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Students feel the heat in the kitchen with Michelin star chef

Glynn Purnell and student Neelam Khan at Purnell's Restaurant, Birmingham

Students from South and City College Birmingham have been feeling the heat in the kitchen in a bid to wow Michelin starred Chef Glynn Purnell.

Eleven young people are currently on an Introduction to Cookery course at the college which is being run in partnership with Glynn to help him find two apprentices. Each student is given the opportunity to spend a day at the chef’s award winning Purnell’s restaurant in Birmingham, which was recently ranked seventeenth best restaurant in the UK. They will be working with him and his team on lunch and dinner service, learning the ropes and hoping to make a positive impression doing everything from stirring risotto to pureeing celeriac.

Alongside them experiencing life in a Michelin starred kitchen, the students are also being mentored by the chef who drops into the college once a week to give advice and techniques to help them succeed in the industry.

Glynn, who was once an apprentice himself will choose two of the budding cooks to become his apprentices at the end of this year, ready to take on their new roles in January. The remaining students will be able to take apprenticeships at other catering establishments across the city, further their catering qualifications at the college or seek a job with an impressive CV.

Glynn Purnell said: “Youngsters are too quick these days to chase fame. You have to work hard to progress in a career. It isn’t about becoming a celebrity, but being recognised for being good at something.

“After receiving some fantastic applications, the students have started well on the course showing great enthusiasm and determination. For me, it is about giving young people in our region the opportunity to gain lifelong skills and experience which will lead to a successful career. South and City College share this ethos which is why I chose to partner with them for this apprenticeship.”

Mike Hopkins, Principal of the college added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for these aspiring young chefs. By the end of the course, not only will the students have gained a recognised qualification, but they will have worked in one of the top kitchens in the country.”

Student Neelam Khan from Bordesley Green said: “I have really enjoyed my day in the kitchen at Purnell’s. Just being with Glynn and his team is like a dream come true. I really want to get this apprenticeship, but if I don’t I have learnt so much and had an amazing experience.”

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