A Glaswegian chef has shared his memories of cooking for the late Tina Turner, revealing her favourite tour foods were cheeseburgers and watermelon.

John Quigley owns the Red Onion on West Campbell Street but was previously a road chef to the stars - including the late singer

He travelled with Turner on her Foreign Affair tour, a mammoth 121 gig jaunt around Europe which took in stops like Budapest, Rome and three nights at the SECC in Glasgow.

Mr Quigley told The Herald: "I was working for a rock & roll touring company called Eat Your Hearts Out, I was doing work in and around London.

“The Tina Turner Foreign Affair tour was out on the road, in the first week of it someone got ill and I was asked to fly out to Gothenburg to join the tour.

“I’d never toured before, I’d done a lot of location work, I’d come from kitchens – traditional, proper kitchens in London - into this mad world of rock & roll where you’re basically catering in a corridor, a toilet or a bull ring!

Read More: The Scots musicians who helped establish Tina Turner among rock's royalty

"I was really excited, more than anything because I’d never been to Sweden. The first thing I made was a veggie curry.

“It was supposed to be a maybe six to eight week tour, but it turned into almost six months. It just went on and on the bigger she got, it was a real comeback period for her.

“The more popular she got the more they kept adding on dates, and what was unusual was we were going to these really bizarre places like Malta, Budapest and places that bands didn’t normally go – but she did.

“You could tell that the band and her entourage all loved her and totally respected her.

“When you go on a tour you can sense in the first week whether there are bad vibes or good vibes, whether the band don’t get on or whatever, but this was brilliant.

“These guys had all worked together for a long time, they’d been around the block, got the t-shirt. There was no histrionics, no primadonna behaviour.

“She ate everything the crew ate, there was nobody coming into the kitchen telling me ‘Tina wants this, Tina wants that’.

HeraldScotland: TINA TURNER AT THE SECC, 1987 PIC: Herald and Times

“She requested things here and there but it was a case of ‘what’s on the menu tonight for the guys and the crew? Tina will have that’."

As for what the singer requested, it wasn't caviar served on bone china, or fresh-caught swan.

Mr Quiqley says: "She loved a cheeseburger, Tina. Cheeseburgers and watermelon, she ate a lot of watermelon.

“She loved curry, Thai curry, she loved Chinese food in general and hot & sour soup was a favourite. We’d get a request for that now and then.

“But she knew if you were in Andalusia and couldn’t get the ingredients it was no big deal, whereas I’ve been on tours where it’s like ‘I want a shepherd’s pie’. I’m in the middle of Thailand, where am I going to get the ingredients?

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“With Tina it was ‘OK, that’s fine, do something else’."

Mr Quigley can remember just time Turner "lost it" - when a cold cheeseburger was sent ahead of a gig at Woburn Abbey attended by Princess Diana - and he puts that down to her having been "a wee bit tense".

Above all what he remembers are little acts of kindness.

Mr Quigley says: "She was always really respectful and kind. One story I was thinking about last night is when we, the catering crew were travelling in a converted horse box.


“We were in a place just outside Aix-en-Provence in this little old town. There was a circus leaving the town just as we were pulling in.

“We went out in the town, had a nice meal and came back and whoever had been in the circus had robbed our catering truck.

“Back then you basically got settled up in cash at the end of the night.

“So there were thousands and thousands of pounds of wages in this tinpot safe in the back of a wee horsebox – I think I alone had about £1,200 in that safe.

“It got robbed, every penny taken. All our luggage and our passports as well.

“The next day Tina got wind of it and she gave us back every penny. It was incredible.

Read More: What's Largs Got To Do With It: Tina Turner's important Scottish connection

“At the end of every stage or month you’d get a gift as well, whether it was a money clip or a zippo lighter. Just wee gifts like that, I’ve still got them all."

Mr Quigley was on shift at his restaurant when the news broke that Turner had passed away aged 83.

He says: "I was really surprised, one of my daughters texted me – it was a real shock, like when David Bowie died.

“Suddenly I started thinking about everything that she connected in my life. That was my first ever tour, it got me on the road for 10 years. If that had been another tour, a bad one, then I might have come off the road and said ‘I’m not doing that ever again’.

“It made a huge impact on my life.

“I was in the middle of service and when I started talking about it with some of the crew in the kitchen I did feel quite upset.

“I decided to walk home that night. I walked about three miles home just listening to Tina."

Mr Quigley made friends for life on that tour - and recalls some hi-jinx well away from Turner and her band.

HeraldScotland: Tina Turner performing in ScotlandTina Turner performing in Scotland (Image: PA)

He says: "There was the night somewhere in Spain, I think it was Madrid, when the kitchen porters threw out Tina’s dinner.

“It was Chinese that night. I’d left it in a part of the kitchen they were madly tidying up and they threw out Tina’s Chinese!

“Roger came in after the show looking for Tina’s dinner and it had gone! I think we just quickly rustled up a pasta or something, there was no drama from her – but we were raging!

"And somewhere in the world there’s a picture of me in that chainmail dress and wig from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

“The seamstress used to carry it around with her because she had to repair it and we were on one of these mad booze cruises, I think it was from Denmark to Sweden. It was cheap drink so all the Scandinavians would go and party on them because it’s so dear there.

“We were up all night partying as well, and I was up on the dancefloor in the chainmail dress and the wig – so somewhere in the world there’s a photograph of that and I’d love to get my hands on it!”