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Edmunds Chefs Wins Accredited National and International Awards

Andy Waters Chef Patron of Edmunds, with Winner Aaron Darnley

Andy Waters Chef Patron of Edmunds, with Winner Aaron Darnley

Bravo for Birmingham’s Culinary Culture

Edmunds chefs win top awards at Hotelympia.  If you get Andy Waters talking about the excellence of Birmingham’s restaurants his eyes light up and he becomes positively lyrical.  Andy is chef-patron of Edmunds, a most traditional English fine dining experience in the city’s Brindleyplace, a focal-point for Midland gastronomes. A few weeks ago three of his chefs entered and won top awards at London’s Hotelympia – the culinary cup final.

Andy takes his task of training and mentoring his chefs most seriously. Like his onetime younger colleague Glynn Purnell of nearby Purnells Michelin Restaurant, he is a proud member of the Andreas Antona alumni. They were both at the stove in the original Simpsons in Kenilworth and have now spread their wings and are doing their own thing much to the admiration of knowledgeable restaurant critics and appreciative diners from miles around. And following Andreas’s exemplary example Andy is equally committed to developing the next first division of Birmingham-born chefs.

He traces it all back to his time with Andreas in the kitchens of the Plough & Harrow in the Hagley Road, which was at one time the city’s sole fine dining Mecca. It was perhaps like a mighty oak tree from which tiny acorns fell and are now growing up to form if not a forest then a copse of really good restaurants.

It was 21 years ago, in 1989, while he was at the Plough & Harrow, that Andy won the Association Culinaire’s prestigious Coup Escoffier.  ‘Entering competitions and competing against other chefs gives us all an edge’, explains Andy, who feels that overall young British chefs are at a massive disadvantage compared to their contemporaries from the Continent, especially Scandinavians who receive tremendous support from their governments in training for these events.

This year three of his chefs won top awards at Hotelympia, held in London’s dockland ExCel centre between 28th February and 4th March.    Ian Lynn won the coveted Villroy & Bosch Chef of the Year award for his dish of Duck Three Ways that was a melody of duck leg confit, a pink cooked breast with a foie gras de canard.  Keeping youth at the helm two of Andy’s sous chefs walked off with the Essential Cuisine award for young chefs with their three course meal of duck foie gras, apples and a Muscat de Venise sauce; line caught sea bass with blood oranges; and the almost forgotten classic dish of Lamb Cutlets Reform created around 1840 by chef Alexis Soyer for the Reform Club.

Michael Guérard’s Cusine Minceur of the 1950s eventually evolved into Nouvelle Cuisine.  One day Molecualar Gastronomy, as practiced by Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck in Bray, will be seen as a passing culinary caprice.  However it is good to see that traditional English cooking goes from strength to strength in Birmingham.

Andy was also proud that his young chef Aaron Darnely, who is just 20, also won the acclaimed WACS Global Chef Challenge in Chile in January. Aaron (pictured) who trained a Birmingham College of Food, has worked with Andy since Edmunds opened in 2008.. he competed against top chefs from 26 different countries!

More on Edmunds of Birmingham HERE

Save 20% off at Edmunds, and other top Midlands restaurants, by joining the regions Lifestyle Dining Club HERE

Reported for us by Philippe Boucheron

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