The Telegraph – Tom Kerridge discusses weight loss, Michelin stars and Bill Murray on TV Show

Tom Kerridge, 41, began cooking as an 18-year-old commis chef in his native Gloucestershire. Enthralled by the camaraderie and intensity of a professional kitchen, he made his way up the industry ladder and opened his own gastropub, the Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in 2005. Within a year it had won a Michelin star, and it was awarded a second in 2012. Kerridge has since appeared on various culinary television programmes; his latest series is Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes, and an accompanying book is out now. He lives in Bisham, near Marlow, with his wife, Beth, 43, a sculptor.

Routine My alarm wakes me up at 6.15 every morning and I go to the swimming pool at a hotel up the road. On a busy day I swim a kilometre; on a relaxed one I’ll do a mile. Then I come home and shave my head. I can’t start the day without my head freshly shaved, for some reason. After a light breakfast I bounce off to work. I’m in the kitchen most of the week, but I do so much other work – such as television, books and recipe developing.

Theatre When I was 17 my mum suggested that me and my mate joined a youth theatre to stay out of trouble. Somehow I ended up with an agent and appeared in a Christmas special of Miss Marple. Due to my size I always seemed to play characters called Thug No 1 or Local Bully. It wasn’t for me so I stopped after a year, but I had fun. I’ve always felt comfortable speaking in front of people, so when I started doing cookery shows it felt very natural.

Cooking My parents divorced when I was young, and my mum did lots of jobs to make ends meet. As the eldest I was often left to cook for my brother and me. I used to add things to simple dishes to make them a bit nicer, even if it was just a splash of Worcestershire sauce and some cheese on our beans on toast.

Becoming a chef My first job in a kitchen was as a commis chef. I just needed a job and didn’t know what I was getting into, but I was immediately taken with it. Messing around with some lads in a room full of knives and fire was so exciting; it was like being with a bunch of pirates. I’m very lucky – I don’t see it as a job at all. I’ve never had a Monday morning feeling in my life.

PHOTO: Luisa Whitton

Famous guests As the pub’s popularity has grown, we’ve been fortunate to have some famous guests in, from sports stars to A-list actors. One night I wasn’t working – Beth was in hospital – and a colleague rang me to say Bill Murray was dining with us. Ghostbusters is my favourite childhood film, and I think Murray is a complete genius, so I broke my own rule [of never asking guests for autographs] and asked them to get me an autograph. When the waitress told him I was in the hospital he said, ‘Oh, would you like me to give blood?’ I now have the signed menu attached to a Ghostbusters poster in a frame on the wall at home.

PHOTO: Luisa Whitton

Forklift truck When we were looking for a cottage near Marlow it was important to get enough space for Beth to have a studio. Most of her work is in bronze or marble, which are unbelievably heavy materials. Her last piece was 1.2 tons of marble, and that’s a lot more than I could carry with a couple of neighbours, so we bought a forklift truck [pictured]. I’m not allowed to use it. Beth has seen the way I drive a car and reckons I’d just wreak havoc by lifting stuff up unnecessarily.

Weight loss I’ve lost nearly nine stone in the last year or so. I’ve done it by going teetotal, taking up swimming and watching my carb intake. I stopped eating carbs late, and have got into eating fruit: I love apples and grapes as a snack now.

PHOTO: Luisa Whitton

Michelin man The two Michelin stars we were awarded were really just a bonus for us, albeit an amazing one. We never set out to chase awards: we simply wanted to make great food and serve it in an environment people would feel comfortable in. As a little mascot, my friend bought me a Michelin Man statue when we won the first star.

Kitchen stove I don’t get many days off from the restaurant, and when I do I love to cook at home. Our cottage was a wreck when we bought it, and during a six-month refurbishment we bought a huge T-shaped stove, which is bespoke and made in France. A table folds out of one end, so people can sit around it on bar stools, and I cook at the top, which allows me to always be in the party, like a DJ.

PHOTO: Luisa Whitton

Wood oven In our garden I’ve got a traditional wood-fired oven [pictured], which I absolutely love. It’s such a basic, primal way to cook: you just pile a load of wood in and set fire to it. I don’t really know how to use it properly, so I experiment. I light it in the morning, let it get hot, then chuck on a huge joint of meat to slow-cook all day. At the end of the night it’s still warm, too, so acts as a patio heater when we have friends round.

Marlow FC My favourite thing apart from cooking is watching football. I’m a season-ticket holder at Marlow FC, where the Hand and Flowers is the main kit sponsor. Ninety minutes of standing in the rain with my mates watching football is one of the few times I truly get away from cooking.

The coach Our new pub [which opens in December] is going to be much less formal than the first. We looked for a property for a long time, and it just so happened that the best option turned out to be on the same road as the Hand and Flowers. It will be non-bookable and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want the same high standards of food, but it’ll be a relaxed venue with something for everyone.

Inspirations In cooking you learn by rote, but I’m still always, always reading cookbooks. I love Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein – anyone who is extremely passionate about what they do interests me. Beth and I eat out only about four or five times a year, but when we do I’m no critic – the novelty of not cooking for myself is a treat, and it’s always fascinating to see what other chefs are doing with the same ingredients.

PHOTO: Luisa Whitton

Shotgun wedding About 12 years ago my brother got married in Las Vegas. As part of his stag do I took him to a gun range. It was one of the most incredible life experiences. We paid about $100, chose our guns from a massive selection, and were then just left to it. I picked a Magnum and I was terrified by the power, but also by the relaxed attitude everyone had to guns. I went back with Beth the next day. Afterwards, she took the targets we were using home and made an artwork out of them called Shotgun Wedding [pictured]; it’s very dark and powerful. Beth was worryingly good and got loads of head shots. She swore she hadn’t fired a gun before, but I think she may be an assassin