Another week brings another slew of stories about food and restaurant developments in Birmingham and its hinterland.
In the not too distant past, the opening of a new restaurant was a novelty. Now we have come to expect such things as part of the normal pattern of life.
Once it was a case of: “Food? What, in Birmingham?”
Today, a city once famous for having a (badly cooked) chip on its shoulder can nonchalantly declare: “You want food? Good food? Why, of course. It’s what we do.”
The recruitment of Martin Blunos by Hogarths Hotel, near Solihull, is as surprising as it is welcome. Blunos’s pedigree, certainly as far as the Michelin Guide is concerned, is impressive.
Chefs like nothing more than passing comment over the awarding of Michelin stars but you don’t get two, and hold on to them for several years, as Blunos did in Bristol and Bath, by chance.
His appointment will stir diners’ expectations in the West Midlands and a chef of such stature and experience can only be a good thing in terms of inspiring the next generation of hospitality professionals. The catering world is as closely-knit as any other industry and word quickly spreads about the activities of competitors.
If all goes to plan, some of the next top professionals may have their appetite whetted, and their skills honed, at a new cookery school in central Birmingham. The new School Yard development in Harborne High Street will host Kitchen, which will offer a range of cookery courses, ticking all the right boxes in terms of food education.
Simpsons restaurant in Edgbaston already has its own successful cookery school. There will now be two within a mile of each other in south Birmingham.