Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Simon Turner and I am chef patron at The Boars in Spooner Row, between Wymondham and Attleborough.
Where did you train?
I trained myself! I worked in strategic planning/marketing until I was 25 when I opened Elm Hill Brasserie in Norwich with absolutely no experience in a kitchen! The only training came from watching my mother as a child, but I learned from books, through trial and error, and working 80 hours a week for the first five years!
Who is your favourite chef?
The biggest influence on my style when I started was the late Anthony Bourdain. It is so sad that he took his own life last year. I also love Georgio Locatelli and his enthusiasm and love of ingredients, life and people!
What three ingredients are always in your store cupboard?
It has to be fennel seeds, cheese and wine – well, it is an ingredient!
What’s your (foodie) guilty pleasure?
Crêpes with Nutella. The smell of them just makes me feel happy, and reminds me of being on holiday in France when I was little. Food is so much about nostalgia.
What’s your favourite tipple?
As with food, it really depends on the day. No meal is complete without the perfect wine to match the food. It’s hot today so I’d drink a good crisp, dry rosé with some garlic prawns!
Describe your perfect meal
The perfect meal is all about atmosphere and making memories, for me. Most of my best days involve a table, some food and friends. In hard times that might have been a bowl of pasta in my flat in Liege or it could be lobster and Champagne when celebrating. It’s all about the people you are with and sharing great flavours and food. There is a reason why people don’t cook much on their own.
Where do you like you eat out in Norfolk and beyond?
I am a big lover of The Neptune in Old Hunstanton (Kevin and Jackie are the perfect hosts) and we will be due our annual stay soon! Farmyard in Norwich is my favourite spot in the city, I love the simple, clear flavours of Andrew’s food, and Ben is a great GM.
Tell us something we don’t know about yourself
I’m a secret agent? Mmm, I speak fluent French, having enjoyed some of the best days of my life living in Liege, Belgium.
What’s your foodie prediction for the coming few months?
There’s a move towards lighter food but I don’t think that just means vegan food. I’m seeing a lot of sustainable fish/shellfish, especially in the warmer weather. Mostly, I think people are ready to have fun again in the summer sun!