RICHARD TURNER - Hawksmoor, Foxlow, Pitt Cue, Turner & George, and Meatopia
There's no denying it, over the last ten years there isn't anyone in London that has had more of an impact on the meat-eater's restaurant scene than Richard Turner. There isn't a 'best steak' list worth reading that doesn't include Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue (relocated to The City in March 2016) is responsible for some of the best of barbecue cuisine London can conjure, Foxlow is the best thing to happen to brunch since the word 'bottomless' (my visit), Turner & George butchers provides you with the option to recreate much of this at home (the steak i tried | the final product), and Meatopia is an anual celebration of all things meaty. Get to know the man behind the meat a little better, as he answers our questions.
CURRENT KITCHEN & ROLE
Group Executive Chef Hawksmoor and Foxlow. Chef Director Pitt Cue, Turner & George and Meatopia
PAST KITCHENS & ROLES
Le Gavroche, Harveys, La Tante Claire, Le Louis XV,
DESERT ISLAND DISH & DISC
Always simply charcoal grilled meat and an interesting salad, music would be mixes by Danny Tenaglia in a dark mood.
What inspired you to join the restaurant trade?
I was eating in Le Gavroche on a reasonably regular basis and it came to me that I might like to learn to cook. I badgered the Roux brothers for some time before they finally caved in. I then spent the next ten years as a Michelin junky until I woke up one morning and realised I didn’t really like the food I was cooking anymore. I’d eaten at St Johns the night before and had an epiphany.
What was your very first job?
I joined the British Army straight from school and spent five years traveling the world and jumping out of airplanes.
Which ingredients do you have a love/hate relationship with and why?
I love anchovies and the flavour they impart when used to season meat.
I hate sweet stuff but occasionally binge on chocolate for no apparent reason.
Which Chef inspires you the most? And why?
Mitch Tonks and Tom Adams; both are mostly self taught and have incredible innate and natural talent. I’m often awestruck by their cooking.
What would be your last supper and who would cook it? And why?
Death row meal? A whole wood roasted turbot with malt vinegar and triple cooked chips.
After a long week of restauranting, what’s your ultimate comfort meal and what are you drinking with it?
Roast Chicken with Mash and Gravy, Buttered Greens. Drinking Ooolong tea.
What would you like to change about the restaurant industry?
Culinary onanism, chefs cooking for themselves. I find it really sad that we chefs are so insecure that we need validation from food critics and guides. Cook for the customers - cook what they want to eat.
Who would be in your fantasy dinner party?
Sofia Vergara, use your imagination…
What does the future hold for yourself and your restaurant?
Hawksmoor is taking itself transatlantic, we open in New York next year.
I’d like Pitt Cue to follow suit, but I’m thinking Vegas baby! Watch this space.