“Gratuitously curtailed”: Turnips slams the Borough Market Trustees

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Charlie Foster on the closure of Borough Market restaurant Turnips

Related tags Turnips Fred Foster Tomas Lidakevicius Charlie Foster

The director of the fruit and vegetable company behind Borough Market’s Turnips has hit out against the market’s management for withdrawing permission for the restaurant to operate.

In a statement provided to Restaurant magazine, Charlie Foster alleges that the Borough Market Trustees have “gratuitously curtailed” Turnips without explanation. 

“We were given no prior notice of, or justification for, this unilateral termination of our agreement and our flourishing restaurant, the destruction of which in no way benefits the Borough Market Trust,” the statement reads. 

Chef Tomas Lidakevicius announced that his high-reaching vegetable-centric restaurant Turnips​ was to close earlier this month. 

Turnips opened in Borough Market in 2021 having started the previous year as a pop-up in partnership with Foster, the son of Caroline and Fred Foster who started Turnips in Borough Market more than 30 years ago.

The restaurant - which closed its doors for good last week - had received good reviews from The Observer food critic Jay Rayner and The Spectator for its small plates menu that features dishes such as Orkney scallops with Essex hispi cabbage and black lime; and Iberico pork with Brittany Jerusalem artichoke, and pickled asparagus.

“Having been at the forefront of the “Feed the Frontline” campaign at the height of the pandemic, the Trustees’, then, CEO, encouraged us to open the restaurant, to take advantage of ‘Alfresco Dining’ and attract customers back to the Market,” Foster’s statement continues.

“Due to the immediacy and uncertainty of the situation, a temporary agreement was drawn up, with the mutual intention of entering a more permanent arrangement, when life was returned to normal. Life has returned to normal, but a change of CEO has brought a change of heart.” 

“We are immensely proud of everything our special little restaurant has achieved. We are, naturally, devastated that it must all come to an end before we achieved everything for which we dared to dream. Whilst it is heart-breaking for the Board of Turnips, it is the restaurant team, led by Chef Patron Tomas Lidakevicius, who are the driving forces behind the success of the restaurant, and the hardest hit, after years of money, passion, tears, time, even blood have been devoted our joint success, which has been gratuitously curtailed."

The Borough Market Trustees were offered the chance to comment but declined. 

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