Michelin-star chef Glynn Purnell is to open a second restaurant in Birmingham.
Purnell is just weeks away from opening The Asquith as an “ambitious, neighbourhood restaurant” specialising in French-inspired cuisine in Edgbaston.
Purnell will be revisiting the scene of earlier culinary triumphs with The Asquith. The listed building in Montague Road, Edgbaston, was formerly Jessicas, where the chef, a protégé of Andreas Antona, first won a Michelin star in 2005 before going solo with Purnell’s in 2007.
Jessicas became Pascal’s and was run by Frenchman Pascal Cluny, garnering critical praise, including a bib gourmand from the Michelin Guide. The restaurant’s landlord, Tony Gayden, said the property’s lease was being transferred to Purnell.
Purnell believes The Asquith will fill a gap in the Birmingham dining scene for “good, solid cooking”.
The 34-cover restaurant will offer a three-course set lunch for £20 and a £34 three-course à la carte for lunch and dinner service. The chef said the food will be “French dominated with a Purnell’s twist” and The Asquith will be open Wednesday through to Sunday lunch.
Crucially, Purnell will not be cooking at The Asquith and is appointing a head chef to take charge of the Edgbaston kitchen.
He stressed he will continue to cook at the flagship Purnell’s in Cornwall Street, where he harbours ambitions of gaining a second Michelin star. “You will see me at The Asquith having lunch on a Sunday,” he said.
Purnell insisted he will be responsible for devising and writing the menus at The Asquith. The restaurant manager will be Julie Tonsgaard, who is promoted from her current post at the Cornwall Street restaurant.
Interestingly, none of the kitchen brigade at Purnell’s will be transferring to the new restaurant, which the chef hopes will be a showcase for Birmingham’s young catering and hospitality talent.
* For more on this story, plus our Food Critic Richard McComb's view what the new restaurants will offer and how they will fare, see this week's Birmingham Post.