The operator behind the first pub to receive two Michelin stars said the accolade has put British pubs on the international culinary map. Since becoming the first publican ever to hold two stars, Tom Kerridge of the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, has been inundated with international media attention. The Greene King tenancy has featured in newspapers as famous as Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and Kerridge has been interviewed for Spanish, Indian and German media. The customer base has changed as well with more tourists and one diner who travelled all the way from Sweden to dine at the pub. “I think it is amazing for British pubs that people are starting to take notice all around the world,” Kerridge told M&C Report’s sister publication the Publican’s Morning Advertiser. “I think people are so interested because this country has a reputation for being rubbish at food and now people can see that we have young chefs who can cook good food in a great environment. “We were busy after the Great British Menu aired but this has been mental.” The pub always was fully booked, but Kerridge says advance booking is now phenomenal. He said: “Whereas before the second star people could ring up mid-week and get a table that evening, now the wait is two to three weeks and eight or nine weeks for a table on Fridays and Saturdays. The pub seats 45 and serves between 120 and 150 a day, excluding Sunday evenings. “I am incredibly proud of what everyone has achieved. It is great for everybody who works here. We have a young dynamic team and now they have a pub to put on their CV that is recognised internationally. “I think our food stands up to other two-star venues. Where we differ is that anyone who comes here will feel comfortable and a restaurant in London may not be so comfortable. We must be the cheapest two-star venue in the world.” The pub has not changed its prices and still offers a set lunch menu at £12.50 for two courses or £16.50 for three. The best-selling dish on the menu is still the slow cooked duck breast with Savoy cabbage, duck fat chips and gravy (£22.50), which won Kerridge the main course category on the Great British Menu 2010. “I can’t take it off the menu,” he said. “I think we gained the second star this year because we run a two-Michelin star kitchen with front of house geared up to being more of a pub environment. It is also down to consistency, recipes and quality of staff.”

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