Friday, 7 October 2011

Michelin stars and more help make Birmingham great for foodies

Interesting news this week that Birmingham has been named by Olive Magazine as Britain’s gastro-capital – beating the likes of London, Edinburgh and Manchester hands-down.

As much as I hate the term ‘gastro’ (much like ‘organic’, it seems to have been diluted into a marketing descriptor by brands and venues which don’t always merit the term), I don’t think many Brummies with an interest in food and drink would disagree with the accolade.

This is a city with three Michelin-starred restaurants (I’m lucky enough to have enjoyed my wedding ‘breakfast’ in one of them) and even more culinary talent already biting at the ankles of Messers Turner, Purnell and Tipping. The place is literally packed with good, very good and outstanding restaurants.

But that’s not all. Aside from the restaurants, Birmingham hosts a packed calendar of foodie events from the NEC to Cannon Hill Park, not to mention thriving farmer’s markets in suburbs such as Harborne, Moseley and Kings Norton. It is bursting at the seams with local producers from sausages to chutneys and that’s before I’ve mentioned the Chinese Quarter and Wholesale Markets too.

If that’s not enough Birmingham has, of course, also cooked up global brands such as Bird’s Custard, Cadbury and HP, throwing in more than a pinch of history and heritage with each. Even today, the likes of East End Foods are leading their own global markets from in and around the city which is even credited as the birthplace of balti. Need I say more?

I’m biased, but I dont think there’s a more deserving winner. Now I’m off to Ladypool Road for a balti...


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