Glynn Purnell’s handle on Twitter is ‘Yummy brummie’, but it could just as well be ‘funny brummie’ because a more affable and playful chef you will not meet. When we speak, he’s excited to talk about his book, Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales (the clue’s in the name) which is published in May by Kyle Books.
“It’s mainly aimed at people that can cook, but want to step into restaurant food at home. However, it will appeal to chefs too,” he says. “There are over one hundred recipes, but there’s also seven or eight stories in there and it’s quite humorous. I tried to write it as if I was talking to you and did the whole thing in pencil, because I can’t use a computer.”
Alongside recipes for dishes like mackerel and potato Pakora, pork chops with Sauerkraut and chocolate and passion fruit dome, you’ll find stories such as ‘The Commis and the Cucumber’ and ‘Cooking with Carbon Monoxide’. Purnell barely stifles a giggle when he talks about this one. “That’s about when the fan broke down and I tried to by-pass the cutoff switch. All my staff started passing out! But don’t worry, there is a happy ending.”
Brought up in a large working class family in Birmingham, Purnell was enchanted by the alchemy of cooking when he found himself catering for his siblings. “Food was a massive part of growing up,” he says. “I’d do beans on toast, but I’d put a bit of chopped onion in there, sprinkle on some herbs and, of course, add curry powder – which was the big one – that’s what started it off for me. I used to love the way things changed – when you crack an egg into a pan, how it changes form, I found that fascinating.”