Brian Turner

12 May 2005
Brian Turner

Overall ranking: 47

Chef ranking: 6


The Yorkshire-born chef is a dynamo of seemingly inexhaustible energy that allows him to juggle TV appearances, book signings and charitable commitments while over-seeing three hotel-based restaurants in Birmingham, London and Slough.

Career guide

Born in Halifax in 1946, Turner started working in his father's transport café near Leeds from the age of 13.

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.

The Aramark partnership led to the launch of the Brian Turner Mayfair restaurant in the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair in 2003. In early 2005, he opened Turners Grill at the Copthorne hotel in Slough in a separate arrangement with the hotel group.

What we think

While at the Capital, 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.

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 and Good Food Live which not only gave Turner a high public profile, but an army of adoring middle-aged fans. Or at least so claimed Beefeater in 2000 when 73 life-sized cardboard cut-outs of the chef who had helped revamp its menus mysteriously vanished from outlets across the country.

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.

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.

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