You'd think a chef - especially one famed for his decadent, £32.50 fish and chips - would struggle to fuse the dieter in him with his professional predilection for butter and all the good (if unhealthy) things that make food delicious.

But Tom Kerridge, the man behind festival Pub In The Park and 2-Michelin Star restaurant The Hand And Flowers in Marlow, has integrated the two, and quite spectacularly.

"It's like pushing two magnets together; two positives can push each other away, but if you turn it around, it can work really, really well," says the 46-year-old. "I have the understanding of how to cook something lower calorie using a chef skill set, which means flavour and taste-wise, it's amazing."

"When we cook at the restaurants it's all about, 'What does it need? Does it need cooking in butter? Do we make that crispy by deep frying it?' We don't compromise, we don't worry about the necessary health element, we look for flavour profile, texture, crunch, acidity," explains Kerridge, with his chef hat on.

"When it comes to eating at home, yes we have to go through those same processes: 'How do you make something taste nice?' But then there's the added thing of how we make it healthy. How do we get things crunchy without deep frying them? How do we get things to taste rich and unctuous in the mouth without there being with loads of butter?"

His latest cookbook and accompanying BBC 2 series, Lose Weight & Get Fit, sets out to answer questions like this, and also addresses the phase Kerridge is currently in with his own health, fitness and diet.

Around six years ago, the dad of one made the decision to revolutionise his life - he cut out carbs, quit booze, hit the pool hard, and lost a whopping 12st from his burly, 30st frame. Following that major weight-loss "journey", he took up lifting weights and bulked up, before realising more recently he'd rather "lose some timber" and maintain a lighter physique.

And so, Lose Weight & Get Fit - a follow-up to his 2017 diet book and series, Lose Weight For Good - concentrates on calorie-controlled meals that can support your training (Kerridge is something of a cardio bunny these days), as well as your day-to-day existence.

"I found myself facing the same everyday challenges that pretty much every other middle-aged bloke is," he says wryly. "You're constantly trying to fight against what you like eating, what you want to do, trying to fit in family life, work life, and everything else, but at the same point trying to make sure you try and eat well, and get to the gym and get moving."

Admittedly the words "calorie" and "controlled" don't sound all that fun, but Kerridge is adamant that getting fit is "easier to do if you're enjoying what you're eating" and this collection of 100 recipes reflects that.

Yes, there are copious salads and multiple ways with salmon, but there are also dishes you wouldn't expect to wrangle their way into the average diet book, like homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, tahini and honey pancakes, chickpea scotch eggs, peri peri chicken, steak tacos and lamb bhuna. In Kerridge's foodscape, diet fare doesn't have to be happiness-free.

That's not to say he believes dieting is easy, or something you can just do on autopilot. "I am very conscious about what I actually put into my body. I try to make the right decisions," says the former Great British Menu winner. "Like if you're stopping at a service station on the motorway when you're on a long journey and you're trying to look for something to eat, I will try to make the right choice and not go with the obvious thing of deep fried chips and burgers."

He says it requires "conscious effort" to swerve the food you crave, especially when so often what we eat correlates with our mood, and how we feel about ourselves.

"Food is used as a support mechanism for all sorts of things that make people happy or sad," he muses. "Food is great for that; it does make people feel good."

It's all about finding a balance and being motivated - physically and mentally - by the food you're cooking and eating. "As you lose weight and get fitter, you see physical changes and you recognise and feel better when you do things," adds Kerridge. "All of those little things, they give you those boosts of energy to keep going."

Having a few kitchen skills supports that and, Kerridge says, can help combat the economic traps that understandably lead to many relying on fast and processed foods.

"Learning to cook a bit more from scratch, learning to not waste things, learning to use leftovers, to do batch cooking," he says, "that's where people can learn more from cookbooks." Take his chicken pho, chicken soup, and chicken ramen, all made from a single stock: "You learn to make one thing, but it gives you three different dishes."

While being fully understanding of economic limitations, Kerridge is also very clear: "We all know that if you're going to buy carrots, broccoli, new potatoes, cabbages - that is way better than going to the frozen pizza aisle and buying oven chips; if you think that is the healthy option, you are lying to yourself.

"We all know what is right and wrong when it comes to that, and I'm not saying that sort of food [is never OK], because we all do it and we all have it - there's a time and a place for it. However, it needs to not be the norm."

"There's plenty of information out there, and it's getting accustomed to it, and it's making an effort, and it's taking responsibility," he continues firmly. "Taking responsibility is the biggest thing, and it's no one's responsibility except your own."

Lose Weight & Get Fit by Tom Kerridge is published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £22. Photography Cristian Barnett. Available now.


  • 3tbsp white miso paste
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp mirin
  • 3-4tbsp water
  • 1/2tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2tsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, julienned
  • 125g tenderstem broccoli
  • 125g asparagus
  • 125g mangetout
  • 175g cavolo nero, ribs removed and roughly chopped (100g prepared weight)
  • 100g Chinese leaf cabbage, thickly shredded
  • 100g rainbow chard, roughly chopped into thirds
  • 1-cal sunflower oil spray
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1tsp furikake (Japanese seasoning), to finish

1. In a small bowl, mix the miso paste, soy sauce and mirin with two tablespoons water until smooth.

2. Place a large non-stick wok over a high heat. When it is almost smoking, add the oils, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden - don’t let it burn.

3. Add the broccoli and asparagus with one tablespoon water. Stir-fry for one minute, then toss in the mangetout and stir-fry for a further one minute.

Add a splash more water if the pan looks like it’s drying out.

4. Add the cavolo nero, cabbage and miso mixture and stir-fry for one to two minutes or until the cabbage is cooked and wilted.

Add the chard and cook for another minute, then remove the wok from the heat.

5. Place a medium non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add a few sprays of oil, crack the eggs into the pan and cook for two to three minutes.

6. Divide the greens between warmed plates and top each portion with a fried egg. Sprinkle with furikake to serve.

BONUS: Filled to the brim with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, greens are particularly rich in nutrients that help reduce muscle aches after exercising.

Per serving: 276 cals 21g protein 11g fat 20g carbs 9g fibre


“Here, galangal, tamarind and lemongrass introduce more subtle flavours than the often fiery heat of a classic Indian curry,” says chef Tom Kerridge. “Give it a try to make a change from your usual curry.”

(Serves 4)

  • 650g lean stewing beef
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 litre fresh beef stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 150ml tinned coconut milk
  • 1tbsp tamarind paste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the spice paste: 8 shallots, quartered 4 garlic cloves, peeled 2 dried chillies, stalks removed 2 long red chillies, deseeded 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, diced 2.5cm piece fresh galangal, diced 2 lemongrass stems, coarse layers removed, chopped 1tsp ground turmeric
  • To finish and serve: 500g cooked brown rice (freshly cooked and drained or 2 pouches) A handful of coriander leaves 1 long red chilli, finely sliced.

1. First, prepare the spice paste: put all the ingredients into a food processor along with 1 tsp salt and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed.

2. Cut the beef into 2.5cm cubes. Place a large non-stick saucepan over a high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for one minute or until fragrant.

3. Add the beef and cook, stirring regularly, for five minutes until starting to brown. Add the stock, cinnamon, star anise and lime leaves. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the beef is tender.

4. Increase the heat, stir in the coconut milk and tamarind paste and cook for a further five minutes. Meanwhile, if using pouches of rice, heat up according to the packet instructions. Season the curry with salt and pepper to taste and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise.

5. Divide the rice and curry between warmed bowls and top with coriander leaves and chilli slices to serve.

TO FREEZE: Let the curry cool then freeze in portions. Defrost fully overnight in the fridge, then reheat in a pan over a medium heat until hot all the way through.

BONUS: Lean stewing steak is high in protein and very low in saturated fat - less than 2% - compared with other cuts of beef.

Per serving: 613 cals 66g protein 19g fat 42g carbs 3g fibre Lose Weight & Get Fit by Tom Kerridge is published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £22. Photography Cristian Barnett. Available now.


A sweet and not too bad for your dessert.

“Chia seeds are a great way of thickening and enriching a dish,” says celebrity chef Tom Kerridge. “Dark chocolate adds a sophisticated note, while shop-bought custard ensures this deliciously rich and creamy pudding is quick and easy to make.”

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 500g light custard
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 30g good-quality cocoa powder
  • 50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 1tbsp granulated sweetener
  • 4tbsp chia seeds
  • 180g raspberries

1. Pour the custard and milk into a medium saucepan and add the vanilla pod and seeds, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and sweetener.

2. Place over a mediumlow heat and heat slowly, whisking gently until the chocolate is completely melted - this will only take a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla pod.

3. Add the chia seeds to the chocolate mixture and whisk again until well combined.

4. Divide half the raspberries between 4 small jars or glasses (about 280ml capacity). Spoon the chia mixture into the glasses and place in the fridge for 2 hours to chill.

5. Pile the remaining raspberries on top of the puddings to serve.

BONUS: Chia seeds are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre - which all help stave off hunger. And dark chocolate contains antioxidants which help you to recover after a workout.

Per serving: 301 cals 11g protein 33g carbs 13g fat 8g fibre n Lose Weight & Get Fit by Tom Kerridge is published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £22. Photography Cristian Barnett. Available now