Letter to my younger self: Dez Turland

The  Staff Canteen

This is part of a new series on The Staff Canteen called 'Letter to my younger self', where top chefs write to their teenage selves with some sage advice.

Dez Turland is development & PR chef for Saunton Sands, part of the Brend Hotels group. He began his career at The Ritz in London, before working at the Metropole Hotel NEC, Alverton Manor and The Greenbank, Falmouth. In 1991, he began working for Brend Hotels and has since become group development chef for the brand. 

We asked Dez what tips and wisdom he'd offer his younger self, knowing what he knows now...

Dez Turland, development and PR chef, Brend Hotels
Dez Turland

Dear Young & Naive Dez,

Having reviewed your recent career options of Graphic Design or Architecture, I regrettably must inform you that you won’t gain the necessary qualifications to make be successful in either.

As I’ve warned you in the past on numerous occasions, this is mainly due to your lack of commitment and discipline in classes and the disruptive company that you seem to have found yourself in.

In fact, a quote from the Headmaster on your last report read: “Dez has been too inconsistent in his effort to give himself the chance of achieving a good set of results. His behaviour has left a lot to be desired and I hope that he’ll soon acquire the self-discipline which is expected by most employers. He has at times sailed close to disaster.” 

However, having carefully assessed your mock examination results and after talking with your mother at a recent careers advice evening - who expressed your interest in licking out the cake bowls at home and generally pestering her around the kitchen - I would like to recommend to you a career in Hospitality & Catering and feel that you could possibly succeed in this industry.

“Thanks mum for persuading the school to commit me to long arduous energy sapping 16 hour days for the next 30 years of my life! But believe it or not it’s been a great experience and one that I’d never change.”

This may come as a huge disappointment to you, but what you do possess are the three most important qualities that will benefit you throughout your career, especially in Hospitality, and they are the 3D’s:

  • Determination – to always have the quality to push on and strive for bigger and better things
  • Desire – to work hard and dream big
  • Dedication – to pick yourself up dust yourself down and go again when all around you are falling

Never forget them!

My advice to you, which I’m sure you’ll thank me for in later years is to always persevere and believe in your own ability. Never say no and always listen to and learn from your peers, because they will be the platform and springboard to a glorious career. A career where you’ll meet interesting and passionate people, who will push the culinary boundaries and one where everyday will be a new challenge. Embrace it and in turn it’ll embrace you, and provide you with a rewarding future.

Good Luck,

Older and Wiser Dez

 If you'd like to take part in this series, please email [email protected] or send a DM to @canteenjenna on Twitter!



In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th January 2018

Letter to my younger self: Dez Turland