The TV chef has cooked all over the world, but his mum's baked beans didn't impress the Swiss
Sunday 28 March 1999
My favourite places to have worked as a chef were Mauritius and Bermuda. You can be up at five in the morning on the beach, in the kitchen at seven, out by nine back on the beach, then you're not back in the kitchen for dinner until after the sun goes down. It's the perfect environment to work in. I have a dream with a friend of mine, Clive, that we're going to buy a deserted island near Bermuda and build an exclusive hotel with just a handful of chalets. At one side of the island there would be Brian's Bar, open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at the other side of the island there would be Clive's Bar, open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Sundays we would both take the day off and eat at the hotel. Visitors will have a running credit rating; actual money will be banned from the island, as will socks and ties.
My idyllic destination is Bali. Bali has to be the ultimate place to relax in luxury with a good friend. I once dined in the most beautiful restaurant in Bali which had completely open sides, a rattan roof and a warm breeze drifting through it on which you could smell the sea.
One of my first chef jobs as a young man was in Lausanne. My favourite memory of Switzerland was during the summer, sitting with my back resting on the wall of Castle Gruyeres, eating blackberries and Gruyeres cream with an American lady. There was no noise, no wind, just warmth, the sound of birdsong and a view of the valley rolling away into the distance.
The border of Italy and Switzerland wasn't as inspirational as I thought food-wise; just good honest produce, very simply cooked. But on the whole, as a young visitor, I was in awe of Switzerland. I lived behind an elegant hotel on top of some beautiful Swiss hills. Each morning, on my walk down the hill, I could see Lake Lausanne, across to Evian and in a gap between the mountains, Mont Blanc. Every morning this magnificent view would almost reduce me to tears. The Swiss boys thought I was very strange but you can't imagine what that view meant to someone who grew up in a small mill town in Yorkshire. I'm still friends with two of the Swiss chaps. I brought them back with me the Christmas I returned to England. We went from the airport to Leeds City Station then home to my mum who had cooked us beans on toast. They were horrified. They said it was worse than they'd had in the Swiss army.
Brian Turner is a chef with BBC2's `Ready Steady Cook'. The `Ready Steady Cook, Live and Sizzling' stage show will be on tour around the UK from 30 April-19 June. Tour Hotline (tel: 01285 654563).
INTERVIEW BY SARAH BARRELL
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Top 10 cheapest cities to visit, according to TripAdvisor
Students heading off to 'charity challenge' grounded at Gatwick after travel firm goes bust
South Africa's new travel rules: From October, families with under-18s will need to show their birth certificates
The 50 Best spas
The best streets in Britain: where to stay
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...