Turkish restaurant owner "chuffed" to win popular Northamptonshire food and drink award

"When we contribute something from our culture it makes us feel British."

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 5:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 10:34 pm

A restaurant owner in Towcester has said he is "chuffed" after his authentic Turkish eatery won gold at the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2020/2021.

Recep Yildirim owns Truva Charcoal Grill & Bar, in White Horse Yard, Towcester, which was one of the competition's winners from the 'World Cuisine Restaurant of the Year' category.

The 45-year-old said judges visited his restaurant anonymously three times over the course of the last year when businesses were able to open.

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Recep Yildirim
Recep Yildirim

Reacting to the win, Recep said: "I'm chuffed. It's a good achievement. We'll put the award on our wall.

"My chef and team are so happy. It's hard work being in the food and drink industry so to win this award, we feel privileged.

"It's good for us, being an award-winning restaurant. When I go to restaurants with my family I pay attention to things like this, we know we will have a good time there. It also looks good on the menu!

"Without my team I cannot do anything. I appreciate all of their hard work."

Truva Charcoal Grill & Bar, in White Horse Yard, Towcester

Recep opened the restaurant in the summer of 2019, but had to change the way the business operated when the pandemic hit in March 2020.

He said: "It's been really difficult. We are in a town, though, and a lot of people know each other and they have wanted to support local businesses.

"We started doing takeaways and deliveries when Covid came. It's going very well. It's been non-stop, really."

Recep came to the UK in 2004 because the country offered "more opportunities" and he brought his background in hospitality and the food industry with him.

The restaurant prides itself on its use of a charcoal grill and its authentic Turkish tastes.

He said: "It's a small touch of Turkish food for the town. People like kebabs, people like this fresh food. When people eat here they say they don't feel like they're in England!

"When we contribute something from our culture it makes us feel British."

Recep's wife and business partner, Laura, added: "We are proud that the restaurant has finally received the recognition it deserves. The support from the local community during this pandemic has been overwhelming.

"We owe everything to our wonderful staff. They truly are the dream team. We are so proud of Truva's achievements.

"We have taken the opportunity during lockdown to decorate as our customers' experience is our upmost priority. We can't wait to open our doors once again and see lots of old and hopefully new faces!

"Please vote for us in the British Kebab Awards, the link can be found on our Facebook page. Let's show that Northamptonshire is behind its local businesses!"

Truva is currently planning to reopen its outside seating area on April 23.