Referred to as a Yummy Brummie by Olive Magazine, Glynn Purnell who recently left his position as Head Chef of Jessica’s Restaurant in Edgbaston to open his first solo venture, Purnell’s, is one of the country’s culinary rising stars. He started cooking professionally at the age of 14 when he took on an evening job after school and hasn’t looked back. Winning dozens of awards and critical accolades for his inspired, adventurous cooking, he has remained firmly rooted in his home city where his lifelong passion for local team, Birmingham City FC was matched by his desire to win the city’s first Michelin star, an ambition gained in January 2005 as Head Chef at Jessica’s Restaurant.
His first appearance at the BBC Good Food Show was in 2005 and he has since appeared on UKTV Food’s Great Food Live programme as well as presenting a BBC1 documentary ‘Working The Sea’ in which he follows the journey that fish make from a Brixham trawler to his own restaurant kitchen. Last year he joined Gordon Ramsay’s panel of judges for the semi final and final of the Ramsay Scholarship 2006 held at the NEC as part of the BBC Good Food Show.
Glynn Purnell’s first food related memory involves baked beans on toast and curry powder, not quite what you would expect from a Michelin Star chef. Left in charge of his little brother and sister, he would experiment on his siblings, encouraging them to try new combinations and challenging their taste buds, something he now does with his young son Oliver.
The fledgling foodie’s career started when, at 14, he requested a stint in a kitchen for his school work experience placement. When it became clear that the endless mopping wasn’t about to dampen his enthusiasm he was offered a paid job after school. Every evening for two years he would catch the No 966 bus to the Metropole Hotel at the NEC where he was quickly promoted to making salads and flipping burgers.
On leaving school he joined the hotel as an apprentice and worked for 6 years in every department from banqueting to the a la carte Terrace Restaurant, where he discovered his talent and passion for fine dining and began winning awards such as the prestigious Salon Culinaire.
His next professional step was as Chef de Partie for the small but highly acclaimed Simpson's Restaurant in Kenilworth where he progressed to the position of Sous Chef. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star and Glynn went on to win other personal awards such as the Academie de Culinaire Francaise Annual Award of Excellence in 1996 and the Rioja National Sous Chef of the Year 2000 with a prize of a two week working holiday in Spain. Before helping to launch Jessica’s in July 2003, Glynn worked as Sous Chef to Claude Bosi at the 2 Michelin-starred Hibiscus restaurant in Ludlow for eight months. At Jessica’s Restaurant in Edgbaston he won numerous awards and critical acclaim for his adventurous cooking.
His passion for cooking has led him to work on 'stages' or placements with a number of well known chefs including Gary Rhodes at The Greenhouse, Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine and the eponymous Alistair Little at Frith Street. He's travelled abroad working for Michelin starred chefs in Birmingham’s twin city Lyons and at the Michelin starred Zaldiaran in Northern Spain and the three-starred Le Jardin des Sens owned by the Pourcel brothers in Montpellier.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Michelin Star, 2005, 2006,2007
AA Restaurant of the Year (England) 2005
Birmingham's only entry in Egon Ronay's UK" Best 200 Restaurant Guide" 2005
West Midlands only 2 star entry in Egon Ronays' UK "Best 200 Restaurant Guide "2006.
Good Food & Gardens Guide Regional Newcomer 2005
West Midlands top entry in "THE INDEPENDENT" October 2005 50 Best UK Gourmet Restaurants
Birmingham Post Regional Restaurant of the Year 2004.
Metro Restaurant of the Year 2005.
The best Newcomer Restaurant of the Year 2008, The craft Guild of Chef
The city has a new restaurant, and it is very good. Not just for Birmingham; good for anywhere…
Jay Rayner, Observer Magazine, November 2003
So much about Jessica’s is very good. It has a passionate chef, an imaginative menu and really, really good cooking.
Terry Durack, The Independent on Sunday, December 2003
The kitchen turns out dishes with sometimes surprising combinations, but possesses the technique and crucially the instinct to hit the target.
Paul Fulford, Birmingham Mail, July 2005
Tuesday to Friday lunch12 noon - 4.30pm (Last orders 1.30pm)
Tuesday to Saturday dinner7pm - 1am (Last orders, 9.30pm, licensed until midnight)
Sundays & MondaysClosed
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