September 2014

UCB confers honorary fellowship on Michelin-star chef Glynn Purnell

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Michelin-star chef Glynn Purnell swapped his chef whites and toque for a gown and mortar board when he was conferred with an honorary fellowship by University College Birmingham. 

Glynn was honoured for his longstanding commitment to the University’s professional chef courses and culinary arts programmes. 

Glynn, 39, said it was an emotional experience to accept the honorary fellowship watched by his parents and two of his sous chefs at UCB’s annual awards congregation at Symphony Hall. 

He said: “I had a massive lump in my throat. It was a really humbling experience which I will always look back on and it has motivated me to do more with young people in the industry. 

“I have a fantastic relationship with the University. It is always open to new ideas and that is what makes UCB the best place in the country for young chefs. 

“It is a financially strong university and constantly invests in its facilities and students.” 

The honour is conferred on individuals who have “rendered important services to University College Birmingham over a sustained period and have been members of, or closely associated with, the University.” 

Glynn opened Purnell’s in Cornwall Street – just five minutes’ walk from UCB – in July 2007 and won a Michelin star just 18 months later. 

Prof Ray Linforth, UCB’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, praised Glynn’s contribution to Birmingham’s culinary scene and said the chef was a great ambassador for the city. 

Prof Linforth said: “When he appears on TV, he is always talking about the culinary scene in Birmingham and promoting the quality and diversity of our restaurants. Having been helped, supported and tutored by some great chefs himself, Glynn also devotes a lot of time to nurturing young chefs.” 

Glynn becomes the second Michelin-star chef to be conferred with an honorary fellowship by UCB. Luke Tipping, executive chef at Simpsons, Birmingham, received the honour in 2010.

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