Page 17 - Worthing Lifestyle Jul:Aug 2019
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the yummie
    Sally Thomson caught up with world-renowned chef and all-round practical joker Glynn Purnell...
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED IN THE PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN?
My first experience in a professional kitchen was when I did work experience at the age of 14 at the Metropole Hotel at the NEC. I walked into the kitchen and saw all these giant chefs with massive chef’s hats and I was in awe from the first minute. After finishing my work experience, I then got a part time job
in the kitchen there so I spent most of my weekends for the next two years catching the number 966 bus. When I left school, I then became an apprentice chef there, and I gained experience in every department from banqueting to the A La Carte Terrace Restaurant, which is where I discovered my passion for fine dining.
WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT THE KITCHEN WOULD PLAY SUCH A MAJOR PART OF YOUR LIFE?
Well, I pretty much left school without any qualifications, hopes or dreams! But I knew that I was good in the kitchen, and every time I walked into the kitchen at the hotel, I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. When you’re 14, and you feel that buzz of the kitchen, I just immersed myself in it, and I wanted to be there all the time. It was almost on an unhealthy level; I just wanted to be there all the time. Nothing mattered other than being in the kitchen from the very first day. I was completely obsessed with it. From the level of the noise to the smell to the heat to the way it ran to just how exciting it was- it was just like “where the hell am I?!” I used to work there every hour I could, just because it was brilliant. Imagine being in school one day, and then the next day going into that. It was a no brainer for me.
I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WILL BE APPEARING WITH TOMMY BANKS AND MICHAEL CAINES IN TWO SEPARATE MICHELIN STAR CHALLENGES AT THE BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW SUMMER THIS JUNE. HAVE YOU WORKED WITH EITHER OF THEM BEFORE?
I have cooked with both Tommy and Michael before, both times at previous BBC Good Food Shows. I went up
against Tommy Banks in December last year, which was great fun. I didn’t realise how big he is! I’ve known Michael Caines for many years. We’ve done lots of different television programmes together- Saturday Kitchen, and a few different programmes for Channel 4 as well. It will be great fun to cook with them both again in June.
AM I CORRECT THAT YOUR LAST BOOK WAS RIB TICKLERS & CHOUX- INS? HAVE YOU ANY PLANS TO WRITE ANOTHER?
My last cook book was indeed Rib Ticklers and Choux-Ins back in 2016. And yes - I have just agreed to do another one! I will be writing a book about my journey- from cooking in kitchens at the age of 14 right through to the devilishly silver fox look that I am currently rocking at 44. I believe that that’s 30 years in
the making! It will be a very bespoke, hand-bound book, and I’m really excited about it.
YOU OBVIOUSLY ENJOY WRITING ABOUT FOOD, WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER THAT YOU HAD A
TALENT FOR THIS AS WELL? AND YOU HAVE SINCE GONE ON TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S BOOK THE MAGICAL ADVENTURES OF WHOOPS THE WONDER DOG. HOW DID
THAT COME ABOUT AND ARE YOU PLANNING ON DOING MORE?
If you’re passionate enough about anything then the writing about it isn’t
a problem. It naturally comes. Whether you’re writing about it or talking about it, it’s a passion, and that will come across in any form of communication whether it’s on television, in the restaurant or in a book.
I wrote my first children’s book last year. That was for my children and was about my little dog called Whoops. My daughter Esme asked me one day whether Whoops was going to die anytime soon. She looked at me with her big blue eyes, swelling up with tears, and I said, “Not for a while, Princess.” Then I decided to write a book, as I wanted to do something that would immortalise Whoops in fiction, for my own kids first and foremost. But as time went on and the illustrator came
on board and the book came together, it seemed like it had potential to appeal to a
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