Two of Birmingham’s top Michelin star chefs have made up after an extraordinary “whisks at midnight” spat sent the canapés flying on Twitter.
Glynn Purnell and Richard Turner broke bread and launched a public show of mutual respect in the wake of a colourful row that saw the self-styled ‘Yummie Brummie’ accuse his Harborne rival of stealing his ideas before eventually telling him to “f*** off”.
A remorseful Purnell, who effectively accused Turner of pinching a menu idea, said his comments on the microblogging site were meant as a joke but he conceded he went “a bit too far.”
He said: “I have spoken to Richard. We have had a man hug – and the bromance is back on.”
Turner said he bore no animosity towards Purnell despite the heated nature of the fall-out.
Purnell’s initial tweet – “don’t you just hate it when people copy your menu – to be the fashion is not to be the fashion!” – was retweeted, or re-posted, by several other chefs throughout the country.
The phrase echoes a tattoo on Purnell’s back which says “To be the fashion is not to be the fashion”.
The comment, perceived to be a dig at Turner, sparked a robust response from the head chef and patron of Turners of Harborne, who proceeded to post a dozen pictures of his dishes on Twitter, challenging diners to see if they recognised the creations from any other restaurant.
One of the final pictures featured the comment: “Running out of other peoples ideas now, having to copy my own!”
The exchange of tweets generated interest among top chefs on the twittersphere, including Tom Kerridge, of the two Michelin star Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Bucks, and Simon Hulstone, who has a star at The Elephant in Torquay.
Purnell, who tweets as @yummy_brummie and has more than 7,000 followers, is thought to have been angered by a new summer tasting menu launched by Turner.
Turner’s Taste of Summer June 2012 menu comprises nine courses featuring dishes such as a duo of French rabbit, pavé of sea bass and raspberry soufflé with lemon verbena ice cream.
The menu can be taken in its entirety for £75, with a supplement for cheese, or diners can order as few as two courses for £40.
Purnell has launched his own Simply Summer six course menu, “reflecting the season,” for £60, with dishes featuring veal tongue, brill and raspberry Eton mess. He also has an eight-course Purnell’s Tour, “showcasing the history and the emotion of Purnell’s,” for £80.
Purnell also gives diners the option of designing their own £50 three-course menu, selecting dishes from across the two tasting menus.
When Turner, who tweets as @TurnersRestBrum, was made aware of the gathering gastro storm, he hit back by posting a picture of one of his summer dishes – sea bass with a summer truffle gnocchi – with the message: “Seen this on any one else’s menu?”
An image of petit fours was accompanied with the words: “Smoking gun any one?”
The two chefs have subsequently apologised to each other for any misunderstanding.
Turner said he had wanted to run a flexible tasting menu for some time and seeing Purnell do something similar had inspired him to be true to his own beliefs. Purnell said he now took the gesture as a compliment.
Turner told the Birmingham Post: “I got a little bit offended to begin with, but as far as I am concerned it was a bit of friendly banter.
"We have had a conversation and put the matter to bed and we should know better than to act like big children. There is no animosity on my part.”
Purnell said: “There was a heated misunderstanding. Then I got a bit mischievous and started playing the game and the game got a bit fiery. It was whisks at midnight.
“I have spoken to Richard now and we ended up talking about fine produce and food. It was a just a joke that went a bit too far.”