Five minutes with… Richard H Turner

The executive chef at Gridiron by Como in Mayfair, on his passion for food, travel and Hunter S Thompson

Food and Drink 12 Feb 2019

Gridiron's Richard H Turner (centre) with general manager Liam Davy, left, and head chef Colin McSherry
The kitchen at Gridiron
Sardines on toast at Gridiron
Sticky toffee pudding

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career?

Taste, taste, taste. Too many chefs seem to cook without tasting, it’s beyond my comprehension.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?

Fergus Henderson. A meal in St John many years ago converted me from a Michelin junkie on the fast track to tweezerville into the cook I am today.

What ingredients can you not live without?

Spices, herbs and aromatics. English cookery is replete with these flavour building blocks and I use them in almost everything I cook, be it the merest hint of pepper or the full-blown punch of a curry.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

Gridiron obviously, but St John is my favourite that I’m unconnected to. I love the simple, gutsy, unapologetic cooking.

What do you like to do on a day off?

Read and write, I try to exercise most days and I don’t mind a drink or two.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

Travel is the perfect partner to a food passion. I love Asia, the smells and sounds are exotic and new to me so I’m always excited to be going there.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

Hunter S Thompson. His daily routine was the stuff of legend and I’m pretty sure he would be hilarious at a dinner party.