Brian Turner CBE
Brian Turner is one of Britain’s most successful and well-known chefs. His early mentor was the food writer and broadcaster the late Michael Smith. Turner has trained at some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants inEurope. Following two years at ‘Simpson’s in the Strand’ with Richard Shepherd, (now owner of Langan’s Brasserie), he followed Richard to ‘The Savoy Grill’ where he worked under Louis Virot. He then went to the ‘BeauRivagePalace’ inLausanne, where he developed his skills and knowledge of classical cuisine.
Turner then returned toEnglandand worked at ‘Claridge’s’ until 1971 when he went to the ‘Capital Hotel’ where he again teamed up with Richard Shepherd. In early 1973 he took some time to work as a Chef Lecturer, later that year returning to the ‘Capital Hotel’ where he and Shepherd earned a prized Michelin star. Following the departure of Richard Shepherd in 1975 he became Chef de Cuisine at this uniquely Michelin starred hotel where he reigned for eleven years. During his period at the ‘Capital’ Turner was responsible for the launch of the ‘Greenhouse Restaurant’ in Mayfair and the ‘Metro Wine Bar’ in Basil Street, becoming executive chef of these establishments. Among the many well known chef’s who worked with Turner at the ‘Capital’ are Gary Rhodes and Shaun Hill who now have their own Michelin starred restaurants.
In 1986 Turner opened his own restaurant ‘Turner’s’, in Walton street, Knightsbridge, which immediately attracted a regular clientele of local residents as well as a devoted international following who appreciated the degree of personal attention to both food, service and customers. ‘Turner’s’ set new standards for the British chef-owned restaurants which have become a feature of dining out inLondon.
Turner has become a successful television personality, appearing regularly on ‘Ready Steady Cook’. He has made numerous appearances on the ‘Food and Drink’ programme and has also been a judge on ‘Master Chef’. He featured, as resident chef for many years onGranada’s ‘This Morning’ eventually moving to the BBC for his own series ‘Anything you can Cook’. Despite a hectic television schedule Turner still spent the equivalent of a full working week at the restaurant personally meeting and greeting his customers.
In 2001 whilst Turner’s was at it’s height the pressure of regular outside work caused Turner to take another momentous career step and sell the lease of Turner’s of Walton Street. In February 2002 Turner opened the eponymous Brian Turner Restaurant at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham’s NEC in association with the Aramark Contract Catering Company. This was set up as a three year contract, now closed.
Turner was the Chairman of the Academy of Culinary Arts for eleven years and since 2004 President, he is a member of the UK Skills Board and has also been awarded an Honorary Professorship of Thames Valley University because of his work and commitment to The London School of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure and catering education in general. He is regularly invited to be ‘guest chef’ at leading hotels and exhibitions around the world where his expertise is in great demand both as a judge for national and international cookery competitions and as a demonstrator of great British food.
Despite all of this Turner is heavily committed to various charities, having run the London Marathon for the benefit of Aids victims, walked The Moonwalk for Breast Cancer and ridden at Windsor Racecourse for The Princess Trust for Carers he still finds time to do work for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust of which he is a main board member and other charities as well.
In June 2002 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list Turner was awarded a CBE for his services to tourism and training in the catering industry and in November 2002 Turner made a visit to the Palace to receive his gong!
2003 saw Turner launch his new stand alone London restaurant ‘Brian Turner Mayfair’ at the Millennium Hotel, London Mayfair. The restaurant served modern British food, which has made Turner such a favourite with the culinary establishment and the public at large. ‘Brian Turner Mayfair’ had a relaxed and comfortable environment and was a consistently good, informal restaurant providing the highest quality at a reasonable price. This has now closed after a five year contract.
The same year ‘Brian Turner’s Favourite British Recipes’ was published and Turner was appearing regularly back on Granada’s ‘This Morning’ as well as frequent airings on Great Food Live.
Yet another proud moment in Turner’s life was when he received ‘The Special Award’ at the Catey ceremony at the Grosvenor House reflecting Brian’s commitment and dedication not only to the British catering industry but also acknowledging his tireless hard work with a number of charities with which he is involved. He also received the Springboard Award of Excellence in the autumn of 2004.
January 2005 saw the launch of Turner’s Grill, a new restaurant in the Copthorne Hotel Slough Windsor. Turner’s Grill provided simple, honest food in pleasant surroundings. Along withMayfair, this has now closed , Brian having finished working with the hotel group to concentrate on other commitments.
The other side of life is Turner’s major commitment to the training of young people within the industry which continues with even more passion and dedication, his latest project being the Schools Futurechef competition. Late 2005 Brian was awarded a Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (FCGI) along with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Yorkshire Society. Recognition continued in 2006 with the British Hospitality Association Award for the training and development of young people as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Science conferred byLeedsMetropolitanUniversity. In November 2008 Brian received an Honorary Doctorate of Science fromSheffieldHallamUniversityand now in January 2009 Brian has just received an Honorary Apprenticeship Award. The Award seeks to recognise business people who have made a contribution to the development of Apprenticeships and to highlight the achievements of those whose successful careers began through vocational training and who have demonstrated their continuing support for Apprenticeships.
Business continues to develop, yet more is planned and Turner’s TV career goes from strength to strength with appearances on Daily Cooks Challenge, This Morning, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and more, being great fun for all concerned!
Brian is the Ambassador for leading cooking brands, Stoves and Belling, playing an active role in campaigns to encourage British people to get back into the kitchen cooking and using his extensive experience of the working kitchen to help with innovative new product development
Brian also works with hospitality tabletop supplier Steelite International, whose products have been used in some of the dishes featured in the new book, creating inspirational food presentation at major international trade shows, and adding live theatre to their exhibition displays.
Turner’s latest book called ‘Great British Grub’ was published 3rd September ‘09.
In December 2009 Brian Turner Amber Ale was launched and was sold for the winter season within Nicholson’s pubs, mostly inLondon.
Brian Turner Golden Ale, the summer addition was released in June 2010 and was sold in Nicholson’s pubs.