Is it the end of the road for me as far as Michelin is concerned? I've no idea; One of Birmingham's leading chefs tells Richard McComb of his shock decision to ditch his tasting menus for a more casual style of dining.
ABIRMINGHAM Michelinstarred chef is to axe his fine dining menus because he thinks it is alienating customers.
Richard Turner, of Turners Restaurant in Harborne, is throwing away his petits fours and amusebouches for a more relaxed menu. He said he wanted to escape the "straitjacket" of elaborate PS80-PS90 tasting menus and will radically revamp his three AA Rosette eatery, which has held a Michelin star since 2009.
He is contacting Michelin inspectors to tell them he will be serving a more casual style of food.
Turners, one of five Michelin star restaurants in Birmingham, currently has a 10-course tasting menu for PS90.
The city's other Michelin restaurants - Simpsons, Purnell's, Carters and Adams - all have tasting menus priced from PS75 to PS88.
He said: "The tasting menu-style of cooking can be a straitjacket and I think it will be liberating to offer a more casual style of food."
Turner plans a radical menu overhaul during the restaurant's annual closure from August 8.
He intends to focus on classic dishes and plans to extend opening hours.
Turner, who opened his restaurant in 2007, said: "My customers increasing tell me they want to dine with us more frequently and in a more relaxed atmosphere.
''The trend towards tasting menus and formal service is a big turn off for many people. So I have decided to create a more relaxed experience with a simplified a la carte menu.
"I will never sacrifice my commitment to quality but I believe quality can be delivered on a more accessible basis.
"Birmingham is very well served with top-end Michelin star restaurants but there is a huge gap in the middle market for great quality food. The city has been a victim of its own success in attracting chain restaurants, many of them churning out food of dubious quality. I think my home city deserves better than that.
"I admire the dedication of Birmingham's star chefs and wish them well. But after almost a decade of unrelenting, highpressure cooking, I think the time is right for a change of direction - and, most importantly, I think the public is hungry for a change too.
''Not everyone wants a tasting menu. Frankly, I think tasting Not everyone tasting think tasting a lot of menus put a lot of people off.
"Is it the end of the road for me as far as Michelin is concerned? I have no idea. I have hugely valued the guide's support over the years and will continue to abide by my food philosophy. It's just that I will be delivering my food in a simplified way.
"Our new-look restaurant will be opening for more hours, serving the best produce available, at competitive prices. At the end of the day, customers just want great food, value and a friendly, welcoming service. It's a simple as that.
wants a menu. Frankly, I menus put people off starred chef Turner "I love cooking and the new project is hugely exciting. I would like to thank all our customers, many of whom travel from across the UK. Over the remaining weeks, we will continue to serve our existing menus and we look forward to welcoming old friends and new customers as we embark on an exciting new phase."
Not everyone wants a tasting menu. Frankly, I think tasting menus put a lot of people off Michelin-starred chef Richard Turner