28 Feb The Original Simpsons
How Did It Start?
A lot of new customers come to the restaurant and often ask how it all started… Well, there is a lot of history that Andreas & Luke has created. The pair first formed their formidable partnership when they worked together at the Plough & Harrow on the Hagley Road where Andreas was head chef and Luke was sous chef at the time. Andreas & wife Alison then decided to open their own restaurant called Simpsons and Luke soon followed. Andreas & Luke worked in the kitchen and Alison ran the front of house. The location for the restaurant was on the Kenilworth High Street which was a former chemist owned by Alison’s father. The chemist was called Simpsons and they decided to keep the name.
99’ The Glory Year for Simpsons
The pair never went out to seek the coveted Michelin Star because they enjoyed what they were doing and making customers happy. Seeing the customers enjoy what they were eating was more rewarding than collecting the accolades. Through their hard work and determination, they were awarded a Michelin Star in 1999. When the restaurant won the Michelin Star, it really put Kenilworth on the food map creating a buzz around the town. In the same year as winning the star, Luke won Midlands Chef of the Year. Alongside Luke’s triumph, Andreas was also successful in the same year when he won Craft Guild of Chefs Chef’s Chef of the Year.
Style of Food
The dishes that have been on the menu over the years have been very much focussed on classic combinations with a modern influence. Over 26 years on, Luke & his team are still using the recipes that he and Andreas introduced back in 1994. There are some of the Simpsons classics that people that have been dining at Simpsons for years will know of. The early menus featured dishes like Kleftiko with Grilled Haloumi which was inspired by Andreas’s roots where his mother used to cook it for him. Another iconic Simpsons dish was the Crab Torte which gave the customers a sense of the seaside in Kenilworth. The Soufflé has always been a Simpsons staple and is still on the menu to this day. One that was a real customers favourite was the Passionfruit Soufflé accompanied with Coconut Ice Cream.
The restaurant has given many chefs the opportunity to build a career in the hospitality industry. Simpsons is renowned for crafting the best young chefs in the industry giving them the licence to develop in one of the best kitchens in the country under the guidance Luke & Andreas. Top-quality chefs that include Glyn Purnell, Andy Waters, Adam Bennett, Matt Cheal, Nathan Eades & Stuart Deeley just to name a few of the protégées that come through the Simpsons Kitchen.
The Move to the Second City
Andreas decided to change location to Edgbaston, Birmingham in October 2004. Simpsons relocated to the beautiful Georgian Grade II listed building on Highfield Road. It’s hard to believe that this elegant Georgian building and the stunning garden is only a mile away from Birmingham City Centre. Following the move to the second city, Andreas decided against selling the restaurant and turned the restaurant into ‘Simply Simpsons’ which offered the guest a lot more of a simpler menu. It was recognised by Michelin as serving good food at affordable prices.
It has been 26 years since Andreas and Alison opened up in Kenilworth and 20 years since the establishment was rewarded the Michelin Star. The restaurant has evolved into one of Birmingham’s best, with some of the country’s finest talents coming through the Simpsons Kitchens.
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