Brian Turner CBE
“All things that are being built for the future must be built on solid foundations; the classics of cooking are based on these solid foundations and must never be forgotten. This I believe is fundamental to the sustainability of our industry.”
Brian Turner is one of Britain’s most well-known chefs, a regular on TV and radio with decades of experience running restaurants. He is our longest serving judge, having joined the panel in 1990.
His first taste of working in hospitality was helping out at his father’s transport café after World War II, where he served bacon butties and fry-ups. He then went on to study domestic science and was the only boy in the class. After finishing school, he moved to London from his native Yorkshire and started at Simpson’s in the Strand as a pot-washer, before rising through the ranks there, and in the kitchens of The Savoy, The Beau Rivage in Lausanne and Claridge’s.
In 1971, at the age of 25, Brian opened the kitchens of The Capital Hotel with Richard Shepherd where they won a then- rare Michelin star. Among the chefs who worked with Brian at the Capital were Gary Rhodes and Shaun Hill. During this time, he also launched the Greenhouse Restaurant and the Metro Wine Bar.
In 1986, he opened his own restaurant Turner’s in Walton Street, Chelsea. After fifteen years of success he opened restaurants in Birmingham and Slough and in 2003 at The Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair. Most recently, he had Turner’s in Butlins, Bognor Regis, which closed in 2017.
Brian is the President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts which he has combined with a successful career as a TV personality. Having been on the first ever Ready Steady Cook Show, Brian served 14 and a half years on the very successful programme as well as many appearances on This Morning and Saturday Kitchen and Saturday with James Martin. In 2014, he had his own show ‘A Taste of Britain’ on the BBC, followed the year after with another BBC show My Life on a Plate, both shows are regularly repeated on TV. He is the author of a number of books covering British recipes and classic dishes.
Brian has always been dedicated to the training and development of young chefs, and in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2002, he was awarded a CBE for his services to tourism and training in the catering industry. Since then Brian has been made an Honorary Professor of The University of West London, a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute as well as receiving Honorary Doctorates of Science at Leeds Metropolitan and Sheffield Hallam Universities. Brian has received an Honorary Apprenticeship Award, which he feels complements his work with the Adopt a School scheme and the Future chef competition which both encourage young people to come into the catering industry.
Brian has been Vice Chairman of the Roux Scholarship since 2010, bringing his talent and experience to the judging panel in their searches for the winners of the Roux Scholarship. As President of the UK’s team for the Bocuse d’Or for 29 years (until 2019), and a regular on other judging, panels, Brian is delighted to bring his experience to the Roux Scholarship judging panel.