London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

Top London Chefs and Restaurateurs - Brian Turner

14/05/2004, By Louise Hewitt

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 16645 votes


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 in Europe. 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 'Beau Rivage Palace' in Lausanne, where he developed his skills and knowledge of classical cuisine.

Turner then returned to England and 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 in London.

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 on Granada'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 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 now allows Turner to present himself on various fronts i.e. Restaurants, outside catering, consultancy and the media.

In 1997 Turner was awarded the Craft Guild of Chef's Special Award for achievement within the industry together with the Caterer and Hotelkeepers Catey Award for 'Chef of the Year' as well as the 'Wedgwood Award' for outstanding services to the hospitality industry.

Brian Turner Mayfair

Now at the peak of his profession he has been the Chairman of the Academy of Culinary Arts for ten years and is the chairman of the UK Hospitality Skills Board, he 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 around the world where his expertise is in great demand as a judge for national and international cookery competitions.

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 he still finds time to do work for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust and other charities. Books are being written, new television programmes recorded, after dinner speaking engagements and cookery demonstrations all form part of his constant hectic schedule.

On June 15th 2002 in the Queen's Birthday Honours 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!

In April 2003 Turner launched his new stand alone London restaurant ‘Brian Turner Mayfair’ at the Millennium Hotel, London Mayfair. The restaurant serves modern British food, which has made Turner such a favourite with the culinary establishment and the public at large. ‘Brian Turner Mayfair’ has a relaxed and comfortable environment and is a consistently good, informal restaurant providing the highest quality at a reasonable price.

Turner launched his new book ‘Brian Turner’s Favourite British Recipes’ in October 2003 and is now appearing regularly on Granada’s ‘This Morning’ again.

In March 2004 Turner launched a new range of sandwiches which will be exclusive supply on roadside with Roadchefs around the UK.

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