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Hibiscus loses sous chef to Birmingham start-up

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Glynn Purnell, sous chef at Ludlow’s Hibiscus restaurant, is to leave Shropshire to take up his first head chef post, in Birmingham.

Purnell, 28, will become head chef and joint-proprietor at Jessica’s, a new35-seat restaurant in Edgbaston. He is backed in the venture by a local businessman. The restaurant is due to open at the end of July, although Purnell will start next week.

“We plan to start off slowly with a small brigade – just two of us in the kitchen – and maybe build it up to three after a few months if things go all right,” he said.

Purnell will be joined in the kitchen by Simon Semanski, whom he worked with at Simpson’s in Kenilworth. Front of house will be headed up by Pascal Cuny, also an ex-Simpson’s colleague.

The aim is to put out a three-course, set-price menu at lunch and in the evening. Food will be French-based and include dishes such as fricass‚e of snails, garlic and parsley served with pork belly; loin of French veal, white beans and squid with confit tomato; and hot chocolate moulleux with almond ice-cream and strawberry salad. Lunch will be £19.50 and dinner £29.95.

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