Purnell's book launch
Last night we headed to Purnell’s Bistro on Newhall Street for the launch of Glynn Purnell's first cookery book ‘Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales’. As we arrived the ‘do’ was in full swing and the large crowd made apparent the Brummie chef's popularity.
I say it’s a cookery book but Cracking Yolks is also semi autobiographical; it contains not just recipes but funny stories/ anecdotes of Glynn’s life in the kitchen with fellow chefs, (it’s subtitled The lid off life in the kitchen with 110 stunning recipes) so whilst you're stirring, whipping, waiting for things to boil etc. you can pass the time reading some amusing tales.
The dishes sound like they belong in Purnell's Michelin starred restaurant - red wine Octopus anyone? What’s an escabeche of vegetables? But like the man himself they are unpretentious and accessible. (I’ve only met Glynn on a couple of occasions but he was as unassuming as you’d expect, his sense of humour also shines through in the book).
The ingredients needed for most of the recipes are readily available, so unlike some cookery tomes you won’t need to trek up some Himalayan mountain for the missing component. Flicking through a copy, I particularly liked the look of the egg and black pudding crumble and the lamb baklava. There are also some Birmingham inspired recipes such as Birmingham ‘1793’ Soup which we are told in the accompanying blurb was made by the famed industrialist Matthew Boulton for his workers - I’m guessing circa 1793.
Throughout the evening we were treated to some canapés which are referenced in the book – pigs trotter fritters with apple puree, goats cheese and pineapple sticks, curried salmon with cucumber, cheese beignet, 2 types of mini burgers - one a typical cheese affair and one of the Bistro’s biggest sellers, and my personal favourite of the night, the chorizo, pork belly number. Whenever I saw these bad boys floating around the room I maintained serious eye contact with the member of staff who was serving; my hit ratio was pretty good which thankfully rendered my pre purchased microwave curry null & void.
The Bistro’s bar – Ginger’s (named after Ginger Rogers) was busy and we sampled some of their great cocktails, there’s an extensive list and if you want something bespoke they’ll knock that up for you too.
As we stepped onto the street a monsoon ensued, but I didn’t care as I was content with a full belly and a great idea for my mom’s birthday present.
The book is available now from all good retailers and if you enjoy food you should definitely get a copy. Lovely photography, easy to follow recipes and a good read to boot.
Watch our film about Glynn's favourite things to do in Birmingham here.
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