marlow, Knutsford in Cheshire and Bath, Somerset.

Live cooking demos from celebrity and Michelin starred chefs at ‘Pub in the Park’

Appearing alongside internationally regarded chefs and pop stars will be brilliant local artisans, pubs, local foodie heroes and musicians celebrating the Tunbridge Wells community. A huge marquee will hold the food hall with dozens of local producers and suppliers for people to taste and buy everything from bread and cheese, beer and wine, chilli sauce and a range of citrus-based specialities from Tunbridge Wells-based The Lemon Grove.

Local restaurants and chefs are preparing to feed the crowds

Top billing on the cooking demonstration stage will of course be Tom, himself. Chef /Proprietor of The Hand & Flowers and The Coach in Marlow, Bucks, he will introduce friends such as Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow, Cornwall; Stephen Terry of The Hardwick in Abergavenny Wales and Candice Brown, winner of the Great British Bake Off 2016. Candice famously made a marzipan peacock as a showstopper on her way to the final Britain’s most popular TV cooking shows, and is now a food writer and author often appearing on TV. Bristol Michelin-starred Pony & Trap chef/proprietor Josh Eggleton will share his ‘field to fork’ ethos serving up food sourced as locally as possible with an eager audience.

From Tunbridge Wells and further afield across Kent the Tanner brothers, James and Chris who own The Kentish Hare gastro-pub in Bidborough, will be appearing on the main stage. Pub in the Park will also feature Stephen Harris from The Sportsman, Whitstable that recently made the top 50 list in the 2017 Good Food Guide. Other names in the stellar line up include Mark Sargeant, chef/proprietor at The Wife of Bath in Wye, near Canterbury who’ll be serving up spectacular northern Spanish inspired dishes and Rob Taylor from the Crundale-based award winning and Michelin-recommended The Compasses Inn. Two Michelin-starred chefs with an international following, Atul Kochhar with his restaurant Indian Essence and much-loved Michelin-starred and Angela Hartnet, will also before sharing their culinary tips. Famously trained by fiery chef Gordon Ramsay, Angela runs the Michelin-starred, modern Italian Murano restaurant in London

Worldclass cooking skills and food will be on show to inspire the most reluctant home cook

Tom says he is delighted “to be able to share the magic of Pub in the Park with such a beautiful place as Tunbridge Wells. Expect great food, brilliant music and an ace day out”. Bands already signed up for the Dunorlan stage include Tom Odell, Mel C, Scouting for Girls, Toploader and Razorlight.

The event is supporting Hospitality Action, a charity offering vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and find themselves in crisis. The festival will be supporting their work with a number of fundraising initiatives.

Music line-ups will be announced over the coming weeks, and tickets are on general sale from Friday, 2 February.

(This is a blog post I wrote for the Tunbridge Wells tourist office website, images are (c) Pub in the Park)

Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.

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