Alex Bond and Stu Turner: It’s more of a passion for me to make British things better

Alex South

Alex South


Alex Bond and Stu Turner discuss their shared love for Japanese ingredients and why Stu wants to keep introducing them to British cooking.

In this week’s episode of Grilled by The Staff Canteen head editor Cara Houchen was joined by co-host Alex Bond, Owner of both the Michelin-starred Alchemillia, and Mollis, and their guest Stu Turner, aka owner and founder of Sushi Sushi and otherwise known as Sushi Stu.

During the episode, the pair discussed the best topping for crumpets, the worst restaurant experiences they have both had, Veet reviews and why Chilli Crack is a best seller.


Stu set up Sushi Sushi after returning to his hometown of Sheffield after spending years out living in Australia and Asia.

Whilst living in Australia, Stu worked in a sushi bar and was captivated by the range of flavours, aromas, and textures to be found in this staple of Japanese cuisine.

When Stu returned to the North of England, eager to embrace the flavours and cuisine he’d experienced during his time abroad, he found that there was nothing in the UK like what he’d experienced in his travels.

Since there was nothing around to satisfy his passion for Japanese cooking, he decided to do something about it himself.

Explaining why he set up Sushi Sushi, Stu said: "It’s more of a passion for me to make British things better, not that I’m absolutely obsessed with Japan, although it might not seem like that. I love the UK and want it to be all it can be, and I think that Kaizen attitude that the Japanese have, we can bring that to our food."

Stu’s business, which has sold ingredients and equipment direct to the public and Japanese cooking enthusiasts across the country for the last 15 years has since developed relationships with some of the UK’s top chefs.

Sushi Sushi supplies restaurants such as Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, The Fat Duck, Ynyshir and many others, with exciting Japanese ingredients to use in their dishes.

At present, Stu’s business supplies four out of the UK’s seven three-Michelin-starred restaurants, eleven of its seventeen two-Michelin-starred restaurants, and a large number of one-Michelin-starred restaurants.

Stu explained: "Hardly any of our customers are Japanese restaurants. There aren’t loads of good Japanese restaurants in Britain no disrespect but there’s hardly any Japanese people in Britain. I’m not saying you’ve got Japanese to make Japanese food, because you don’t, but importing is the problem."



Looking back on Sushi Sushi’s early day, Stu recalled how a certain gadget for rolling sushi would becoming a defining moment for him and business.

Stu explained: "I built this website, I did it just for something to do but back then you could put little click banner adverts, Google AdSense, AdWords, and as a little bit of spare money I did that, and it got 10 pence a click every time someone clicked on that advert. I found this little device which helped people make sushi rolls, so I bought these six things and put them in the basement of my terraced house in Barnsley."

A week later Stu had sold all sixes of these devices on his website and naturally looked to stock more to meet the demand on his site, so he phoned up the distributor only to find out that they’d been discounted and were no longer in stock.

"I emailed the company who made them, and they were actually an American company, and then the guy emailed me back and said, 'Do you want to have a phone call with me?' I was like, alright then. He phoned me and he lived on a yacht in Mexico, and I'm in a terrace house in Barnsley having this conversation with this Sushi gadget mogul. He's like, 'Do you want to be the distributor in the UK?' I was like do I tell him I'm live in a two-bedroom terrace in Barnsley town centre," Stu recalled.

Looking back, Stu said: "I was like 'Yeah mate but I can't pay you for them.' and he was like 'Fine I'll just ship them to you, and you can pay me in like 120 days'. So, he shipped me eight pallets worth to my terraced house and he had them made in China. They came directly from his yacht in Mexico, he ordered them from China and then they came to my house on a lorry."

To complement his new sushi gadgets, Stu started buying rice, vinegar and sushi sheets for customers which he sourced from supermarkets across Yorkshire, in a move that kickstarted Sushi Sushi allowing it to become the recognised brand it is today.


A post shared by Sushi Stu (@sushi_stu)

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 11th November 2022

Alex Bond and Stu Turner: It’s more of a passion for me to make British things better