The man behind the chef: Richard Turner

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th November 2014

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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

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th November 2014

The man behind the chef: Richard Turner