Blog > Archive 2007
Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell is to bring fine dining to Birmingham city centre with the opening of his new solo venture next month.
Purnell’s will open at the beginning of July 2007 in a beautiful, redbrick and terracotta Victorian building at 55 Cornwall Street, part of a conservation area in the heart of the city’s business district, a short walk away from Colmore Row and Cathedral Square.
32 year old Brummie, Glynn Purnell, will continue to offer the adventurous and innovative cuisine that won him one of the city’s first two Michelin stars in 2005 as Head Chef at Jessica’s Restaurant in Edgbaston. His new venture that sees him take the reins as both proprietor and Head Chef, represents a lifelong ambition harboured since he first began working in a hotel kitchen after school at the age of 14.
After a six year apprenticeship at the Metropole Hotel at the NEC, he moved to Simpsons Restaurant in Kenilworth where he progressed from Chef de Partie to Sous Chef before joining renowned chef Claude Bosi at his two starred restaurant, Hibiscus in Ludlow as Sous Chef.He helped set up Jessica’s Restaurant in 2003, gaining rave local and national reviews and a heap of awards including AA Restaurant of the Year 2005 and the coveted Michelin star.
The 45 cover Purnell’s which will also have a 12 seat private dining room, is being designed by local interior design team, Joseph & Satou, in a simple, contemporary style with slate floor, black wooden tables and cream upholstered chairs and seating. The restaurant will feature its own bar and lounge area, for diners only, where a pre-dinner cocktail or after dinner coffee or digestif can be enjoyed on comfortable sofas.The building occupies a corner location, with large windows on both sides, with plenty of natural light during the day.
Purnell’s will offer a full ‘à la carte’ and ‘prix fixe’ menus for lunch and dinner as well as the ever popular 5 and 7 course tasting menus. Purnell’s will be the first restaurant in the city to offer full tasting menus where wines and spirits will be matched to each course, as an option for those who want the full gastronomic experience without the dilemma of what to choose.
Glynn said today, “Picking up the keys for my own restaurant is like a dream come true. I’ve worked in a kitchen full time for the last 16 years and it’s second nature to me now. At Jessica’s I was responsible for developing the menu and it was really fantastic to see how well diners responded to new and adventurous ideas. There’ll be more of that at Purnell’s but I’m also looking forward to applying my creative skills to the business as a whole and with my team, I’ll be striving to create a city centre destination restaurant that Birmingham can be proud of.”
Purnells, will be open Tuesday – Friday lunch and Tuesday to Saturday dinner, with the option of private hire for Monday.
Purnells, 55 Cornwall Street, Birmingham, B3 2DH, T 0121 212 9799
Opening date: Saturday 7th July
23 November 2007
Purnell's restaurant has recently received awards from the nationwide food critic Terry Durack.
Quoted from The Independent:
The silver service award: Purnell's, Birmingham
Service overall is improving, with highly polished teams in place at most of the big names in London. But I'm giving the Terry to a place where the service has to work harder to make the experience a magical one. Local boy made good Glynn Purnell (pictured) has made a brave push for a contemporary regional cuisine in his sleek new Birmingham city centre restaurant, and he's lucky to have the charming Jean-Benoit Burloux on the floor, smoothing out the bumps. Burloux knows his wines, too, and has that special art of being able to talk you effortlessly through both the wine list and the menu, without shoving either down your throat. That's our job, after all.
Unforgettable dishes of 2007
1. Glynn Purnell's breakfast-inspired but very beautiful poached egg yolk with smoked haddock milk foam, corn flakes and curry oil at Purnell's in Birmingham.
11 November 2007
Chef Glynn Purnell brilliantly combines culinary sophistication with the flavours of his Birmingham childhood
Reviewed by Terry Durack
Published: 02 September 2007
a fried egg. Well, it looks like a fried egg. The yolk is actually very
gently poached, and the "white" is a delicate foamy cloud, created by
emulsifying smoked haddock-infused milk with xanthan gum.
rim, a dribble of deeply aromatic curry oil adds an unmistakable note
of kedgeree, while a scattering of crisp, crunchy cornflakes press even
more buttons in the memory banks. What is it about the humble egg that
so intrigues the modern chef? Spain's Adria, Italy's Cracco and
Britain's Blumenthal have all bent it to their will, as if offended by
something so simple and so perfect. Oh, the hubris.
Then the yolk
runs like Linford Christie through the foam and the curry oil, and it
is as if all my breakfasts have come at once. Unexpectedly and quite
illogically, it actually works, creating an inspired opening statement
at Glynn Purnell's new restaurant in Birmingham. The delicacy of
execution and simplicity of presentation is matched by the layered
complexity of tastes and textures. (Try visiting
www.purnellsrestaurant.com to see it for yourself).
obvious when I ate Purnell's cooking at Jessica's in Edgbaston in 2003
that he had the nous, the ideas and the ambition to go places. Michelin
agreed in 2005 by awarding Jessica's one star, bringing the sort of
fame that makes a chef wonder why he's working so hard making money for
someone else. So Purnell grabbed a former furniture emporium in the
city centre, and turned it into a chic/bleak environment for his
modern, minimalist cooking. Where Jessica's was French-cottage,
Purnell's is smart-modern, with urban grey walls, honeycomb chairs,
clothless dark wood tables, and architectural portraits of Birmingham
by photographer Lawrence Roper.
The cooking is just as on-trend,
using the foams, froths, gels and saucy streaks that are the language
of the contemporary chef. Thankfully, he uses them as they should be
used – to deliver flavour in a lighter manner. So a slab of shreddy
rabbit and ham terrine gets a fragrant marjoram foam and Twister-dots
of olive and pea essence. Next, a perfect disc of full-flavoured,
fork-tender lamb shoulder infused with orange and saffron runs off to
Morocco with roasted sweetbreads on cracked wheat, spring onions that
taste of preserved lemons, and a dome of yoghurt foam. Brill is gently
poached in coconut milk and served with baby spinach, red lentils, and
toffee-sweet spiced carrots.
The room has a young, well-informed
team led by the charming Jean-Benoit Burloux, who has the gift of
making you feel you have made a great choice without ever using the
words "great choice". As much at home with the wine list as the menu,
he steers me to a ripe, fresh 2004 Givry La Grande Berge (£37.50).
It's all very polished and assured, with plenty of
complimentary befores and afters to make you feel spoilt. So far, only
an appetiser of melon soup with feta and black pepper has been less
than seamless, but with desserts, I start to see a few joins. A
croustillant of malt bread with banana ice cream feels like a
gussied-up banana fritter, and I'm not convinced by a pairing of green
tea cream and raspberries.
Business-like by day, the place
softens at night into a foodie destination. At one table, a couple of
interior designers bitch about the lighting track, while at another,
two high-profile chefs – Nottingham's Sat Bains and Ludlow's Claude
Bosi – are clearly enjoying themselves.
The intriguing thing
about Purnell's is that not only is it in Birmingham, it is very
Birmingham. By using childhood influences like his council-estate
breakfasts and balti suppers, Purnell is virtually developing his own
modern "regional" cuisine, as full of taste memories as new techniques.
For a local-boy-made-good to open a restaurant like this in a city like
this is surely more important to the evolution of British gastronomy
than any number of million-pound Mayfair launches.
1-9 stay home and cook 10-11 needs help 12 ok 13 pleasant enough 14
good 15 very good 16 capable of greatness 17 special, can't wait to go
back 18 highly honourable 19 unique and memorable 20 as good as it gets
55 Cornwall Street, Birmingham. Tel: 0121 212 9799. Lunch Tuesday to
Friday; Dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Three-course menu £38.95pp
Article from The Independent
2 September 2007
You could be forgiven for thinking that the stunning architectural images that adorn the walls of Purnell’s have been taken in Paris, New York and Rome. But they are in fact all snapshots of Birmingham city centre.
Dramatic city landscapes, classical stone carved frontages, spires and towers, shot and handsomely framed by Birmingham photographer Lawrence Roper create an ambient backdrop for the contemporary bar and dining room.
All of the images were taken within a 1 mile radius of the restaurant on Cornwall Street within one of the city centre’s conservation areas. Many of the city’s listed buildings including They focus on the features of the immediate area’s architecture with buildings like the historic School of Art in Margaret Street and the city’s splendidly restored Town Hall and more contemporary landmarks like the nearby BT tower.
Glynn said: “I’ve lived in Birmingham all of my life and I’m really passionate about the city. There are so many things that we see day to day that we take for granted so I thought this would be a perfect way to highlight what’s on the restaurant’s doorstep and the area’s heritage in an inspiring way.”
The images are all available as limited edition prints directly from photographer Lawrence Roper. For further information call 0121 693 6693
24 July 2007