Speaker Q&A: Ben Ternent, Opus
Executive chef Ben Ternent is Birmingham born and bred. He studied at UCB and has spent the last 12+ years working at OPUS Restaurant in the city centre, where he started as a commis chef. He’ll be appearing on both days of the show: in ‘The Executive Chef Panel’ and ‘City Focus – Birmingham’s Best Restaurant Kitchen’ panel, taking an inside look at the booming Birmingham restaurant scene.
What piece of equipment is most essential to your kitchen operation?
The plancha in my kitchen I could not live without. It’s a constant source of heat, perfect for cooking fish, searing meat etc.
What’s on your equipment wish-list this year?
A new kitchen Aid, thermomixer and one of those fancy bratt pan/pressure cooker/muti-function things, they look pretty cool.
What do you feel is the key for operators to successfully compete against their competitors?
Offer a relevant product that you believe in, that offers value to customers consistently.
What do you see as key trends for commercial kitchens in the coming year?
Lower emissions + reducing hot working environments, helping to keep a good working environment for employees.
Describe the Commercial Kitchen trade show in 3 words:
Innovative, Relevant, #Wishlist
Who or what inspires you to be even better?
Obviously, it’s always nice to make your family proud. But inspiring and teaching the next generation coming through is so important, they are the future.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
PPPPPP – Perfect Preparation Prevents P**s Poor Performance — sound advice and it has always served me well.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know:
I used to play bass guitar in a punk rock band in college, playing a grand total of 3 live shows.
See Ben at Commercial Kitchen 2018
The Executive Chef Panel: 4.15pm in the Keynote Theatre on Tuesday 5 June. Featuring Antony Bennett, head of food at Loungers; Tom Mullin, executive chef at Pizza Pilgrims; Ben Ternent, executive chef at Opus; Dean Wilson-Hartles, executive chef at TRG Concessions; Glenn Evans, head of food development at Las Iguanas, La Tasca & La Vina; and (chair) Glen Crossland, director of Walnut Creative.
City focus – Birmingham’s best restaurant kitchens: 3.30pm in the Keynote Theatre on Wednesday 6 June. Featuring Paul Taylor, executive chef at Hilton Birmingham Metropole; Ben Ternent, executive chef at Opus; Leo Kattou, senior sous chef at Simpsons (and MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 contestant); and (chair) Chris Brazier, group event director of Commercial Kitchen.