WHAT an eater... and not a bad dancer. Tina Turner, aka The Duchess, was my first tour as a culinary troubadour and it was also her comeback tour, Private Dancer.

What was supposed to be six weeks turned out to be six months of hardcore cooking, rocking and rolling. She came out of it an even bigger mega star, and me a wreck.

She dragged the tour from Iceland to Istanbul performing for three hours a night, doing five or six shows a week.

We cooked, slept, ate and partied on the run, doing back-to-back shows and working 16-hour days – what seemed like a good idea at the time quickly became a baptism of fire.

She was allegedly 56 at the time and never lost her appetite, she genuinely appreciated good food and all our hard work was regularly rewarded.

Glasgow Times:

Tina loved Chinese, Thai, fried chicken, Indian – mostly anything you put in front of her, with no prima donna behaviour.

But her staple go-to dish was a beef burger, something we were able to rustle up no matter where we were in the globe, and she liked it as it came, toasted bun, salad: Tommy and fries, no airs, no graces, just straight up – much like herself.

Glasgow Times:

Now, burgers come in many shapes and guises, some are fat and some are lean, some are thin and some are stupid cricket-ball shapes which don’t fit in a bun, some are totally succulent hunks of deliciousness and most are sadly grim.

I find 8oz (225g) is a good adult portion and it’s all about the beef, which must contain 20% fat for a full-flavoured moist burger. If grinding your own meat then rump, blade, skirt or chuck are all good and keep the seasoning simple with plenty sea salt and cracked black pepper. I’m sure the Duchess would approve!

Ingredients (Serves four Prep/Cook time 1 hour)

2lb/900g diced beef

Plenty Maldon sea salt and cracked black pepper

Little veg oil


1. Cut the meat into chunks, put the meat into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

2. Put it into a food processor and blend until it looks like fine minced beef. Do not over blend or you will have a sausage style result.

3. Form the mix into four patties, cover and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

4. Cook the burgers over high heat on a Barbie, in a grill pan or under a hot grill for 3/4 minutes either side depending on how you like it and on the thickness.

5. Serve in garnished bun