Simpsons Restaurant was the toast of the town as it scooped four awards at the Taste of Birmingham festival.
Named Best Restaurant for the third year running, the Michelin-starred Edgbaston venue also won awards for Best Use of Seasonal Produce and Best Business Lunch (chosen by readers of The Birmingham Post), while executive chef Luke Tipping was voted Chef’s Chef by his peers.
Simpsons’ Chef Patron Andreas Antona said: “Obviously I’m delighted and overwhelmed - to win three years running was an accolade.
“I’m really pleased for Luke, I’ve got a lot of admiration and respect for him, he’s a bloody good craftsman.”
Other winners at the Taste of Birmingham Restaurant Awards evening, which launched the four-day food festival, included Aria at the Hyatt (Best Service), Saffron in Oldbury (Best Out of Town Restaurant) and Great British Menu star Glynn Purnell’s eponymous restaurant, which was named Best Newcomer.
Former head chef at the Michelin-starred Jessica’s in Edgbaston, Glynn opened Purnell’s in Cornwall Street just 12 months ago, but has already received critical acclaim for his innovative and inspiring dishes.
One of his creations, a hollowed-out eggshell filled with custard and a brûlée top served with strawberries and tarragon, was chosen as the winning dessert on the recent BBC series Great British Menu.
Bill Farnsworth, former director of catering studies at University College Birmingham, picked up the award for Outstanding Personal Contribution.
Dave Hodgson, marketing director at Marketing Birmingham and one of the panel of judges for the Taste awards, said: “The standard of Birmingham’s food and drink offering goes from strength to strength, and this was reflected in the quality of entries into this year’s Restaurant Awards. A big congratulations to the winners and all those involved.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors to Taste of Birmingham over the next few days to find out for themselves what gives these restaurants such recognition.”
Taste of Birmingham show manager Louise Hulse added: “These awards highlight the superb quality and variety of the city’s restaurant scene; in several categories the judges admitted it was a really tough job choosing a winner from such a strong shortlist.”
Taste of Birmingham runs until Sunday at Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston. Featuring 10 of the city’s finest restaurants including Simpsons, Opus, Hotel du Vin, Itihaas and Aria, the event allows visitors to buy and try sample dishes from their menus.
Delights on offer include slow braised heel of Scottish beef with carrot purée (Opus), seared scallops with saffron vincotto (Filini) and Thai noodles with king black tiger prawns (Thai Edge).
Also attending this year are Ludlow restaurant Le Becasse and a quartet of top chefs from Birmingham’s twin city, Lyon.
The four Frenchmen, all members of executive chef association Les Toques Blanches Lyonnaises, are offering a joint menu of cromesquis de foie gras, quenelle de brochet aux queues d’ecrivisses and craquant de fruits rouges.
The event also features a Taste Kitchen showcasing live demonstrations by the likes of Aldo Zilli and Antony Worrall Thompson, wine masterclass, producers’ market, bbq cook-offs and this afternoon’s Birmingham Post Long Lunch, a networking event for key business professionals.
Tickets to Taste of Birmingham are priced from £12 and available on the door, from www.channel4.com/taste or by calling 0870 230 5581.
* THE WINNERS
Best Restaurant - Simpsons
Best Newcomer -Purnell’s
Best Service - Aria at the Hyatt
Best Use of Seasonal Produce - Simpsons
Best Out Of Town Restaurant - Saffron, Oldbury
Best Family Restaurant - Jimmy Spice’s
Best Business Lunch - Simpsons
Rising Star - Aktar Islam (Lasan)
Chef’s Chef - Luke Tipping (Simpsons)
Outstanding Personal Contribution - Bill Farnsworth