In his foreword, Birmingham born and bred chef, Glynn Purnell, explains that this book highlights our regional food, from the provenance of ingredients from farms on the outskirts of the city, through to breakfasts on offer in suburban café, lunches from delis and ‘proper gastro pub fare from real ale houses’.
The event was hosted by Birgit Kehrer of ChangeKitchen, a social enterprise which offers award-winning locally sourced organic vegetarian and vegan food. Two of her helpers (above right) welcomed and served all-comers – the first to arrive being a representative from Citylicious Birmingham. Citylicious is a dining guide which offers a choice of restaurants and introduces the newest artisan producers and focusses on provenance – farm to plate.
Sanjay (right) from Spice Kitchen, has set up a family business which offers fresh, authentic spices by mail order. He explained:
“We source the spices in their raw state, like cloves, curry leaves and cardamom pods, then we roast and grind them by hand. Everything is fresh, made in small batches within a week or so of the order, unlike the stuff in shops which has been hanging around for a long time and gone stale”.
Orders are coming in briskly after Spice Kitchen exhibited at the recent Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2016 held at Olympia.
Kerre Chen from Meze Publishing spoke about the Birmingham Cookbook to the gathering. She conducts public and press relations for Meze, which has published sixteen regional cookbooks. Meze Publishing recently won ‘best new-comer’ at the Independent Publishing Awards and issued the cookbook in collaboration with Dine Birmingham. Contributions came from Adams, Purnell’s, Simpsons and independents such as Cherry Reds, Loaf and Original Patty Men.
Tom Maher is co-founder of The Original Patty Men, another independent, which was often seen at Birmingham’s street food events like Digbeth Dining Club, serving locally sourced longhorn beef burgers. OPM has now opened a Digbeth base in Shaw’s Passage in one of the railway bridge arches (below).
There were people representing a good ‘mix’ of establishments from different areas including, Stirchley, Edgbaston, Digbeth, Ladypool Road, Kings Heath and Wythall.
Nathan Eades (left), the new head chef at Simpson’s, Edgbaston’s newly refurbished Grade II listed Michelin starred restaurant
Sadie Williams – formerly with MAC, who came from Beckett’s Farm, Wythall, Orange Kitchen Cookery School .
Sadie came with her colleagues Hannah (marketing) and Rachel (conferences)
Artisan desserts offers a mix of Asian and traditional English fare in an Asian area, where people don’t just want to have a kulfi after their curry – and some customers travel from as far afield as Manchester.
And Tracy Fletcher (below, far left) from the Kitchen Garden in Kings Heath came with Charlotte from Stirchley. She joined others who attended the launch, relaxing after the event.
More detail about the cookbook is given on Spice Kitchen’s website.
Thanks are due to Shirley Institute’s Ann (cameraman) and Malcolm Turner (escort & moral support) for stepping in at the last moment to take photographs.