Although petite and intimate – there are but a handful of tables – Turners restaurant is nevertheless lively, attracting both local and further flung foodies.
The Chef Patron’s egalitarian ethos – to treat all foodies equally regardless of their gastronomic know-how – is commendable. Although his cooking is striking, his mindset is not that of a showman obsessed with transmuting food into theatre. Instead, he focuses on depth of flavour – something he strives for with every morsel that leaves his kitchen. It is these combined elements that give this Michelin-starred restaurant its rightful place on Birmingham’s gourmet scene, alongside the likes of Purnell’s and Simpsons.
Midlands-born and mostly self-taught, the chef’s relationship with – and understanding of – both the local community and local produce is fundamental to his success. He runs a tight, close team where consistency is paramount, and customary if praise from returning customers is anything to go by. Examples from his tasting menu include English asparagus, hazelnut and pink grapefruit; Pork jowl with langoustine, pear and buttermilk; and Hay mousse with granola, rocket and tarragon.
Yet for all the imagination and craft that has gone in to such alluring dishes, there is still nothing more satisfying for Richard than "an empty plate returning from the restaurant". And that, essentially, makes him a chef of the people.