Brass Factor recipe for success

editorial image

Music is definitely the food of love for cooking maestro Brian Turner.

But it’s brass band music that whets the Yorkshire chef’s appetite and he’ll be beating a path to Wetherby at the end of the month.

The Elland-born chef is putting cooking on the back burner to be a judge at one of the county’s leading brass band competitions - The Brass Factor - at the Engine Shed on October 31.

Brian, who is currently filming a top secret project for a major TV company, said of the fifth contest to showcase young talent: “For me the whole ethos of brass music is part of the ritual.

“I love the community, comradeship, attention to detail in learning the music, playing and looking after your instrument.”

The Brass Factor was started by Alex Bray for a university project but is gaining popularity and the event was staged at the Engine Shed for the first time last year.

“When Alex asked me to be a judge I made sure my diary was free,” added Brian whose career has taken him to The Savoy, Claridges and the Capital Hotel, where he was executive chef for 10 years and earned a Michelin Star.

But for Brian, a Salvationist, it is a return to his roots: “The Salvation Army introduced me to brass bands and although I was never a great musician, I did perform at the Royal Albert Hall in a number of major competitions.”

The former brass band tuba player still goes to major competitions and enjoys guessing the top six.

“Without blowing my own trumpet I am generally not far out.”

The chef added: “Brass music and aspiring brass musicians need encouraging and the opportunity to perform to a wider audience.

“It is a real shame that more isn’t done by policy makers to promote the genre.”

Brian was awarded the CBE for services to tourism and training in the catering industry 13 years ago.

Alex said: “Brian is a well respected and knowledgeable brass musician who can hear the detail and nuances that musicians display.

“I am thrilled to have a Yorkshire celebrity and a man who knows and understands brass music and is passionate about it.

“He will be an asset to Brass Factor.”

There are two Brass Factor events this year - the Engine Shed on October 31 and the Picturedrome, Holmfirth November 14. Tickets are available online visit