The accuracy of modern eddy-viscosity type turbulence models in predicting turbulent flows and heat transfer in complex passages is investigated. The particular geometries of interest here are those related to turbine blade cooling systems. This paper presents numerical data from the calculation of the turbulent flow field and heat transfer in two-dimensional (2D) cavities and three-dimensional (3D) ribbed ducts. It is found that heat transfer predictions obtained using the ν2-f turbulence model for the 2D cavity are in good agreement with experimental data. However, there is only fair agreement with experimental data for the 3D ribbed duct. On the wall of the duct where ribs exist, predicted heat transfer agrees well with experimental data for all configurations (different streamwise rib spacing and the cavity depth) considered in this paper. But heat transfer predictions on the smooth-side wall do not concur with the experimental data. Evidence is provided that this is mainly due to the presence of strong secondary flow structures which might not be properly simulated with turbulence models based on eddy viscosity.