Glynn Purnell started cooking professionally at the age of 14 after securing a work experience placement in a hotel. Following a successful placement in the kitchen, he spent the next two years catching the No 966 bus to the Metropole Hotel at the NEC where he was quickly promoted to making salads and flipping burgers.
A six year stint followed, gaining experience in every department from banqueting to the a la carte Terrace Restaurant, where he discovered his talent and passion for fine dining. He began winning awards including the prestigious Salon Culinaire.
Taking inspiration from his childhood, Glynn’s first food related memory involves baked beans on toast and curry powder, not quite what you would expect from a Michelin starred chef. Left in charge of his siblings, he would experiment and encourage them to try new combinations, something he still does today with his three young children.
His next professional step was as Chef de Partie at 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 a number of accolades within the industry.
After training with top chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Claude Bosi, Glynn travelled abroad to work with well-known Michelin starred chefs in Europe. He went on to help launch Jessica’s in July 2003, which was awarded Birmingham’s first Michelin star back in 2005. Glynn is now the proud owner of three establishments in Birmingham, Purnell’s, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2007, Ginger’s Bar and Purnell’s Bistro, formerly The Asquith.
He has successfully made the transition to television and has taken part in the Great British Menu, winning twice and then appearing as a mentor. He has previously featured on The Great British Food Revival and can be seen in the new series in the autumn. He appears at the BBC Good Food Show and is a regular guest chef on Saturday Kitchen with James Martin.
Purnell’s Restaurant recently received the BMW Square Meal Best UK Restaurant award. This is the 12th year the BMW Square Meal UK award has been awarded, with past winners including The Fat Duck and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.
I am driven by my passion to excite people through food, especially the innovative dishes taken from my childhood experiences. The concept of Purnell’s Bistro will continue to entice people with honest portions of food, inspired by rustic home-cooking but with an eclectic twist.