Overall ranking: 75 (47)
Chef ranking: 17 (6)
Brian Turner – Snapshot
Yorkshire-born chef Brian Turner is a dynamo of seemingly inexhaustible energy that allows him to juggle TV appearances, book signings and charitable commitments while over-seeing three restaurants based in Millennium & Copthorne hotels in Birmingham, London and Slough.
Brian Turner – Career guide
Born in Halifax in 1946, Brian Turner started working in his father’s transport café near Leeds from the age of 13.
Between 1963 and 1986, he made his mark– mostly in London – at Simpson’s-on-the-Strand, the Savoy Grill, the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Claridge’s and the Capital Hotel, where he and Richard Shepherd won a Michelin star.
In 1986, he opened his own restaurant, the French-influenced Turner’s at Walton Street in Knightsbridge, which he sold in 2001.
In 2001, Turner linked up with Parallel, a division of contract caterer Aramark, to launch Brian Turner’s Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza NEC Birmingham which, like his later ventures, focused on British food.
While this restaurant has closed, the Aramark partnership led to the launch of the Brian Turner Mayfair restaurant in the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair in April 2003.
In January 2005, Turner opened Turner’s Grill at the Copthorne Hotel Slough-Windsor in a separate arrangement with the hotel group and July 2006 saw a second Turners Grill open in the Copthorne Birmingham hotel.
Brian Turner – What we think
While at the Capital, Brian Turner was regarded as one of the five best classically-trained chefs in London and he and Shepherd were among the first British chefs to break into the French, Italian and Swiss-dominated kitchens of the capital’s five-star hotels. Gary Rhodes and Shaun Hill were among the chefs who worked alongside Tuner at the Capital, where he became executive chef of the Greenhouse restaurant and Metro wine bar he had launched.
Although his first restaurant, Turner’s, won critical acclaim and was renowned as much for its fun factor as its fine food, the chef faced near bankruptcy at the turn of the recessionary 1990s.
Disaster was averted thanks to a string of TV appearances on such shows as Ready Steady Cook, Food and Drink, This Morning, Great Food Live and his own Anything You Can Cook which not only gave Turner a high public profile, but an army of adoring middle-aged fans.
Turner has now built up a chain of three hotel-based restaurants, with the promise of more Turner’s Grills to come.
But the jovial Yorkshireman has won the greatest respect for his tireless promotion of the industry and his commitment to the education of the young.
His work lecturing at schools and colleges, judging culinary contests and supporting recruitment initiatives to attract new talent into the industry has won him a host of awards – including a CBE in 2002 for his services to tourism and training and, in July 2006, both a British Hospitality Association award and an honorary doctorate at Leeds University where he once studied.
In late 2005, Turner created a range of classic British sandwiches for passengers of the British budget airline Flybe. Along with sandwiches, he also markets a range of Brian Turner-branded coffees and a Christmas pudding.
Turner has been a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts since 1987, serving as chairman from 1993 and as president since 2004. He is a trustee of its Adopt a School Trust. He also belongs to Hospitality Skills, UK Skills, the William Heptinstall Award for young chefs, and the Prince’s Trust.
Brian Turner – Further information