Birmingham, the UK’s largest city outside London, is a thriving, diverse food landscape and is home to a new generation of culinary stars. It is a place of food discovery, exploration, education and cultural integration.
In a constant state of regeneration, Birmingham has a perfect balance of modern classics, diverse street food and a multi-cultural dining scene. There are hundreds of restaurants and cafés, from authentic balti houses to high-end gastronomic triumphs where exciting new chefs showcase the hottest culinary trends.
Set in the heart of England, the city is close to rich agricultural land, famous for seasonal crops such as asparagus, pears, plums and cider apples. Birmingham’s food story is new and emerging but the drive for innovation is linked to a passion for heritage and tradition.
University College Birmingham is home to the College of Food, and culinary education is strong, from chef training to food innovation. The university engages young talent in food exploration through the Young Chefs Academy and the Young Chef of the Year competition. The annual contest encourages 14 to 16-year-olds to learn new skills and pair international ingredients with local flavours.
Birmingham’s prowess for street food is showcased at the Digbeth Dining Club, launched in 2012 and renowned for its eclectic mix of outlets offering world cuisines including BBQ, Middle Eastern, Mexican and Thai. The multi award-winning “club” is based in the city’s creative hub of Digbeth and is so popular it now opens several days each week.
Despite its relatively new entry to the Michelin Guide – the first stars were awarded in 2005 – the Birmingham area now has five starred restaurants, more than any other regional city in the UK. The top-tier restaurants are inspiring a new generation of young professionals with the way they incorporate global food influences and the latest flavour trends alongside French classicism.