The carving knives will be out for actor Jimi Mistry when he showcases his freshly-honed culinary skills by joining pal Glynn Purnell on stage for the ultimate live cooking experience.
The East is East, Coronation Street and EastEnders star is the latest addition to the celebrity line-up for ‘Glynn Purnell & Friends’ Friday Night Kitchen’ event at Villa Park on October 7.
Jimi will help Michelin-starred chef Glynn prepare a mouth-watering main course, with X-Factor champion Sam Bailey on starter duty before singing two of her hits later on in the evening.
And pastry chef and chocolatier Will Torrent will provide delicious petit fours.
The 400-plus guests, including Jimi’s wife and Strictly Come Dancing star Flavia Cacace, will enjoy four courses in total – all to raise funds for Birmingham-based blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia.
Jimi’s return to the city where he cut his acting teeth marks the start of a new chapter in his career, after spending the past year training to be a chef at the prestigious Leiths School of Food & Wine.
As part of his professional ‘Three-Term Diploma in Food & Wine’, which he passed with distinctions across the board, Jimi worked under Glynn during a week-long placement at Purnell’s Restaurant last Easter.
“I’m really excited about supporting Glynn at his Friday Night Kitchen – we’re going to have some great banter!” beamed Jimi, who will be accompanied on stage by co-hosts Suzanne Virdee, the award-winning presenter, and Ed James, from Heart FM’s breakfast show.
“I’ve been pals with Glynn for about six years, since we appeared together on Saturday Kitchen. He’s a great personality and an absolutely amazing chef.
“I’m sure he’ll crack the whip!
But it will be great fun helping him prepare what will undoubtedly be an amazing feast for the live audience – all for a terrific cause.”
Glynn, a Cure Leukaemia Trustee, added:
“Jimi is a diamond of a fella and we’re going to have a great laugh on stage.
“He’s got so much passion for food and wine and is already a very talented chef.
“This year’s line-up is really taking shape – it promises to be the biggest and best Friday Night Kitchen yet, full of laughs, amazing music and, of course, great food.”
Scarborough-born Jimi will have no trouble understanding Glynn’s accent, as he is often mistaken for a Brummie himself!
It all stems from the four years he spent training to become an actor at the former Birmingham School of Speech & Drama (now Birmingham School of Acting at Birmingham City University).
“I’ve got a strong connection with the city as I did all of my real growing up here aged 18-22,” added Jimi.
“Even now, people ask me if I’m from the Birmingham area!”
He added: “I’m really excited about kicking off this new chapter of my career at Glynn’s Friday Night Kitchen.
“Food and wine is one of my biggest passions and Glynn has been a massive help.
“We always used to joke back in the day that if I was ever going to do MasterChef, he would show me the ropes.
“I needed to get three work placements at restaurants or catering companies for my course, so I thought I’d go straight to the top!
“Glynn invited me up for a week and I learnt so much from him, the sous chef Luke Butcher and the rest of the Purnell’s team – they really are masters of their craft.
“Glynn’s bad jokes aside, his energy in the kitchen is incredible – it energises his whole team.”
Wife Flavia has already given Jimi’s culinary skills a Strictly-style ten out of ten.
“Our marriage works because I cook and wash up – and she eats!” he quipped.
“Flavia’s really looking forward to the night too.”
Glynn’s Friday Night Kitchen has raised £100,000 for Cure Leukaemia over the past two years. With Birmingham Airport returning as headline sponsor for the second year running, Glynn is hoping proceeds will be boiling over the £150,000 mark come October.
Guests will be entertained until 2am by The Jamhouse’s resident live covers band, The Subterraneans, and Heart FM DJ Russ Morris.
The night’s one and only raffle prize is a money-can’t-buy-experience – a meal for up to six people cooked at the winner’s home by Glynn.
The self-styled Prince of Birmingham will turn up with his Purnell’s team, rustle up Sunday lunch and even clean up afterwards!
GPFNK Event Manager Jackie Kelly said: “Glynn has assembled a great line-up of celebrity friends who are going to provide real entertainment for our guests, as well as amazing food.”
Tickets for what has become known as the best Friday night out in the Birmingham social calendar have once again sold out. The only way to attend the live culinary experience is through sponsorship packages. For further details, visit www.GPFNK.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017