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The Reinvention Of The Butcher’s Tap & Grill In Marlow

The latest innovation from Tom Kerridge has got Marlow talking – and in Jamie May, he has exactly the right person to front the operation

It’s the week after The Butcher’s Tap & Grill in Marlow opened its revamped doors and Jamie May, the venue’s new executive chef and butcher, is feeling rather content. “It couldn’t have gone better,” he grins about the various launch events held. “Saturday was amazing. I put the first steak on the grill at 11.45am and then we turned it off at 9.30pm. There was a nice constant flow. One gentleman came in and he wanted a two and a half kilo cote de boeuf, which took an hour to cook. It was magical and exactly what we wanted it to be.”

The Butcher’s Tap & Grill’s executive chef and butcher, Jamie May

This is a butcher’s shop, but not as you know it. Customers are able to go in, choose a prime cut of meat – 100% British cuts on offer include 28-day, dry-aged, grass-fed beef from HG Walter; naturally-reared pork from Blythburgh Pigs; Longland Farm Duck; Suffolk Texel Lamb and more – watch it being cooked to order, and then sit down to enjoy it with a locally brewed pint or glass of wine. It’s latest treat from Tom Kerridge’s foodie stable, and as May says: “He saw the potential for the space. We have the butcher’s counter where you can buy the most amazing meat, we have got the grill, so how do we bring those together? That’s where I come on board.”

Expect prime cuts of meat on the butcher’s counter

May has a slightly rock star look about him, and he’s certainly had a rock and roll career to date. He has gone from working in America, to stints in London with industry stalwarts Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Demetre, before heading out to Australia – when Marlow called. “Back then we had just Staff Canteen as a chefs’ forum and it just happened they filmed Tom cooking a cod dish with hazelnuts and Jerusalem artichoke. I loved the video and wanted to work at Michelin level, but not in a fine dining restaurant in London. I sent my CV to every one-star venue outside of London, The Hand and Flowers got back to me, I flew back to England to do my trial on a Thursday and started the following Monday. That was ten and a half years ago.”

He quickly made a name for himself at the two Michelin-star Marlow pub, working his way up to the head chef position two years ago. “I love every brick of that building,” he says warmly. “Tom and Beth [Cullen-Kerridge] are like a second family to me. I feel very lucky to have been part of the journey of us growing as a group, and this is the next chapter in my exciting career for Tom Kerridge.

Watch and wait to have your meat cooked perfectly for you

“This is obviously very different from what I have been doing for the last ten years,” he says on The Butcher’s Tap & Grill, “but what’s invaluable here are my skills in cooking a piece of meat, respecting it, sourcing it, and giving advice to a customer about how to cook it at home. Yes, we want people to come into the Tap, choose some meat and we cook it for them, but I also want to give them advice on how to cook their Sunday roast at home. At the end of the day, I want people to enjoy cooking. There’s no butcher’s out there that has a previous head chef of a two Michelin-star giving them advice not only how to cook meat, but if they are sitting in the pub having it cooked for them.”

A key element of the offering at The Butcher’s Tap & Grill is that it’s very much a pub. “Outside we have got the definition of a butcher’s, the definition of a taproom and the definition of a grill – and it’s all those three spaces in one,” May says. “You can come in and buy your meat, you can come in and have a pint of local Rebellion ale and also you can sit down and have that meat cooked for you with your pint of Rebellion. Tom is always thinking of the next idea, he’s never stagnant and that’s the amazing thing working for him. Everyone is really excited with this whole new chapter.”


15 Spittal Street, Marlow, SL7 3HJ

01628 401 535

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