#strEATtalk: An Interview with Turnip the Beet
Turnip the Beet is a bespoke catering company who promise to provide good quality, creative and healthily cooked catering for all types of events. They are based in and around Glasgow, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. strEAT caught up with Owner Laura Burt who is planting her business back in Glasgow after an exciting stint cheffing it up in Super Yachts around the world!
Q: We talk to chefs and entrepreneurs from all walks of life and its always interesting to know what spurred them into business. You have been rather entrepreneurial from a young age...How did you end up establishing Turnip the Beet?
A: I’ve always been a huge lover of food, travel and outdoor adventure. At university I studied Outdoor Pursuits management and we would get long Easter holidays so I would call up the ski resorts to see who needed chalet staff so that I could go snowboarding for a month & get paid for it!
I enjoyed a few chalet chef positions in varying resorts and then I decided to fast track my chef qualifications at Ashburton Cookery School in Devon. The course was totally amazing and I’d fully recommend it to anyone interested in taking their culinary skills further. It opened so many doors and allowed me to start working on superyachts.
Over the years I have been lucky to travel the world living and working in Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, The States, Mallorca and Antigua. I believe all of these places have left their mark on me and have added something to my cooking repertoire.
A series of recent events led to my decision to give my passport a break and return to Scotland to try my hand at something here. This resulted in the creation of ‘Turnip the Beet’ a bespoke catering company for any event. We are presently based in and around Glasgow, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and like to get involved in anything from food festivals to private dinner parties to canape or buffet events. You name it, we do it! Each menu is written individually for the client and we like to bring something different and unforgettable to the table.
Q: So your back on home soil, how are you finding what’s probably a big transition?
A: This is a huge transition but a welcome change after living such a hectic travelling lifestyle for the last 6 years. I am loving simple pleasures such as making plans with friends, having time for myself, going on mini-adventures and being able to say yes to things that are months in advance. Previously when I wasn’t even sure which country I would be in next month, my only answer would be “Í don’t know yet”. That gets quite tiring after a while!
Scotland is such a beautiful country with so many amazing things to offer. At least once a week I make a trip North to go snowboarding or hill walking or anything that involves getting up in the mountains, appreciating where I live & earning a wee dram of whisky & a good feed one way or another! That’s a transition I can get used to!
Q: Poke Bowls, Indian Street Food, and the infamous avocado are all set to be the big food trends of 2018, What’s your signature dish & will you be incorporating any of these new trends into your menus this year?
A: I feel like these trends are already in place. If they are set to stay, then I’m delighted as they are all super tasty & I have been eating more than my fair share of all of them!
I’ve always found it hard to answer what my signature dish is as I think my signature move is that I cook to suit the client or event.
My cooking styles vary completely across the board. Sometimes I’m all about the fine dining and other times I’m all about true & wholesome home-cooked food with the rest of the time being somewhere in between! That’s the joy of cheffing, it always moves with the job & the trends, there’s never time to get bored, we’re always changing it up.
Q: You’ve clearly had a lot of experience in the catering industry, what tips would you give to people new to the industry?
A: The catering industry can be brutal but if you find your way through it, it can offer so many great opportunities in varying forms. Being a chef is a job that requires constant personal development, as well as creativity and passion. Don’t let the light go out on your passion or creativity and don’t be afraid to move around, change jobs and try new things! These are the experiences that will shape you and help you find your strengths.
Work/life balance is essential to keep up with the pace and so is taking care of yourself. It saddens me to see so many people in the catering industry affected by stress or health issues due to the fast pace and long working hours. It’s an industry where habits are easily developed as a distraction or as an aid to keep going but in the long-term just create serious issues. I think it is important to be aware of that and to try to avoid it by taking good care of yourself and your health. A job is never more important than good health or personal happiness!
Q: We notice that you have started a pretty exciting home delivery service….tell us more!
A: Take Home Friday is a fairly new project that I launched about 6 weeks ago. I always thought there must be room somewhere for good quality, healthily cooked take home meals that don’t break the bank or hurt the planet. I like the idea of a changing menu to keep things fresh and a simple set-up that delivers every time.
Take Home Friday consists of a weekly changing menu of 3 dishes that includes at least one vegetarian or vegan option. The menus change in cuisine and we aim to explore the whole world with it! Each dish costs £7 and includes a generous dinner size portion & free-delivery. Important to us too is that we use completely eco-friendly & compostable take-out packaging. I take orders online through my website up until Thursday midnight. I then offer a pick-up service between 2-4pm from my home or I deliver between 4-6pm. We are beginning to collaborate with other small local food business’ to help launch their products into the local community too. We are pretty excited to have Dr. Sushi onboard as well as Naughty Italian, two brand new local food creators that will be featuring on our menus from time to time. As of last week Friday Take Home is also available through the Milngavie Food Assembly. We are so hyped to be a part of it!
For more information about Turnip the Beet's services and whereabouts, check out their website and Facebook below:
#strEATtalk is our narrative series that shines a spotlight on Scotland's culinary scene, focusing on the journeys and stories of up and coming food innovators. Follow #strEATtalk as we get to know the people who are making our nation taste better!