Page 18 - Worthing Lifestyle Jul:Aug 2019
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  wider audience. Most of us grow up with pets, and at some point, they inevitably pass away. This can have a big impact on children. I wanted to tell a story where Whoops had her own secret life when the family were all out at school and at work during the day.
Unfortunately, Whoops didn’t make it
to see the finished book. Sadly, she
died very suddenly in January last year. Thankfully it was very quick, with very little suffering. Whoops started showing signs of illness and discomfort on the morning, and she died later that night from a tumour that we didn’t know about. By this time, I was four months into the creation of the book, and I knew I had to finish it. It took on even more importance for me and my whole family.
I’m now working on my second children’s book which is about an alpaca called Arnold! That will hopefully be out for Easter next year.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CUISINE?
Brilliant! My food very much reflects my personality. My cooking and the restaurant are basically me. It’s my personality both on the plate and in the dining room. It’s
my own unique style of cooking and my own unique perception of food and how it should be served. There are a lot of French influences in there, as I did a lot of my training and early years of work in France. It’s very individual. Modern but with a classic root. It also has an enormous sense of humour. The taste is obviously
"My food very much reflects my personality. My cooking and the restaurant are basically me. It has an enormous sense of humour. The taste is obviously very important, but so is the personality of the food."
very important, but so is the personality of the food. I don’t like to use the word, but people call it quirky! It has a serious edge, but also a quirkiness to it. You know it’s my food as well. It’s vibrant, it’s tasty, it’s fun. It’s theatre as well. When you come to the restaurant it’s not just about three plates of food. You can even hear my dulcet Birmingham tones coming from the kitchen!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER A YOUNGSTER WANTING TO ENTER THE BUSINESS?
When entering this business, you’ve got to understand that the hours are very antisocial. It’s a tough industry. It’s full
of rewards. And at the same time as it being antisocial, it’s also actually very social - the people who work in the industry do all tend to want to have a
bit of fun! You work hard and you play hard, and the reward is great. You get to please customers, and you get to work alongside a lot of young, enthusiastic people as well. If you learn your craft well, you will come back bountiful, but you’ve got to learn before you earn.
WHICH PIECE OF KITCHEN EQUIPMENT COULDN’T YOU BE WITHOUT?
Probably the kitchen porter! No-one likes washing up do they?! Once he walks out then someone’s got to do it. And a really sharp knife.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS?
I’m a big meat fan. I also love squid.
I think that the UK has got some of
the best seafood in the world. The
fish market in Birmingham is such an amazing, plentiful place, considering
it’s in the centre of the country, and
the universe! We’re just coming into
a fantastic season for vegetables as
well - we’ve got asparagus, now and strawberries and raspberries on the way. The British larder is pretty amazing really.
DO YOU HAVE A GUILTY FOOD PLEASURE – I HAVE INTERVIEWED
MANY CHEFS AND THE CONTRASTS ARE VERY INTERESTING - FROM CONDENSED MILK TO FISH FINGERS....AND YOURS?
Cheese. I try not to have too much of it because of my high blood pressure! I also like chilli sauce. I love a really big dirty sandwich with cheese, salami, lettuce,
all piled up, so big that you can’t actually bite it. Load it all up, and finish it off with salt, pepper, mayonnaise and chilli sauce. Delicious.
IF YOU COULD HAVE FAMOUS DINNER PARTY GUESTS WHO WOULD YOU INVITE?
I’d need a really big dinner table! George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Jesus, Pierre Gagnaire who is Head Chef and owner of the 3-Michelin Starred Pierre Gagnaire restaurant in Paris. He’s a revolutionary chef at the forefront of the fusion cuisine movement. Who else... Eric Cantona, Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler... there’s
a lot of testosterone around this table, isn’t there?! I’d invite the Queen. I’ve met Prince Charles a few times and he’s really good value, so I’d invite him as well. And Alex Ferguson.
YOUR FAVOURITE STARTER, MAIN AND PUDDING OF ALL TIME?
For starter - it’s got to be squid, quickly flash-fried with chilli, garlic and lime, with a little drizzle of oil. For main - Cote de boeuf with Bordelaise sauce, Pommes Anna and some crunchy green beans. For pudding - I do like a crème brulee, but then again, I do also like exotic
fruits. I had a ravioli of passionfruit and pineapple at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which was delicious. When I worked in Lyon, we did a Paris-Brest, which is choux pastry with praline cream, caramelised on top. Very French! French puddings are the best, I think. I don’t like things like Spotted Dick!
FINALLY HAVE YOU ANY WISHES YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
I would like Purnell’s to carry on going from strength to strength, and I want to carry on flying the flag for Birmingham. I would like to carry on enjoying cooking as much as I do, but also enjoy some more family time. And maybe be in the south of France for three months of the year - wouldn’t that be nice?!
Catch Glynn Purnell at BBC Good Food Show Summer on Saturday 15th June when the show returns to the NEC Birmingham from 13th-16th June. For information and tickets, visit: www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/ birmingham-summer
Glynn has been kind enough to share two delicious recipes from Rib Ticklers and Choux-Ins (Kyle Books, £19.99). to try at home...
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