The man behind the chef: Richard Turner

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th November 2014

In association with

HEADLINE SPONSORwestlandslogopurple_HighRes        

In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2015 at the Hospitality Show, NEC Birmingham on January 19 – 21, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage. We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites!

Richard Turner runs Turners, his small, self-titled restaurant in Harborne, Birmingham. He opened the restaurant in 2007 and it won a star in the Michein Guide after just two years. He is self-taught and gained his experience locally. It is our pleasure to welcome Richard to take part in The Staff Canteen Live in January.

At The Staff Canteen we want to see what makes chefs tick. We asked Richard a few questions about what he gets up to when he’s not in the kitchen:

Richard Turner profile pic

What made you want to be a part of The Staff Canteen Live?

Well, Mark Morris (Managing Director of The Staff Canteen) asked me to do it so there’s that. Of course it’s great to work alongside your peer-group and I’m up for anything that promotes Birmingham and it’s good to share ideas with everyone.

What was the restaurant like when you first took over?

It was a restaurant before but it had horrible quarry tile floors. It was one of the only restaurants I'd walked into where I wiped my feet on the way out so we cleaned it up. We've had a carpet put down, we've got Villeroy and Boch cutlery. It was very much an acorn and it’s hopefully blossoming into an oak tree but we are a little local restaurant. We do what we do and we're very conscious about the fact that it is the food that's the main thing here. I never wanted to go about a restaurant where people felt like they were uncomfortable, because there's this misconception that when you start cooking at this level the chefs are Gods. I always say that if someone comes in and gets drunk and falls off their seat we’ll always pick them back up. It’s that kind of environment.

What do you do in your spare time?

It feels like all I do is work but I play golf sometimes and go to watch Aston Villa.

>>> Read more in the Behind the Chef series here

Have you been to see Villa much this season?

I’ve been twice this season and managed to see us get smacked by Arsenal which is always good…

What’s one thing you could tell us that nobody else will know? 

I’m very shy.

What was the last album you bought?

Arctic Monkeys – A.M.

Chocolate or cheese?


Marco or Gordon?


What’s the worst injury or cut you’ve seen in the restaurant?

I’ve seen a few of them! One of my lads poured liquid nitrogen over his hands a couple of months ago. It is not advisable. He was like Scott of the Antarctic. I’ve never seen anything like it, worse than anything I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s alright now, a few months later, but it went straight through his hand, it was horrible.

If you weren’t a chef what do you think you’d be?

A rock-star.

Richard will be joining us for The Staff Canteen Live 2015 at 14:30 on Monday, January 19. We are extremely excited to welcome one of Birmingham’s finest chefs to join us for the occasion.

By Tom Evans

The Hospitality Show takes place at the NEC Birmingham from January 19-21, 2015. Registration for the show is open now at:

>>> Read more from The Staff Canteen Live 2015 at The Hospitality Show here

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 7th November 2014

The man behind the chef: Richard Turner