The British chef and personality talks to Time Out about his longevity, career highs and his plans for the future. Do they include a return to Dubai?
One of Britain’s best-known chefs, Brian Turner has trained at some of the most prestigious establishments in Europe. Having kickstarted his career at Simpson’s in the Strand with Richard Shepherd (now owner of Langan’s Brasserie), he continued to develop his skills with stints at The Savoy Grill, the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne and Claridge’s. By 1973, he had earned his first Michelin star alongside Shepherd at the Capital Hotel, working with Gary Rhodes and Shaun Hill, and has since launched more restaurants than there is room on the page (Turner’s, Turner’s Grill and Brian Turner’s Mayfair to name but a few).
As well as all this cooking, Turner has had a successful television career, making regular appearances on British shows Ready Steady Cook, Saturday Morning Kitchen and Anything You Can Cook. He also manages to squeeze in charity work – he’s run the London Marathon for Aids victims and ridden at Windsor Racecourse for The Princess Trust for Carers – and a strong commitment to training the chefs of tomorrow. In 2002, he was awarded a CBE for his services to tourism and training in the catering industry, and visited Buckingham Palace to collect his gong.
What excites you about the Festival of Taste? When chefs gather together to cook and enjoy good produce it is exciting, but when this is in a country with the enthusiasm and passion for food that Dubai has, it’s even more exciting. I can’t wait. Have you been to Dubai before? I came to Dubai for the first time just over 12 months ago. This will be my fourth visit; I love it.
What do you think about the food scene in Dubai? The food scene in Dubai is expanding faster than anywhere in the world – leading chefs and producers are anxious to be involved in this wonderful generation of gastronomy. I think it’s brilliant.
What will you be doing for the Festival of Taste? Working with the Jumeirah group I am sure will be a wonderful experience. I will be cooking on a boat, cooking for a banquet and doing demonstrations.
Why did you decide to provide these recipes? These recipes represent modern British cooking and modern British eating, but are all good examples of classic cooking. I think they will look good, taste fantastic and show the people of Dubai what good British cooking is all about.
When did you last cook them, and for whom? I cooked these dishes recently at several demonstrations around the UK for visitors who, like the people of Dubai, have a passion for good food.